His 'Place'...Is Yours!

 

     One day, the barber in our little village of Hsi Hu came by to visit and have a little chat. He sat in our living room for quite a spell. Mr. Huang was a young man with a lovely wife, two beautiful kids, and an insatiable curiosity for the things of the Western World. He would often question us about life in America. He was somewhat receptive to the Gospel we preached. 

I know, I know: "somewhat" doesn't count, but the pressures of family and neighbors in a tiny Buddhist village can be overwhelming. Let's just say he was "close" then, and leave it at that; sadly, with the travails we'd been having so far, "close" was a thrill for us!

And on that particular afternoon, after we had talked a while, Mr. Huang picked up a photo album from our coffee table and started thumbing through it...

...and with every page, he just grew quieter and quieter. Finally, all conversation stopped and we just watched him as he turned page after page, with pictures of our trips to the Sierras, to the Rockies, the beautiful peaks and aspens of Colorado; the neighborhood streets, and my parents' beautiful two-story white house, with that enormous front yard....our family gatherings and our Christmas pictures and...

Finally, he looked up and said: "Su Laushr: do you mean to tell me that this..." he put his finger on one of the prints, "...is what you left behind to come and bring us Jesus?"

 

 

I have to admit, I was just about as stricken by the thought as he was! Oh, we were having bouts of homesickness by then, but we were really too busy to feel sorry for ourselves and it had never quite occurred to me in just that way.  

There is something "Christ-like" about just "going", did you know? 

I tried my best to describe, for Mr. Huang, what Christ left behind when He came for us. But, of course, I really can't do that, can I? No one can. "Eye has not seen," remember?

The Bible makes it clear, in Philippians 2, that Jesus was enjoying all the glories and the splendors of His Godhood, when He left it all behind to "make Himself of no reputation, and take upon Himself the form of a servant..." Phil 2:6-8 

But listen, dear faithful one: what He left behind, is now waiting for you! Christ has "prepared" it! It is promised of God and that means it's yours! His greatest desire was that "where I am, you may be also." Jn 14:3 

Don't even try to describe it now; if you could, it wouldn't be heaven, would it?  

I read that, for the rest of his days after his return from the East, Marco Polo kept insisting upon the wonders he'd seen, and no one ever believed him! Some thought he was crazy. Some called him a liar. On his death-bed one day, a priest even urged him to "confess the great sin of your lies and your fables". But the great explorer set his jaw and answered: "I have not told even half of the things I have seen in that land. I have nothing to recant!"  God bless him! 

Nor can we tell the tiniest fraction dear ones. In fact, all we can say is: it will be glory! Right now, with the world all around us slipping into chaos, it is good for us to remember that. 

One day, the great Charles Fuller received a letter in the mail, from one of the listeners to his radio program. And this is what he wrote: 

"I hear that next Sunday you will be preaching on 'Heaven'. I am very interested in that land because I have had a clear title to a bit of its property now for over fifty-five years. I did not buy it. It was given to me, without price, without cost, by a Donor who purchased it at great cost to Himself. I am not holding it for speculation, for the title is not transferable.

"My bit of property is not a vacant lot. For many years now, I have been sending things on ahead, and the great Architect and Builder of the Universe has been preparing a place for me there. 

"Termites will never destroy what is built there. Fire cannot destroy it, or flood. It is built safely upon the Rock of Ages. There are no locks on the doors or windows of that place, for that land is a place of eternal peace and security, where no evil dwells. 

"There is a valley of deep shadow between my place here in Southern California and the place to where I am going. I must pass through it. But I am not afraid, because the best Friend I ever had has gone through the valley before me and driven away its gloom. He has stayed with me through thick and thin for all these fifty-five years. I hold His promise in printed form, that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and that I will never lose my way.

"I hope to be listening to your sermon next Sunday from my home right here in L.A., but I have no assurance of that. My ticket to Heaven is an open one, the date of the journey is not yet determined. It will not be "round-trip". No "baggage" is allowed. Yet I am ready to go, and though I may not be here while you speak of it Sunday, I will meet you there someday, personally, I'm sure." 

I love it that you're coming (and viewing) each Sunday! God bless you for that!    

 

See you Sunday!  RAS 

The Miracle of 1864
If We Don't Give Up