We lost another very fine member in Grove just last month. A former Church Deacon and a real gentleman, Tom was in the twilight of his years. He had almost reached his 100th birthday. He had completed his journey. He was ready for Heaven and home.
I say 'lost' but, of course, we in Grove and his family know exactly where Tom is! Since he had accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour many many years ago, he is safely home in Heaven.
It got me thinking. If I knew it was soon to be 'my time', what would I do to get ready for the journey? I mean, some preparation is needed before any journey.
Then it hit me, for the heavenward journey I couldn't take anything or anyone with me! So all my family and friends and all my stuff acquired over the years just couldn't go. No loved ones, no mates, no favourite items of any kind. And yet, there is a part of us which is able to go! It is this that I want to dwell on for a few minutes this month.
So what can we take? The Bible calls it our soul. So important, the Bible states "For what is a man profited, if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt 16:26). I like to think that our souls capture our inner selves, our personalities, the real us… the part of us which has been moulded by our parents, teachers, friends, Pastors and by all the experiences life has thrown at us, bad ones as well as good.
If we are children of God, saved by grace, then we will be accepted into Heaven on the basis of Jesus' sacrificial death. Our way to Heaven is only by the way of the cross. Of course, as nothing evil or sinful will be allowed there, only our 'honest to God' characteristics will remain. As well as leaving behind all our worldly possessions, all our sinful characteristics like anger, petty jealousies, lust, laziness etc. will all be left behind too. But it will still be 'us' there in Heaven, albeit with a new sanctified body.
There is a song by U2 called "Walk on". It is a favourite of mine. I've read that it was written after the author's father died. It is sad, incisive and challenging. About the journey to Heaven, it says this…
You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
And on what you can bring…
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind
And on what must be left behind…
Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
Heaven is a place most people want to believe in. We really have no idea how wonderful that place will be…
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" 1 Cor 2:9
Although none of us deserve to get there, we can, if we would only believe…
"If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;" Rom 10:9 (NASB)
Our Brother Tom walked on 'home' just recently.
None of us knows what is around the corner.
If you're on the right path, Walk on!
(All quotations are from the KJV, unless otherwise noted)
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!