The Road Home
Everyone has an eternal home (Eccl 12:5). The Bible teaches us that one of two homes await every soul. Although everyone knows the names of these places (Heaven and Hell), there is hardly one who conceives of his eternity being in the lake of fire, forever (Rev 20:14–15). Still others live in this world, as if this earth is their final destination, despite the obvious departure at the time of the biological death. Removing the delusion about these matters is one crucial task for the true Gospel preacher.
For many years, I drove from Spokane Valley, Washington, to my childhood home in Frankenmuth, Michigan. For over five decades, the house at 439 Mary Lane had been my base in this world. Still, I was inevitably faced with the reality that this house, in this town, in this world, is not my home. Those 32 hour drives (one-way) brought much contemplation, in anticipation of one day having to sell that house. That day came in the summer of 2020. Foremost in my gratitude is that when Jesus saved me, heavenly Zion became my eternal home (Eph 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 11:16; 12:22; Rev 21–22).
The way home to our heavenly country is actually a Person. Jesus is the way (Jn 14:6). He is the way to God and to heaven. There is no other way. This biblical truth is offensive to many, who believe there are many ways to God/heaven. Jesus taught that there is a road that is wide, and it leads many to eternal destruction. He also taught of the narrow way, which is the less traveled road to life. Few find it (Mt 7:13–14).
The road begins with God in eternity. The Eternal One decreed the one way that His elect people would trust (Ps 9:10; 31:6, 14; 37:3, 5; 118:8; Prv 3:5), when they became lost. He decreed each person to be saved (Rom 8:29–30; Eph 1:4–5), even writing their names in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27). In this way, He alone would be glorified.
When Adam and Eve lost their home in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3), they were given hope in one of Eve’s offspring (Gen 3:15). They and their immediate progeny attempted to make a home in this fallen world, all but forgetting the promise of God (Gen 4–5). Soon there were cities (Gen 11), but God insisted His people see themselves as mere pilgrims (1 Chron 29:15).
The sojourning lifestyle is not popular, however. Even when Old Testament Israel settled in Canaan, there was a limited sense of security, as famine and foreign powers worked to dislodge the Israelites. Ultimately, it was the sovereign Lord who refused to let His people get comfortable in this world. Far from being an ogre or home wrecker, Jesus promised that He was leaving this world to go and prepare a place for His beloved betrothed (Eph 5:25), His church (Mt 16:18), the Israel of God (Jn 14:2–3; Gal 6:16). Therefore, the Christian, who is himself living in a tent (body), must also prepare to move (2 Cor 5:1–10).
The believing sojourner must de-clutter his house. This means he must remove idols and other distractions that tend to ground him in this world. We foolishly hold onto the things of the world (1 Jn 2:15–17), wrongly imagining that these define one’s life (Lk 12:15). Are we not told by the Apostle Paul that our entry and exit are without possessions (1 Tim 6:7)? We even lose our bodies at the exit door!
Next, the saint must clean his house. This is the removal of sin, or what it means to become holy (1 Pet 1:15–16). This is an impossible task for the flesh, so it must be God’s will (Jn 1:13) and God’s work, to accomplish this requirement (Ps 57:2; 138:8; Is 26:12; Jn 17:17; Phil 2:13).
The keys to the kingdom of this world must be left in the hands of those who treasure this world more than the next. Christ’s kingdom requires our total focus, in order that one’s mind is set on things above (Col 3:2). Jesus must be the Christian’s focus (Heb 12:2). The keys to our hearts belong to Jesus, exclusively. He demonstrated His love for us (Rom 5:8), and bought us for the price of His precious blood (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23), shed on the cross at Calvary (1 Pet 1:19). His words of love instill within us, a longing for home, and an eternal holiday with family.
Life’s journey is long and often wearisome. Then, in a brief reflection, we realize it was a mere vapor (Jas 4:14). With the increase of trials and tribulation, our hope is transferred from wanting more of this world, to wanting our ambassadorship to end (2 Cor 5:20). Are you ready for your assignment assessment? When God graciously employs his children with the Gospel stewardship, like a truck driver, our cargo must be weighed and measured for its true value (1 Cor 3:11–13). Things of the world are of no value, while God’s interests mean everything (Mt 16:23; Mk 8:33).
Friend, are you on the right road, heading in the right direction to the right home? The Bible has much to say to you who are living for this world and not for God. You must heed the warning of God’s pending wrath to come against unregenerate sinners (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7; 1 Thess 1:10).
Christian, is it time to sell your house in this world and give your possessions to the poor (Mt 19:21; Lk 12:33; Acts 2:45)? You will be delighted with your lightened load. Less of the world here is more of the world to come (Mt 6:19–20). Examine your heart and check your treasure kept there (Mt 6:21; Lk 12:34). Jesus had nowhere to lay His head in this world because He knew He was soon leaving (Mt 8:20).
Are you ready to leave this world behind? Are you living like you are soon moving to a new home, taking nothing with you from your present home? May God grant each of us, all the grace we need to pack up what little we need for the road home…only Him.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 6, 2022