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Why are we still here?
Why has our Savior left us here? He has already made us completely worthy of heavenly glory. Has he not? Colossians 1:12-14 tells us that he has.
So why has he 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.
“And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”
What a wonderful change grace had wrought in this man. He who, but a short time before, was a terror to everyone, was now so heavenly composed that he desired never to leave his blessed Savior. Is that not the case with you, who have been called out of darkness into 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 upon this crumbling ball of clay too long. But…
“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 us earthen vessels, choosing to employ you and me to tell other eternity bound sinners what great things the Lord has done for us and how he 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!” And be assured, weary pilgrim, that your weary, troublesome life will end soon and that it will end well (2 Corinthians 4:17-5:2).