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If You Get There Before I Do

If You Get There Before I Do
By Dennis Huebshman

With each passing day, the feeling that we’re going Home soon gets stronger and stronger. Not our home here on earth, but our Eternal Home, prepared for us by Our Savior. Once a person receives and accepts Jesus as their one and only Savior (John 14:6; Acts 2:21), a longing develops to be free from this sin-filled world, and to be in paradise forever. We come to realize that everything on this earth, and about this earth, is temporary. Even if we were to live past 100 years of age, it wouldn’t even be an eye blink in Heaven. (ESV all emphasis mine)

We also realize that not everyone will be there; only those who truly ask Jesus to come into their hearts, forgive them of their sins, and to be their Savior forever. Satan is a master of deception, and does everything he and his demons can do to keep us from believing this. He puts it in our minds that the “things” of this earth are more important than anything, and a relationship with the Lord isn’t really necessary. Is it any wonder that his eternal punishment will be the worst of all?

One thing about planning for our eternity, we would wish that all of our loved ones would have the same mindset, so that we can look forward to being together forever. Sadly, this will not always be the case.

In our daily prayers, my wife and I ask that the Lord please bless each and every one of our friends, relatives and even those who are just acquaintances. We don’t want to see anyone lose their eternal home with the Savior. We ask that the Holy Spirit touch all their hearts in a manner that would cause them to consider their forever, and give them what they need to make a good decision as to where they will be.

There is a story about a man on his deathbed that calls for his three sons to come to his bedside. When they arrive, he tells the oldest son, and the middle son that he will see them again. He then turns to the youngest son, and simply says “Goodbye”. When the youngest asks why his message was different, the father explained that his brothers had received and accepted Jesus into their lives. The youngest had not, and was putting all his faith and effort in the things of this earth. The father told him that if he did not change and call on Jesus to forgive and save him, this would be the last time they would ever see each other again.

Sadly, this is how it will be with many families. Some will be saved, and some will be lost. No one can gain Heaven through the will of any other person; it has to be an individual choice. And by the way, for all those who jokingly say they will “party in Hell with friends”, the biblical description of Hell is total darkness, with each person suffering their own punishment alone.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, reveals that after the rich man died, he immediately was in torment. Lazarus was in the “bosom of Abraham”, which was considered a place of peace and joy. This tells us that when we take our last breath on this earth, those without the Savior will instantly know they made a huge mistake. This will not be the final judgment as that is reserved for the Great White Throne of Revelation 20:11-15. Paul says in Philippians 1:21 that to live is Christ, and to die is gain. He made it clear that he did not fear death because he knew where he would be after this life. Each and every one of us can know as well, where we will be spending our forever.

God’s word is not hidden from those who seek it; and it’s not complicated for those who are looking for answers. The best part is that when one receives and accepts Jesus as their Savior, their eternal address is set for Heaven forever. It will be with Jesus in a place prepared for us by Him personally. (John 14:1-3)

There’s a line in a song that states, “Knowing you’ll be there makes it easy to go Home.” Another song says, “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” God knows that those who belong to His Son will have a certain impatience about leaving this earth. That’s why we should continue to ask for our daily needs, and protection from evil until we leave here to go to our real Home.

When we know that others are truly saved, especially our spouses, we can actually realize that leaving this earth will not separate us forever. In fact, should the Rapture take place while husband and wife are still living, they will be at the feet of Jesus at the same instant. But even if temporarily separated due to death, we know our relationship will not end. Though there is no marriage in Heaven, our relationship will be even more pure, holy and complete than it can ever be here.

Collin Raye recorded a song called, “If You Get There Before I Do”. It represents a relationship between two people that started on earth, and will last forever. It’s a message of hope, not despair.

1.) I read a note my grandma wrote, back in 1923. Grandpa kept it in his coat, and he showed it once to me. He said, “Boy, you might not understand, but a long long time ago; grandma’s daddy didn’t like me none; but I loved your grandma so”.

“We had this crazy plan to meet and run away together. Get married in the first town we came to, and live forever. But nailed to the tree, where we were supposed to meet; instead I found this letter; and this is what it said;”

(ref.) “If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me. I’ll meet you when my chores are through; I don’t know how long I’ll be. But I’m not gonna let you down; darling, wait and see. And between now and then, until I see you again, I’ll be loving you; Love Me.”

(2) I read those words just hours before my grandma passed away. In the doorway of the church, where me and grandpa stopped to pray. I know I’ve never seen him cry, in all my fifteen years. But as he said these words to me, his eyes filled up with tears.

“If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me. I’ll meet you when my chores are through; I don’t know how long I’ll be. But I’m not gonna let you down; darling, wait and see. And between now and then, until I see you again, I’ll be loving you; Love Me.”

“and between now and then, until I see you again; I’ll be loving you – Love Me!”

We are looking forward to seeing all those who have gone on before us. The absolute most wonderful concept of this is we will never say “Goodbye” again because of death. To top this off, think how it will be to see all the Saints of the Bible, and know they want to see us as well

For those who won’t be there, I have no doubt that the Father has a way that we will not grieve as we do on this earth when we are separated. I believe that everything in Heaven will be absolutely perfect, and we will understand that God’s way is pure, holy, fair, and totally complete.

This brings to mind a saying that was shown in the video of the above song; “I want to be your favorite Hello, and your hardest Goodbye.” The father in the story will be with his two oldest sons forever. We can just imagine how difficult it would be for him to say goodbye to the youngest; knowing he would never see him again.

The “Blessed Assurance” of a believer is that we have Jesus, and He has us. God promised this for us, and He cannot lie. (Titus 1:2) We are very near to the time that this age we live in will come to an end. The next phase that will begin will be the worst seven years this world has ever experienced, and God has promised that all who are saved will not be in that “wrath”. (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 and Revelation 3:10) Paul describes us being taken up to meet the Savior in the air in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, and that it will be in the “twinkling of an eye”.

There will still be those who will be saved during the tribulation, but the cost will be high and severe. It would be so much better to be assured that we will not be in that terrible time. Romans 10:9-13 gives the simple steps. The very last verse tells it all; “All who call on the name of the Lord, will be saved.”

Jesus promises in Revelation 3:20 that, “…If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door; I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” He will not force His way on us, but will accept any and all who will call on Him to receive and accept His wonderful gift that was paid in full at Calvary.

Today would not be too early, as tomorrow may be too late. The “unknown day and hour” is rapidly approaching No one has done anything that cannot be forgiven at this point, as the unforgivable sin is to not have Jesus as Savior when your last breath is taken here. It will be the greatest decision you will ever make.

Maranatha!

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