Summary: God has a final destination in mind for us and we need not fear the storms of life that will come along the way.
Your Final Journey Home
by Pastor Jim May
Scripture resources – Acts 27:13 – 44
God had given Paul a definite vision. That vision was to preach the gospel at Rome. But before Paul would be given that opportunity to preach to Caesar, he would have to face a time of trials and testing that would stop the ordinary man dead in his tracks.
Paul knew where he was going. He knew why he was going. And he knew that he would reach that final destination no matter what happened. It was with this faith in mind and this commitment that Paul set out on his final journey toward home.
Home for Paul was not in Israel, or Tarsus, the city of his birth. It was not at the feet of Gamaliel, his teacher in the ways of the Pharisees. Paul’s home was not in Rome where he would spend his last days on earth. Paul’s home was in Heaven. He knew that he was just a pilgrim and a stranger traveling through the world on his way home.
But even though Paul was being directed by the Holy Ghost and was obeying the direct call of God to go to Rome, his journey would not be easy.
I sometimes think that many Christians get the impression that their journey toward Heaven should be a piece of cake. They must feel that way because as soon as adversity comes, a lot of them just throw in the towel and walk away from the church.
Don’t ever forget that this journey is not like a boxing match where we have to hang in there for just for three rounds and then wait for the bell to ring. This isn’t a one act play where we get to exit after our performance and then go do our thing all the other times. This life, that we live for Jesus, is a commitment for the duration.
I remember when we were drafted for Vietnam back in the 60’s and how that most of us only had to serve two years on active duty, one in training and the other in Vietnam. It took a commitment to answer that call true enough, but it wasn’t nearly the commitment required of those drafted during World War II. They were in for the duration. There was no coming home until the war was over, one way or the other.
That’s the way we must look at our service to the Lord. This journey that we are on toward Heaven is a journey for the duration. There can be no stopping, no loitering, no turning from side to side and no turning back. If we are going to make Heaven our home, we just have to keep moving straight for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus that Paul talked about.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I am grateful that God hasn’t given me the same ministry that he gave to Paul. Now there was a real man of God. He had faced death and imprisonment a number of times and this final journey wasn’t going to be any easier.
Acts 27:1-3, "And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself."
It all started out okay. He was under the protection of the Roman soldiers so none of the Jews could do him harm. He was going on a free cruise to Rome. He found favor with the Centurion, so just maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad voyage after all.
Acts 27:10-11, "And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul."
It wasn’t long before the circumstances of life began to rapidly go downhill. Paul had a vision in which the Lord warned him of the dangers ahead and Paul tried to tell the Centurion but, like the world of today, who is going to listen to a preacher’s warnings when you have a professional sailor in charge.
The world still discounts us as know nothing’s, and deluded fools. If they only knew who we know and what we know because of Him. But they don’t know Jesus and they don’t trust us, so they are going to sail on in oblivion with their pride held high.