HAVING LIVED A LONG FRUITFUL LIFE, HE IS ANTICIPATING THE NEXT STAGE
Billy Graham has preached to Kings, Presidents & Prime Ministers. Millions of people have heard him explaining the Gospel of Christ.
He is now retired in his wooden cottage in a mountain side in Montreat, North Carolina.
In 1907 his wife of 64 years died. He now often describes how he misses her. But he is not sitting there complaining of his aches and pains. Life is still exciting. Yet he is also waiting patiently to be “taken home”.
In 2011 at the age of 93, he wrote a book Nearing Home. He concluded with the following paragraph:
Our Final Home
It has been a great privilege for me to be an evangelist; my greatest joy has come from seeing people all over the world respond to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. But on the personal level it has had its downside because I was away from home so much, sometimes for months at a time. But no matter how short or long the trip was, when I landed in Charlotte or Asheville, I knew I was nearing home. Home was a place of rest and peace; it also was a place of love and joy and security.
In a far greater way, Heaven is our home—our final home—our ultimate place of complete peace and security and joy forever. Here our homes are imperfect, even at best, sadly, for many people home may actually be a place of conflict and unhappiness. But this isn’t true of Heaven. When we belong to Christ, we know that when we die we finally will be at peace—for we will be home.
Paul’s words to the Christians in Corinth apply to us as well: “As long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord… [but we] would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6,8). Heaven is our hope, Heaven is our future, and Heaven is our home! I look forward to being home at last, and I pray you do also.
When life’s burdens press upon you or its pressures seem almost more than you can bear, turn your heart toward your Heavenly home: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me… Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”(Psalm 23:4 KJV; Psalm 23:6 KJV). When your hopes and dreams fall apart or people disappoint you or turn against you, turn your heart toward your Heavenly home. And when the infirmities and struggles of old age threaten to overwhelm you, turn your heart toward your Heavenly home.
Nearing Home with Assurance
This is certainly what Christ did–before He departed His earthly life, His mind was on home and bringing us Him: “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father” (John 16:28 NKJV). Jesus said to His disciples, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but shall follow Me afterward” (John 13:36 NKJV), and “I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:2-4 NKJV).
My friend, do you know the way? Jesus told us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”(John 14:6 NKJV). No one ever grows too old to accept Christ’s forgiveness and enter into His glorious presence.
When we look back over our experiences along life’s journey, we may have regrets about the choices we made, but remember, that was then…this is now.
We may recall the times we have failed our families, but that was then…this is now. Some reading this book may say, “But I rejected Christ my whole life. It’s too late for me.” I say to you, my friend, that was then…this is now.
The Bible’s promises were true then, they are true now, and they will be true forever. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV, emphasis added).
For those who have received the most precious gift of Christ’s redeeming blood…you have reason to look forward to the glories of Heaven, for you will be perfected, you will be joyful, you will once again be active, and right now you can be certain that you are nearing home.
Title: Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well
By: Billy Graham
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 17, 2011)