Why are we still here?


“Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

(Philippians 1:24)


      Why has our Savior left us here? He has already made us completely worthy of heavenly glory. Has he not? That is what the Spirit of God tells us in Colossians 1:12-14. So why has our Redeemer left us here? I have been pondering that question a good bit lately. I cannot answer it fully; but I have found an answer that satisfies me in Mark 5:18-20. There we read about the Lord Jesus healing the maniac of Gadara. When the poor man was made to know the Lord Jesus and His grace, he desired to be with Him; but the Master denied him that great joy for some time for a very noble and good reason.


      What a wonderful change grace wrought in the Gadarene. He who, but a few minutes before, had been a terror to everyone, was made to be so heavenly composed that he desired never to leave his blessed Savior. Is that not the case with all who have been called from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and Satan to the living God? Surely, having once tasted that the Lord is gracious, we cannot but long to be “absent from the body, and present with the Lord. Yet our Savior says, “No, not yet.” Rather, He tells us to go home to our lost friends, and speak forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.


      Our Lord Jesus has left us here until God’s appointed time shall come to take us home to Glory. Our God and Savior must have His witnesses upon earth, as long as the earth remains. None of us shall live in this crumbling tabernacle of clay too long. Yet, we must remain until our appointed work is finished.


“Mortals are immortal here,

Until their work is none.”


      What mercy! What grace! What condescending goodness! Our God has put the treasure of His gospel in these earthen vessels, choosing to employ you and me to tell other eternity bound sinners what great things the Lord has done for us, and has had compassion on us! Let us wait in contentment, happiness and overflowing gratitude, telling out the good news of redeeming love and saving mercy all the days of our appointed time, until our change come. Having a desire to depart and be with Christ, for now, to abide in the flesh is more needful. When we are no longer needed here, we will be with him there, in that “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens!


      Oh, eternity bound sinner, make certain that you are in Christ! Let every child of God take comfort with regard to those who have gone to heaven. — “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord!” Be assured, weary pilgrim, that your weary, troublesome life will end soon, and that it will end well (2 Corinthians 4:17-5:2). When the Lord Jesus has finished with us here, He will bring us to Himself there, where we shall dwell in the light of the glory of the triune God forever. Until then, let us devote ourselves to making Him known here.





Don Fortner



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