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ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE OCEAN

October 2, 2010
Psalm 39:12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”
II Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”
“For I am a stranger with thee” These words sum up the mindset of those who have tasted the indescribable goodness of the Lord and have seen by faith the everlasting age to come. They stand upon the shore of this present realm; and yet their heart is not a part of this world. Somewhere in their past, they had an encounter with the Creator of all that is. They believed on a Savior who paid for their sins with his own blood, and has gone to prepare a place for them.  No longer are they just living day to day; seeking cheap thrills and hollow acquisitions to pass the time away. These have cast aside the former entrapments and have embarked on “the journey” that leads to immortality. Their thoughts continally gravitate toward the heavens. On the far side of the ocean, that stretches between here and there, abides a continuing city not made with hands. In that eternal domain, they shall abide forever in the presence of the Lord. And even though the eye has yet to behold this wonder, their heart has already landed on that distant shore and taken up residence.
With a song in their heart that none can steal away, they travel through this fallen realm which can no longer lay claim to them. They work, they play, they render unto Caesar a portion of the vanity. They occupy a space for a moment of time, but they harbor no attachment to its hardware. They dutifully and joyfully fulfil the role of “ambassador” but long for the moment when their testimony is fulfilled. They ponder the moment when they shall join the great cloud of witnesses who have preceeded them, and take up their position in presence of the Lord Jesus. Their love for the Savior who redeemed them is overflowing. They long for their contemporaries to know the Lord as they have come to know him. They search for words which will enable them to relay this to the beautiful captives, however, no phrases seem up to the task. “Oh come and taste the goodness of the Lord” they cry. “Look to Jesus and he will give thee life everlasting. Come with me to a land where sorrow and despair are but a distant memory and we shall shine as the firmament forever.”
“Come see a Savior who is before all things and by whom all things consist. Who came into a world that was engulfed in darkness and sorrows. He healed the sick and restored the despairing. He showed us the Father, who is not willing that any should perish. He was tempted in all points as are we, but was yet without sin. When the time was at hand, he was brutally entreated; more so than any man had ever been. He could have called twelve legions of angels and been delivered. He could have destroyed the mockers who were shouting “come down from the cross and we’ll believe you.” But he was faithful unto the end. He took upon himself every infraction that ever had been, or ever would be, committed by sinful men. With his own blood, he blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. And then he said three of the most powerful words ever to be uttered. “It is finished!”. He entered the depths of the earth; he stripped the accuser of all authority. Three days later he rose from the dead. Corruption could not take hold of him and he is alive forever more.”
They pause for a moment to reflect on this incredible deliverance. To consider that he who formed the worlds, took upon himself the form of a servant, and was bruised beyond recognition for our iniquities.  They remember the moment when they first believed on the Lord Jesus. When the angels shouted for joy as their name was inscibed into the book of life. They reflect on the seasons which have since transpired; each having a distinct mixture of mountaintop rendezvous with the Lord, and growing pains which are shared by all who strive to become more like Jesus. They ponder the lessons learned, the souls encountered, and the significance of each firey trial. And then their thoughts turn toward the conclusion of their faith; that being the salvation of their souls. When they either become absent from the body due to physical demise,  or they put on incorruption at the moment of the Lords appearing; when the elect are gathered from the four corners of the earth. Either way, to depart the “here”  is to be forever in the presence of the Lord Jesus. And then, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
………Of all the things that one can write about; sometimes it’s a joy to simply let our thoughts venture into heavenly places, and afterwards, file a report. Tonight my heart is definately there and not here. Over the past 2 days, I’ve been reading a book that discusses end time prophecy and some of the misconceptions that are floating about. I wasn’t looking for such a book, but this particular one caught my eye. After briefly examining the content to ensure that the author was heading in the right direction, I purchased the book. It has proven to the the most cogitation-generating publication that I have encountered in years. This is not to say that I agree with everything, but the author brings out some points that cry out for a prayerful studying of the scriptures. In the days (or weeks) ahead, I’ll comment more on some of the issues covered. (I’m still reading it and I must make a second pass through before even attempting to comment) One thing is for certain; the return of Jesus is near and it won’t be a silent vanishing of the faithful while life as we’ve known it continues on. When Jesus appears, every eye shall behold him and everyone will know who it is that their eyes are beholding.
This single thing has been deeply impressed upon me over the past 48 hours; the return of Jesus will catch multitudes off guard; even many who considered themselves to be “watching,” and the door will be shut. Those who know him will put on incorruption. Those who know him not will cry unto the rocks “fall on us.” Tonight as I sit here rambling, my God is more awesome than ever. And while I know that we are sailing headlong into the darkest of hours, Jesus has promised to be with us always; even unto the end of the world.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
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