Preached at the “Reformed Baptist Church”, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, on Sunday, 16th November 2014.
Text: Hebrews 11:13-16
I want to stir you up out of worldliness, and to show you that we are strangers, yea, pilgrims in this wicked world. It is paramount for us to remember that there is a heaven above us to win, a hell underneath our feet to stir clear off. Men and brethren, before us is a race to run (1 Corinthians 9:24), an imperishable crown to win, the robe of righteousness to wear, a Saviour to meet, and a hell to escape. This is why I say to you this morning that there is no place like home.
First, I want to tell you this morning that
(1.) EVERY MAN HAS A HOME.
Common sense tells us that every man has a home from where he sprang up. No man ell from the sky. We shall all appear before our maker one day, whether we believe it or not. As we witness many sudden deaths
and departure of some that we know from this world, we know in ourselves that one day we shall as well leave this earth as also our beloved ones have left. In Ecclesiastes 12:7, we are told what happens at the time of our death: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
While it is morning, we find ourselves in the places of our work, and professions; but as soon as the evening begins to draw close, we all begin to trace our steps back home. Why? Because we know without being told that we have a home. But someone might as well ask about those that sleep by the road sides, in the gutters, and under the bridges by night, do they have a home also? Yes, they all do, only that they have spoiled their relationship at home, and consequently, have been thrown out. Such was the case of the prodigal son.
O that we may come to our senses like the prodigal son did. All the while that he ate from the food meant for swines, and slept under the scotching of the sun by day, and under the freezing dews by night, a safe and happy home was waiting for him: a rich and generous father was waiting to receive and kiss him, humble servants were waiting to attend to his need, a feast of fatted calf was waiting for him. Brethren, let us come back to our senses, and return to God, for he will abundantly pardon. Close in with God by turning from your sins, and bowing before him as your Lord and Saviour. “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, take away all my iniquity, and receive me graciously” (Hosea 14:2).
Secondly, I want to tell you that
(2.) A WISE MAN DOES NOT FEEL AT HOME IN ANOTHER MAN’S HOME.
While fools easily forget that they have a home, a wise man always longs for home. They long to be united with their loved ones again.
Wise Noah, he couldn’t feel at home among the men of his own generations. He counted it better to be at home in a rough wooden ark with the distressing noise of bleating sheep and goats, than to be at home among giddy sinners, who by “professing themselves to be wise became fools” (Romans 1 :22).
Wise Abraham, he knew there was no home for him in his father’s house, and among his kindred, and pagan relations. But what was Abraham looking for when he left Haran? “He looked for a city which hath foundations” (Hebrews 11:10). Abraham knew that this present world has no foundations. If it barely survived the flood of waters, how shall it survive he floods of fire soon to come?
What was Abraham looking for when he left his Father’s house? “He looked for a city whose builder and maker was God” (Hebrews 11:10). Does that mean that God is not the builder and maker of this world? Surely, he is! We are told that “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1). But he has made this present world, and has “kept it in store, reserved unto the fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7).
Lot was also a wise man, for though his greed and covetousness had lured him into Sodom being deceived by the richness of the land, yet he fled from it as soon as he heard the warnings of the angels. Only wise men seize such opportunity to flee for their lives. I believe there are wise men here who will no longer feel at home in this Sodom-world, who will seize this opportunity to flee to the arms of Christ for mercy lest they be overthrown in the judgment of this world.
Moreover, we are told that “God delivered just lot, for he was vexed with the filthy conversations of the wicked” ( 2 Peter 2:7). That is one mark by which true believers are known. Though he had his temporary dwelling among them, yet, his renewed nature could not conform to their practices, thereby causing an inward vexation within him.
Remember as well the disciples of our Lord, namely Peter and Andrew (Mark 1:16-18). They were fishing, but being wise, something on the inside of them told them that themselves needed to be fished out of the pool of sin and as soon as the gospel call from the Saviour came to their eyes, they yielded themselves and surrendered to him as their Master and Lord. The language of the Scriptures is very explicit here: “Straightway, they forsook their nets and followed him.” If you are a wise man, you will straightway forsake all and follow him, not feeling at home in this world.
Thirdly, let us be reminded that
(3.) HEAVEN IS NO HOME FOR GIDDY AND IMPENITENT SINNERS
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their home in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” ( Revelations 21:8). There it is, brethren. We cannot deny hearing and reading it here in the scriptures. Impenitent sinners who do not seek God, who hiss at the warnings of the gospel and turn down its invitations shall have their home in the lake of fire. They shall have their home in hell but they shall never for one day feel at home there, yet it shall be their abode forever, their home for all eternity.
The prevailing conception today is that a simple believe in John 3:16 assures you of heaven at last, but the truth is that you cannot enter into eternal life while you still thread the path of death. While you still continue in the broad way of death, do not assure your conscience that you will never perish at last.
O Christ is a full Saviour but only to those who have realised their need for a Saviour. He is a Saviour only to those who have been humbled by the sharp convictions of sins in their heart. The giddy and impenitent sinner has no good news, here and hereafter.
Those who mock the warnings of coming judgement, and postpone the day of salvation have no home in heaven. Their part is hell, their lot is the lake of fire, and for their comfort they shall have an eternal separation from God.
Many are deceived that heaven is their home, and that they are bound to spend eternity with the saints in heaven when their faces is still set toward hell, and the reading of their compass is towards destruction.
Are you still in the broad way that leadeth to destruction? Then be rest assured that you will be lost at last. The whole tenor of the Scriptures is that giddy sinners have no place in heaven.
(4.) THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
Brethren, no place like home at all. At home there is no fear, no discouragement, but sure peace that fills the heart. Look at the words of Jesus Christ in Luke 14:1-2: “Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
Up beyond the sky, there is a home for the redeemed, a home for the saved, a home for true pilgrims. There is a home in heaven for if it were not so, our Saviour would have told us. If the doctrine of soul sleep and annihilation were true, our Saviour would have told us. If the doctrine of re-incarnation was true, our Saviour would have told us.
What was the comfort and assurance of Paul but this, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). No place for soul sleep or annihilation in the gospel that Paul preached!
There is no place like home, brethren, because:
- At home, there are no more tears. The Saviour is there who will wipe away our tears (Revelation 21:4).
- At home the vexation of spirit which we often have within us as we behold the corruption of this world will be no more, for we are told that in heaven there is nothing that defiles (Revelation 21:2).
- At home the feast shall never cease, and the holy entertainment shall never come to an end (Revelation 19:9).
- At home we shall have double honour for all our earthly shame, and for every trial that has befallen us here on earth we shall have great rewards.
- At home there shall be no more curse (Revelation 22:3). The curses incurred by our transgressing the law and commandments shall be no more, for in heaven, we shall experience the full redemption from the curse of the law which Christ procured for us.
- At home, there is no more night, no more darkness and any reason of stumbling for in heaven Christ will be our light.
- At home there shall be no more weakness, no more infirmity, no more stain of sin.
Brethren, the words of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 3:1-19 is the best conclusion for what we have heard this morning,
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.