Home of the Soul - Hope of the Believer

The World War II movie, "The Great Raid", is a true account of the rescue of over 500 Americans held in a Japanese POWMarchsketch camp deep inside the Philippines.

     The movie depicts the harsh conditions inside the facility and the barbarous ways of the captors. Then, as the Rangers stormed the death camp, they arrived inside the barracks where the weakest of the prisoners lay on cots.

Some pulled back in fear as though facing the enemy, while others stared, unable to comprehend.

A ranger said, "It's all right now. We've come for you. We're going home."

     Jesus promised, "I go to prepare a place for you" John 14:3.These men had walked the Bataan death march early in 1942 and had seen hundreds, even thousands, of their buddies die along the way, one corpse for every 20 yards, according to one historian. For the duration of the war, they had barely existed in the Japanese camps. And now they were going home.1

Jesus promised, "I go to prepare a place for you" John 14:3.

C. S. Lewis wrote that "a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not as some modern people think a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do."2

John wrote of Heaven, "And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass" Revelation 21:21).

     Determined to "take it with him" when he finally died, a rich man prayed until the Lord finally gave in. There was one condition: he could bring only one suitcase of his wealth. The rich man decided to fill the case with gold bullion.

     The day came when God called him home. St. Peter greeted him, but told him he couldn't bring his suitcase.

     "Oh, but I have an agreement with God," the man explained.

     "That's unusual," said St. Peter. "Mind if I take a look?"

     The man opened the suitcase to reveal the shining gold bullion.

St. Peter was amazed. "Why in the world would you bring pavement?" 3

"Heaven has always been the home of the soul and the hope of the believer." 4

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  1.  Joe McKeever, "Homesick for a Place I've Never Seen," Pulpit Helps, October, 2005, p. 16.
  2. Daniel E. Johnson, When You Ask Why, Published in the United States of America, Copyright 1988, p. 55.
  3. The Rev. Warren Keating in The Joyful Newsletter, reprinted in Readers Digest, December, 1995.
  4. Daniel E. Johnson, ibid #2.