Only those who have been abroad for a while, living in a difficult place, can know the feeling of arriving back in the USA and following the crowd leaving the airplane to Immigration. The walk down the corridor with all its bends and turns seems to take forever, but then there is the sign: “US Citizens Enter Here.” The majority of the crowd continues walking but you are part of a special few who peel off and stand before an immigration officer who says “Welcome home!” while stamping your passport and allowing you to enter the greatest country on earth. What a joy and privilege that is! You belong here. There is no way you will be denied entrance. How great it feels to finally be home! What could be better?
There is one thing that I know will be better than that! When we enter heaven and God say “Welcome home.” We have our eternal passport provided by Jesus’ work on the cross so we go straight to the short line that has immediate access. Nothing can keep us out, we are citizens of heaven. We are pilgrims returning home. We will have left the difficulties and pains of this life and this world to enter the greatest place in the universe, bar none.
Anticipating my return home through Immigration helps ease the struggles and strains of being away from home and the trip back. As we anticipate our entrance into heaven and our welcome there our journey through this life can be a little easier and a lot sweeter. “Welcome home!” for us as Christians those words are something we look forward to and long for. Who knows how long the corridor will be until we burst through the gates of Glory. It could be right around the next turn. Just keep walking. You’ll be there before you know it!
1 Peter 2:11-12 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
Ephesians 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Spend sometime thinking about heaven, the welcome you will receive from Jesus and others, what it will be like to no longer have to deal with the sin and evil of this world and of our own hearts. Meditate on this. As the song says, “I Can Only Imagine.”