We are Almost Home-The Last 50 Miles

During my life I have read the Spirit of Prophecy books through, but have been impressed to read them through again. In doing that, I have been impressed with a phrase that I have read over and over again that just thrills me. Ellen White says, “We are almost home.” What a wonderful thing it is to have a home. Home is a place where you can totally relax, a safe haven where you can laugh, you can cry, you can share your heart in safety; it is home. When you have been gone for a while and you get close to home, you just get a little thrill inside, because you are almost there. “We are almost home.” Here she refers to our heavenly home.

One dictionary’s description of home said, “It is a dwelling place for one who lives together with the family or in a social unit that occupies a household that offers an environment of security and happiness.”

It is wonderful to have security and happiness in our home here on earth, which is to be a little heaven on earth. It is within the family circle that we are to pattern our lives for the heaven above. But it is good for us to think about our home in heaven.

Ellen White described it this way,

“As your senses delight in the attractive loveliness of the earth, think of the world that is to come, that shall never know the blight of sin and death; where the face of nature will no more wear the shadow of the curse. Let your imagination picture the home of the saved, and remember that it will be more glorious than your brightest imagination can portray. In the varied gifts of God in nature we see but the faintest gleaming of His glory.

“And by and by the gates of heaven will be thrown open to admit God’s children, and from the lips of the King of glory the benediction will fall on their ears like richest music—‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matthew 25:34). Then the redeemed will be welcomed to the home that Jesus is preparing for them.” God’s Amazing Grace, 359.

That is just wonderful to think about. There is another description she wrote in the book, Early Writings, 289: “Language is altogether too feeble to attempt a description of heaven. As the scene rises before me, I am lost in amazement. Carried away with the surpassing splendor and excellent glory, I lay down the pen, and exclaim, ‘Oh, what love! what wondrous love!’ The most exalted language fails to describe the glory of heaven or the matchless depths of a Saviour’s love.”

It is wonderful to think about our future home and even our home here. As we prepare for that place, we need to read and study our Bibles. Road accident statistics show that most fatal accidents happen within 50 miles of home. Let’s think about that for a little bit. We are almost there, close to our heavenly home—we are going the last 50 miles. Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the end of the world. The first thing Jesus said to them was to, “Take heed that you do not be deceived, because there will be many false Christ’s out there.” (See Matthew 24:4.)

I have thought much about that statement of Jesus, especially as it is linked with the statement of the fatal accidents happening within 50 miles of home. We want to be sure we have our feet planted on the Rock. Paul said let us be no more “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Ephesians 4:14. Today, there is a gale with every wind of doctrine blowing through our churches and among our people. False doctrines are coming in from every side—not just from the outside but also from the inside. We have to know our Bibles or we will be deceived.

“As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error.” God’s Amazing Grace, 201. The falsehoods are going to be so close to the truth. I used to think, when I was younger and when I heard about all of the falsehoods coming, that they would come from outside the church, from Sunday keeping churches or others. I felt pretty smug that I knew the truth, and I knew it pretty well. But that is not where the severest trials are coming from. The severest trials are coming from within. The false statements and the little things that are said that will sweep us off our feet are not coming from somewhere else.

“Our people need to understand the oracles of God; they need to have a systematic knowledge of the principles of revealed truth, which will fit them for what is coming upon the earth and prevent them from being carried about by every wind of doctrine.” Last Day Events, 66.

“Those who walk even as Christ walked, who are patient, gentle, kind, meek and lowly in heart, those who yoke up with Christ and lift His burdens, who yearn for souls as He yearned for them—these will enter into the joy of their Lord. They will see with Christ the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. Heaven will triumph, for the vacancies made in heaven by the fall of Satan and his angels will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord.” The Faith I Live By, 114.

Just think for a moment about the idea that we are given the opportunity to fill the vacancies made in heaven by Satan and his angels. This is an awesome thought. We are coming close to the end of time. “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80.

Do we figure we are the very elect? She says, “If possible.” It will be a hard time, and we have to have our feet firmly grounded in the Word. We have to spend our days studying and preparing for what is ahead.

We have been instructed that,

“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.” The Desire of Ages, 83.

How many of us really take an hour a day to think upon the life of Jesus?

“The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured—the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face—speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life—offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.” Ibid., 755, 756.

After contemplating what Christ has gone through for us, dare we contemplate a failure in the last 50 miles and miss our heavenly home? When we think of how He did it all for you and me, and He has a home prepared for us, it is time that we take time to make our calling and election sure. There is only one way of doing that. We may get so busy and have so many responsibilities and are called upon to do so many extra things, but there is one thing that we dare not slip up on and that is our hour, at least an hour with our Saviour. If we spend an hour with our Lord, on our knees with the books and the Bible, He will see us through. We have nothing to fear for the future except as we forget how we have been led in the past in the teachings of Jesus. He has promised, and His promises are sure. Not one of us should have any concern that we will miss the mark if we are faithful.

The battle is for us to fight, and it is our responsibility to take time to have Jesus as our personal friend. There is only one way to have Him as our personal friend and that is to spend time with Him. Day by day, hour by hour we must weave heavenly principles into our life, praying to God that He will bestow His Holy Spirit upon us. It is the Holy Spirit alone that can purify the affections and uproot the tares that naturally grow in the heart. We are in great need of the Holy Spirit. Each one of us is in need of His guidance and His help.

We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history and in the day when it is almost time when the Lord will close the books and say, “It is done.” He will then step forth, out of the Sanctuary, and those that will be saved will be saved and those that are lost will be lost. This is a very solemn thought!

I think about what the Bible says about those who will be gnashing their teeth (Luke 13:28). It will be terrible to know this truth, to know that Jesus is coming and to think you are going to be saved, and then when He comes, you see the people go and you stay here; you are rejected. That is the most awful disappointment that could ever happen. Let us beware and prevent any chance that an accident happen to us in the last 50 miles and make certain that we have this truth deeply grounded in our lives and in our hearts. Let us practice the graces of Jesus Christ and have the fruits of the Spirit and let them grow in our lives so that we will be loving, kind, thoughtful, pure Christians fitted up and able to fit into that heavenly home where everything is beautiful and where every desire will be satisfied.

In this world of so much suffering it is hard to imagine, but that is what we are told. Every desire we have will be satisfied in our heavenly home. The loves and attentions that have been created in our hearts by Jesus Himself will be fulfilled. On this earth, few, if any, reach all the desire of their heart—that just does not happen down here. But in heaven, every desire and thought we have will come to fruition. Thank Him for the wonderful home He is now preparing for you. Thank God that He is planning on you being with Him in heaven. Ask Him to plant your feet on the firm Rock that you may not meet with an accident while traveling the last 50 miles. May we all be ready to look up and say, “This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” Isaiah 25:9.

Ruth Grosboll, matriarch of Steps to Life until her passing in January 2010, lived a long life in the service of her Master. She served as a missionary nurse in Myanmar, formerly Burma. In her later years she held the position of receptionist and correspondent at Steps to Life Ministry, blessing many people with her heartfelt encouraging letters. She is sadly missed to this day.