In the World But Not of the World
By Dennis Huebshman
There are numerous songs that express the fact that we are not of this world. In order to ensure we end up in our eternal life in heaven, there are certain things we must do to receive our “free gift”. (all emphasis mine)
Without giving all the lyrics to a whole bunch of songs, their titles should convey our “truth”. Buddy Greene’s “I Don’t Belong” emphasizes this is only a temporary life that we have on this earth. We’re longing for, praying for, and looking for our going to a Home that we’ve never been to, but yet we are “kinda homesick” for it as in a Squire Parson’s version of “Beula Land.”
There’s the 1929 song by Albert E. Brumley called, “I’ll Fly Away”. This is definitely a “rapture” song that was written before the mega-prophetic fulfillment of Israel being back in their land. On May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel accomplished something no other nation had ever done, and the end-time clock moved closer to the “Midnight Hour”, or the end of this age. No other nation has ever been born again in their land, promised by God, and more than 2000 years of being dispersed all around the globe.
When the “Roll is Called Up Yonder” is an 1893 song written by James Milton Black. It starts out, “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound; and time shall be no more; and the morning breaks eternal, bright and fair. When the saved of earth shall gather, over on the other shore; and the Roll is called up Yonder, I’ll be there.” The trumpet mentioned in this song does not refer to any of the Judgment Trumpets mentioned in Revelation. This one, mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is described by Paul, “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the Trumpet Of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” The Jewish people used trumpets to sound the alert for numerous occasions, and one was when the Bridegroom went to pick up his Bride. There were joyous trumpets, and sorrowful trumpets. They would have known what the occasion was. When Jesus calls His church home, it will definitely be a joyous occasion for those who are called.
“Wayfaring Stranger” is a song that’s been recorded by a large number of artists. It’s not known when it was actually written, or by whom, but has been handed down as being from Black Gospel or American Folk Music going back to the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s. There are numerous variations, but they are all about a soul on this earth, looking forward to the comfort of their eternal life.
Of course, these few songs don’t even scratch the surface of all the old and newer gospel songs that speak of Heaven, and our desire to be there. After the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), humans became “mortal”. God had told Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed Him, death would enter this world. Satan became our worst enemy, even though he tries to convince us otherwise. His, “Did God Really Say?” ploy worked in the Garden, and it still works world-wide today.
This is totally something I understand, as my early life was ingrained with what this world had to offer, and without a whole lot of thought about eternity. Some people go their entire existence here without any preparation for what will happen when they leave here. Thing is, there’s no “instant replay” to be able to go back and correct our biggest mistake. That mistake would be to take our last breath without having accepted Jesus as our Savior. It will be something that will immediately be obvious to us, but too late to fix. The parable about the Rich Man and Lazarus speaks of this very well. Luke 16:19-31. Both died, but their soul locations were very different. Lazarus was “in Abraham’s Bosom”, which means he was finally totally at rest. The Rich Man was immediately in a place of persecution, and will be there until the final Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. After that judgment, the rich man will be in eternal punishment because of his choices here. Lazarus will be in eternal paradise as designed by our Creator, the Lord God Jehovah.
As long as we have life on this earth, we are considered to be “In” the world. From the moment of our birth, this is our current status. What we do from then on determines if we are “Of” the world or not. For those who truly accept our Lord and Savior, Jesus, our destiny lies with Him in Heaven forever. We must believe that He came to this earth, and that He was the only perfect sacrifice the Father would accept to give us forgiveness for our sins. We need to confess to Him that we know we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), and ask for His forgiveness. All who call on Him will be saved. (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13)
This applies to everyone who reaches an age of accountability, or that the mental ability to understand right from wrong. There are no verses which specifically address this, but Jesus made a point on several occasions to show how much He loves children. Matthew 18: 3-6 is one example, “and truly, I say to you; unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (4) Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. (5) Whoever receives one such child in My name receives me, (6) but who ever causes one of these little ones, who believe in Me, to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” My belief is that someone who only has the mental capacity of a child would be included in this.
One clue that we have heaven on our minds is the degree of “satisfaction” we have here. The Rolling Stones said it best in a very secular song in the 1960’s, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” I know this is a grammatical nightmare, but once I truly asked Jesus to forgive me and be my Savior, nothing here can ever satisfy my need for what He has provided for me.
In the song, Mansion Over the Hilltop”, it starts out with , “I’m not satisfied with, just a cottage below; a little silver; and a little gold. But in that city, where the ransomed will shine; I want a gold one, that’s silver lined.” This shows we can be “satisfied” that God has met our needs in this world, but are waiting for our eternal Heavenly home, that could never be of this world.
Paul summed it up in a couple verses we’ve heard all our lives; “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind; that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God; what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Also, Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We live for Christ by serving Him, and forming a pure relationship with Him. Those who live for Christ will be in His presence the second we take our last breath here – either by death, or by rapture.
Our Jesus is the only way to the Father as stated in John 14:6. Also, Jesus is God – John 10:30. He willingly sacrificed Himself so we could be forgiven – John 10:18. He died so that everyone could have the opportunity to be come part of His Flock – John 10:16. He will be coming back to call all those who died from the time of Calvary to that very moment. All who are alive that are true believers, that have called out to Him to be their Savior will be called up next. The thief on the cross was the first to die under this covenant, and we will see him when we get to our eternal Home.
This would definitely be an end to this age, as those who remain behind will go into a period of time that will end with most of the people killed in what will be the worst 7-year period this world has ever experienced. The time to make a decision to be a part of the Savior’s flock is right now. To put it off, will make accepting Jesus after the Rapture a very difficult and dangerous act to do.
The Father wants no one to fail, but for everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), and this may be why we are being given a bit more time. Eventually, and very soon, the trumpet will sound, and we will rise up to meet Jesus in the air. It would be wonderful if you will be there also. Call on Him today!