For true believers who have received and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have a longing that the secular world does not understand. Some time ago, I presented a message titled, “This World Is Not My Home,” which was a song written by Jim Reeves’ wife, Mary. That song has been recorded by a number of artists from various types of music arenas. (all emphasis mine)
Another song that is along the same lines is “Wayfaring Stranger.” It has been around since the early to mid-1800s and was first published in 1858 in Joseph Bever’s Christian Songster. The actual author is unknown, but it was in Bever’s collection of hymns and spirituals. It, too, has been recorded by various artists.
Before calling on Jesus to be my Savior, and before establishing a relationship with Him, I was like so many others that make up the secular world. My life was based on all that was happening in this world, and religion was a sideline. I believed that Jesus is real, but I didn’t really focus on just who He really is and what He should mean to me. That has totally changed over the past 30+ years.
A dictionary definition of “secular” is “denoting attitudes, activities or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.” At the time, my thoughts were that one organized evangelical religion was as good as another. Problem is, I was never satisfied. Something was missing. Now that I have a real and true relationship with my Lord, I understand why I wasn’t satisfied, and the words of this song express it well.
(1) I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger, traveling through this world below. There is no sickness, no toil, nor dangers, in that bright land to which I go.
(2) I’m going there to see my Father, and all my loved ones who’ve gone on. I’m just going over Jordan; I’m just going Home.
(3) I know dark clouds will gather ’round me; I know my way is hard and steep. But beauteous fields arise before me, where God’s redeemed, their vigils keep.
(4) I’m going there to see my mother; she said she’d meet me when I come. So, I’m just going over Jordan; I’m just going over Home. I’m just going over Jordan; I’m just going over Home.
One day, over thirty years ago, I had an encounter with what could only be described as a “Holy Spirit” moment. No Bible passages jumped out at me, but I felt a strong need to “talk” to Jesus and ask His forgiveness. I understood what was missing in my life and knew there had to be a change.
The more I read God’s word, which is every day, the more I realize just how important Jesus is to me. I learned it’s not about “religion” but the relationship that counts. Besides, Jesus had the most problems with the “religious leaders” of His time while He was here. He didn’t preach “religion”; He preached Salvation.
While reading the book of John, one verse jumped off the page when I came to it: John 14:6; “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” I have taken this as my life verse, and it destroyed every notion in my mind that “there are many ways to heaven.”
The Father understands us more than we give Him credit for. He’s not just some bearded ancient person that sits on a throne all day watching us. He’s not surprised by anything that happens here and is always there for us when we call out. He is our Creator and loves us more than we can ever understand.
Just about everyone has heard of or read John 3:16, which states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Sadly, many people stop there and don’t really consider who “His Son” is. Jesus Himself stated in John 10:30, “The Father and I are One.” The first four verses of John tell us who He is in easy-to-understand language.
Our Heavenly Father is made up of three persons that form the Godhead – the Trinity. All three are mentioned in John 14:26. He loves us so much that He sent a part of Himself to be our Savior and Redeemer. He could have been like so-called manmade gods and demanded our loyalty and worship, but then, He would not be a God of Love if He did so.
Think of 2 Peter 3:9; “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you; not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
He has supplied everything we need to learn and understand about our ability to choose Jesus and have eternal life in Heaven. He did not make it difficult; full of pomp and circumstance; performing many “righteous rituals”; and paying exorbitant fees to be a member of His Son’s beloved flock. Just read Romans 10:9-13 for the real details.
We have a gift that was paid for, in full, with the blood of Jesus at Calvary. Jesus promised He would prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3) and that He would return for all who receive and accept His gift. Through His disciples’ writings, He has told us He will take us out of this world before the Tribulation starts, to keep us from God’s Wrath as given in 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 and Revelation 3:10, just to name a few.
Seeing everything that is taking place and watching the evil become greater each day gives us a longing to leave here and be with Jesus. I can understand Paul’s statement in Philippians 1:23 about his desire to depart and be with Jesus.
The world hates us yet calls us the “haters.” Again, this does not surprise the Savior. John 16:33 tells us we will have “tribulations” while here but that Jesus overcame the world.
“Wayfaring Stranger” tells of a longing to go “Home” to be with our Savior. Just to be in an environment of pure love, and with all the Saints that will be there, is more than enough reason to want to leave this sin-filled world behind. It’s something we wish for all of our loved ones, yet it is completely up to each individual to accept or reject.
It will not be very long before our journey here is ended. All the signs are here for the first time ever, and we have been told, when this happens, Jesus will be coming for us very soon.
The secular world initially will ignore that we’re gone. Then they will be “educated” as to what their new leader, the antichrist, is really all about. A plan is already being formed to explain that we “haters” were removed by a “cosmic force” to make the world “pure.” God will allow this delusion to be in the minds of those left behind.
To be part of the ones that won’t be here during that time, call on Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). It’s a free-will choice as the Father will force no one to accept eternity in Heaven. He allows people to choose Satan and spend forever with him in hell (Revelation 20:11-15). No other choice is available, and each outcome is forever. One will be pure Joy and Love; the other, eternal torment.
Today would not be too soon to consider your options, but please choose wisely. Another of Satan’s “lies” is that we have plenty of time, yet Jesus said we would not know the day or hour. It could very well be today. He’s waiting for your call, and you won’t be turned away. The only unforgivable sin is not to have Jesus as your Savior when you leave this earth.
Hope to see you at Home!
Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)