“I Have Longed For Thy Salvation”
By: Brian A. Yeager
When a person longs for something that person has a, “strong wish or desire” (New Oxford American Dictionary) for whatever that object is. Many people long for good jobs, certain relationships, financial success, certain times of the year to come, etc. The object of desire for most people is often tied to physical things of this world. In fact, rarely do you hear people express a strong desire for spiritual things. Sadly, that can even be said of discussions among Christians. That brings about a serious question we should all answer for ourselves. Do you long for the second coming of Christ and the realization of salvation?
If you created a list of things that you want to occur, where does Heaven place on that list? Is getting to Heaven even on the list? Now, we all know that the reading of this article may place the subject on your mind. However, where was eternity on your “wish list” prior to the questions raised in our study here? Be honest with yourself. Examining ourselves (Ezekiel 18:27-28, Haggai 1:5, and II Corinthians 13:5) and considering our priorities is a must (Matthew 6:33). Studies such as these are intended to help us think and act correctly. If your thinking is NOT right, it’s time to change it (Lamentations 3:40). If salvation isn’t what you’re longing for, let this study help you in understanding what you really should be longing for.
Longing For Salvation
The Psalmist said: “I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight” (Psalms 119:174). Can you say that? Would you make comments such as these: “My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word… Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation,
and done thy commandments” (Psalms 119:81 and Psalms 119:166).
Our salvation is not going to be fully realized until after the resurrection (Hebrews 9:28 and I Peter 1:3-9). This is certainly something we should be looking forward to. Yet, some are so tied to this world that they do not want to leave it behind. Sure, we know the word of God tells us to make our lives about Christ and things above (Colossians 3:1-4). Still, many weak Christians struggle with truly setting their affections on things above. Therefore, thinking about getting to Heaven is not something they really, really want. They want tomorrow in this world. They want to wake up to their family, job, social affairs, entertainment, and so on. The problem with that is that God tells us not to fall in love with this world or the things of this world (I John 2:15-17). It is not wrong to enjoy those things (Ecclesiastes 2:24 and I Timothy 6:17), but falling in love with them causes a struggle within.
The fact is, the carnal desires we have are often more difficult to overcome than we’d like to admit (Mark 14:38 and Galatians 5:16-17). Honestly, if you’re planning your vacation, how excited do you get? When you’re thinking about seeing some new movie or show that you’ve longed to see, how excited do you get? Do you get the popcorn and/or snacks ready? Those things are fun and not wrong in themselves. The problem we need to identify is that when these things are more exciting, thrilling, and loved than the preparations we should be making for Heaven, we have a problem.
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3). Think about that. We live in a world that God made in six days (Genesis 1:1-2:2). Our Lord made this world to be temporary. He made it to destroy it. It is beautiful and wonderful (Ecclesiastes 3:11). If He made a temporary place so wonderful, consider what that means of an eternal place He is getting ready for us. He is making an eternal home for us (II Corinthians 5:1). That means a place that He is designing to last forever, without end. How can you NOT be excited about that? Isn’t it time, if you’re not already, that you start longing for the life you should be looking forward to? Having said that, there are serious things that could rightfully make our longing for Heaven difficult. Let’s discuss some of those things.
Real Things That Make Longing For Salvation A Conflict For Us
It is not necessarily wrong to be in a “straight betwixt two” concerning our leaving this world (Philippians 1:21-25). It is unrealistic and dishonest of us all if we’d say that we could long for the realization of our salvation without any hesitation. For one, when Christ comes we know that we shall be saved, but that also means most will be eternally condemned (Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, II Corinthians 5:10, and II Thessalonians 1:7-9). We should not want to see anyone lost (Psalms 119:53, Psalms 119:136, Psalms 119:158, Jeremiah 13:17, Lamentations 3:48-49, Luke 19:41-42, Romans 9:1-3, Romans 10:1, and Philippians 3:18-19). Thankfully, God is longsuffering and not willing for any to perish (II Peter 3:9-14). Therefore, we can spend some thought in easing our minds knowing that it is not likely that our Lord will come preventing someone from being saved that otherwise would have been.
While this next point would not apply to the Second Coming of our Lord, it is a concern about our leaving this world in death for Paradise. It is real and right to be concerned that leaving this world would leave our brethren behind in a time where apostasy abounds. This is a real concern for our time. We want to be here to help each other (Romans 15:1-3, Galatians 6:2, and I Thessalonians 5:11-14). There are very few faithful brethren right now. I know I think of this often as I long to leave this world. It is not wrong, as an earlier cited reference established (Philippians 1:21-25), to think like that.
The question to ask is, if we have concerns about leaving this world are those concerns spiritual or carnal? Don’t mask the one with the other either. Honesty must be used when we examine these and all spiritual questions. Being concerned about your family’s well being is not the same as just wanting to be on earth more than in Heaven or Paradise.
We should hope for salvation (I Thessalonians 5:8). The subject of salvation should bring about joy and rejoicing (Habakkuk 3:13). Even people of the Old Law understood to hope and wait for salvation (Lamentations 3:26). Do you look forward to or dread the thought of, salvation? Why? These are questions that we should ask ourselves and your answer is something that you should evaluate. If you’re not longing for the realization of salvation, something is wrong. Get it right before it’s too late!
Volume 14 – Issue 40 - June 22nd, 2014