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I recently made a trip to Ellis Island in New York. Ellis Island was once the biggest immigration processing center in the U.S. It processed thousands of immigrants a day. All of these immigrants left their homelands through much difficulty to come to “the land of promise.” They believed they could make themselves a new and better life here.

At the time, a trip to America took at least a month by boat. When I went to Ellis Island, I saw dormitory rooms where people stayed while they were being processed. They weren’t much to look at from our 21st century American perspective, but I wonder what they looked like to the 19th century immigrants. Maybe to some of them, especially after months on a boat, they looked promising. Maybe it was the grandest room they had ever seen. And imagine with me that one person is so overwhelmed with the greatness of this room that he decides he will stay there forever.

And so when they try to finish processing him, he stalls it. He hangs up his pictures above the bunk. He unpacks all his clothes and moves right in. You would want to grab this guy and tell him how foolish he was being. You would want to explain to him that this place was a dump, and that America has so much more to offer him.

And yet, how often do we do the same thing. Surely, this earth is grand. But it is only the processing center. This life, especially our life in Christ, is much more grand than when we were dead in our sins. However, it’s still just the gateway. The next world holds beauty and grandeur that is incomprehensible to us. We can become convinced that things like wealth, and fame, power, and knowledge is the climax of our existence. We would be like the immigrant who thought the dormitory was his final destination.

SOURCE: Stephan Brown. Edited by SermonCentral staff.

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