Our family has never been good about leaving home–not to mention starting on time!
It is certainly not for lack of practice. Living some 1,500 miles from “family” in the Midwest meant an almost-annual cross-country pilgrimage.
But practice never did make perfect. When we had high hopes of leaving by 7:00 a.m., maybe 8:00 at the latest, we usually had the last things stowed and the last child buckled in closer to 10:00 or 11:00 a.m.
But now, when it comes to the most momentous trip any of us will ever take, what a relief to consider that there is nothing we need to do to get ready!
That might seem like a contradiction. You would think that the farther and longer the trip, the more work, effort, and planning would be involved.
But the greatest trip ahead has as its destination the mansions of heaven above—where our real family lives!
Recently there has been talk and planning for a spring-time cruise for members of our synodical church family. Such trips are attractive, for one thing because there is so little planning the individual traveler needs to make. Meals and rooms are taken care of for you. The cruise line arranges stops at various ports, even making various activities available along the way.
Yet with such a trip, some things still need planning – getting time off from work, procuring airline tickets, rental vehicles, obtaining cruise insurance, and so on.
Not so, Christian friends, with regard to our trip to heaven! The “ticket” has already been punched by our Lord and Host! Yes, the journey has been completely pre-paid by our Savior and Brother, Jesus Christ!
To be sure, the devil is always trying to fill our minds with “buts” and “what abouts” and “what ifs.” He will try to get us to think that there is something we need to do to prepare ourselves for this one great and final trip.
For example, the devil may suggest, “Isn’t it true that you need faith to be prepared?” When the petrified Philippian jailer asked the apostle Paul, “What must I do to be saved?”, Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…” (See Acts chapter 16) So isn’t “believing” something each of us needs to do himself?
In the face of such a question, we can calm our hearts with Paul’s reassuring words: “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works…” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Not only did our heavenly Father see our problem of sin and go about taking care of it; not only did Jesus Christ come to Earth to pay the redemption price of His holy, precious blood and His innocent sufferings and death; but also, dear reader, the Holy Spirit has successfully worked faith in your heart and mine through that word of the gospel in the Means of Grace. “…Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
“Are we ready yet?” There is not a thing we believers need to do on our own to get ready for this trip. Everything necessary has been done!
When I say, “That’s my kind of trip,” I’m sure you would agree! Thanks to what Jesus has done, I am completely ready, completely prepared!
And so are you! Each believer is prepared to leave this Earth when God determines it is time to go! Hallelujah and Amen!