We are the citizens of heaven. Therefore, the heavenly home is our destiny.
The Savior is now preparing a place for each of us in the Father's house, and he has promised to return and take us to that wonderful home. (John 14:1-6).
When he will return, nobody knows, and it is dangerous to set dates (Luke 1 7:20-37).
We Adventists believe in what is called "the imminent return of Christ." The word imminent means "ready to take place." In other words, nothing special has to happen for the Lord to return. He may come today, or he may wait another generation. Since nobody knows when Jesus Christ will return, it behooves all of His people to be ready every hour of every day to meet their Lord.
Realizing that at any moment we may be "called up," we should concentrate on holy living (1 John 2:28-3:3) and faithful service (Matt. 25:14-30). Each believer's works will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, and all faithful service will be generously rewarded by the Lord (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:9, 10). If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Cor. 3:15). It is the servant who says, "My lord delays his coming" who gets into trouble (Luke 12:41-48).
Since our citizenship is in heaven and our home is in heaven, we as God's pilgrims must cultivate a "heavenly mind" as we journey here on earth. We must constantly be looking for the Savior (Phil. 3:20). This does not mean that we neglect our earthly responsibilities and, as D. L. Moody used to say, become "so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good." Quite the contrary is true. People who are looking for their Lord ought to be morefaithful as parents, children, employees, citizens, friends, and servants of God. It was this "heavenly hope" that motivated men of faith like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for they "looked for a city . . . whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10; note vv. 13-16). The eyes of God's pilgrims must not look back to the old life (Luke 9:62), or look around at the distractions of the world (Gen. 13:10- 11). They must focus above, by faith, and be fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 12:1-2). Because we have been raised with Christ, we should 'seek those things which are above' (Col. 3:1).
It is not easy to be one of God's faithful pilgrims; to live a separated life and be ready at all times to move as He commands. But the rewards are worth it. We not only enjoy His presence and blessing on earth, but we have the assurance of a wonderful future in heaven. We know that Christ has promised to return, and when He does, we will be "caught up ... to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:1 7).
After all, you shouldn't mind being a pilgrim and stranger in this world when you know your destination is heaven.
Kathy Beegles writes from Syciney, Australia.