I am reminded today that life is forever – but humanity is short. In one week I received news of two deaths, one a former classmate, and the other, a dear family friend. Life, as we know it here, is short indeed.
We all know that day is coming – the day when we pass from merely existing, into life eternal. Books are written, and movies are made on the human speculation surrounding this inevitable event. Is death like that vivid, perfect dream from which we never return? No one knows.
What we know is; “this life,” is all we know, and most days, we don't know much about this life either. We can imagine and dream of what lies ahead, but that’s as far as we can travel in these shackles of bone, beautified in clay, and sculpted by the Master’s hands. And yet, we all have the same hope of God’s unfailing promise. “If I came, I will go. If I go, I will prepare your home.”
There is nothing like going home. “Home” signifies peace, security, and perfect love. It’s a place where we can be ourselves. Papa is waiting for us at home. The moment Jesus departed the earth; work began on fulfilling the promise He made to everyone, not just a chosen few.
Jesus said, “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”
Home is waiting for everyone. How do I know? I know it because our denomination is not the way – going to church is not the way – and faith is not the way. JESUS is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE! He paid the price for everyone, not just a well-performing few. God accepted the price and said, "Well done, my Son - I am reconciled with everyone."
He paved the way for those with a Bible so filled with notes it resembles the Torah of a Pharisee priest, and He opened the way for those who don’t even own a Bible, much less, have confidence in half of what it contains. Jesus is the way home, not Bible study.
The way home is a deal between the Father and the Son. The WAY home was made FOR us, not suggested TO us. Though we pride ourselves on being included by something we’ve done, the thief on the cross who didn’t speak is as included as the one who did. This equal inclusion is the Grace that allows us to reconcile ourselves with everything and everybody. The exclusive gospel we have heard religion preach will never bring reconciliation. The only thing that message brings is division, judgment, and condemnation.
I’ll lose most of you here, but most likely, I lost the bulk of you a couple of paragraphs into this article. I know most Christians think their first words in Heaven will be something like, “Wow,” or “Thank God I’m home!” And just maybe, those words will be the first for some. However, due to the exclusive, “I got here by my faith” gospel that most people preach, I wouldn’t be surprised if we ALL looked around and the first words from our mouth were, “How on earth did YOU get in?”
LOL! What a day that will be. Finally, we will discover what Jesus tried to tell us long ago. NOTHING on earth got any of us home. Not our church attendance, or hanging out with the right crowd. Not our faith, our Bible studies, or belonging to the correct Protestant denomination. ALL of us, dear friends, will stand in Heaven by the same Way as everyone else. This is home.