YOU MIGHT TROUBLE ME HERE,
BUT YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME
Intro: Ernie just wanted to go home. Nobody knows why Ernie abandoned his family in the first place. Chris and Jennifer Trevino were cruising down a Texas highway at 60 miles-per-hour, out in some of the most barren territory on earth, when Ernie bailed out of the family truck without anybody knowing he was gone.
Did the black-and-white tomcat lean the wrong way on a corner somewhere out there in the desert 600 miles west of his Victoria home? Possibly. Did he instinctively lunge at a passing insect without realizing that he would come down beyond the bed of the Trevino’s moving truck? It’s anybody’s guess.
By the time Ernie’s owners missed him, they were many miles down the road. "We ought to go back and look for him," they said, but it was dark by then, and they didn’t know where to start looking, anyway.
Imagine their astonishment when a week later the errant Ernie showed up at their Victoria home all bloody and scratched and footsore. Just how Ernie navigated that far through unfamiliar terrain, only God knows. Ernie’s worn claws and the sores on his feet convinced his veterinarian that the plucky cat had covered lots of rough real estate. Like everybody else who heard of Ernie’s trek, the vet was amazed that a cat could cover so much distance in so short a time. "But," he said, "I wouldn’t put anything past cats." With so many questions unanswered, one thing is clear: Ernie wanted to go home. And, so do we!
There’s no telling what old Ernie went through as he tried to find his way home. I am sure that danger after danger dogged his steps. But, when he finally arrived home, he found love, peace, safety and a bowl of warm milk. You see, the things that had troubled Ernie along the way home could not follow him there!
According to God’s Word every person who is saved is a “pilgrim and a stranger in this world, 1 Pet. 2:11. As we make our way through this world, we are headed home, John 14:1-3. But, along the way, there are many elements of this life that trouble us and hinder our progress. Evil bullies like death, disease, discouragement, depression, and the devil make our journey home treacherous and difficult. But, when I read a passage like Revelation 21:1-8, I am reminded that every one of the things that trouble us here will not be allowed to follow us home.
Like Ernie, there will come a day when the journey will be over and we will be safely at home in the Father’s house. We will be in a place of peace, safety and perfection. While I travel I am troubled; but I want to say to those things that trouble you and me this morning: “You Might Trouble Me Here, But You Can’t Follow Me Home!
Now, I know that some of you are defeated, discouraged and disillusioned today. I want you to know that what you are going through will end some day and you will be home! The Bible tells us that it will be better then, Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17.
Today, I want to take this passage and I want to show you some of life’s bullies that will not follow us home to glory. I want to preach for a few minutes on this thought: You Might Trouble Me Here, But You Can’t Follow Me Home!
I. v. 4 SORROW, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME
A. There is no denying that this life is a life of trouble, trials and tragedies. Every day we hear accounts of diseases, distresses, discouragements and deaths. But, this is how the Bible said it would be, Job 14:1, Job 5:7; John 16:33. (***Ill. 1 Peter 4:12***)
B. There isn’t a person in this room who has come this far in the journey unscathed by the troubles of life. In fact, many, if not all of you, bear the scars of your journey on your heart, in your mind and in your body. Many things in your life have not gone as you planned them and you know what sorrow is all about! That is the lot of every human being who has ever lived, or will ever live on this earth!
C. According to verse 4, the troubles and trials of this life cannot follow us home! When we leave this world, whether it be by the rapture or the graveyard, there are just some things that cannot go with us! Think about it! In heaven, there will be no more:
1. Death In heaven, no one will ever die and no graves will be dug. Never again will grief stricken loved ones stand beside the body of a departed loved one. (Ill. 1 Cor. 15:53-56)
2. Sorrow This word refers to sorrow or grief of any kind.” It speaks of the all the pains, troubles and heartaches we experience in this life. Disappointments, trials, problems, loss of friends and property, death of loved ones, persecutions, our own failures, all are in view here. Truly this life is a life of heartache and sorrow, but not one of the things that trouble us here will follow us there.
3. Crying This word has the idea of an outburst or an outcry.” It refers to those times when we are absolutely overwhelmed and broken by the events of life. It speaks about those times when we are at the very end of our ropes and do not know what to do! Friend that will never happen in glory! Life may trouble you here, but it cannot follow you home!
4. Pain This word refers to labor, toil or great trouble.” It refers to all the diseases, disappointments and disasters we encounter as we move through this world. Well, the good news is that none of these things will ever follow us home! No hospitals, no broken homes, no broken hearts, no trials and no tribulation will go with us to glory!
5. Tears This is the sum of our blessed, promised state in Heaven. All the things that drive us to weeping and sorrow here will not be found over there!
(Ill. Sorrow follows us today, but I want it to know this: “Sorrow, you might trouble me here; but you can’t follow me home.)
II. v. 8 SATAN, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME
A. While it is true that much of what happens in this life is just part of living in a sin-cursed world; it is also true that a being called “the devil causes the saints of God much grief. Satan’s desire is to defeat and destroy you, 1 Pet. 5:8, and he will stop at nothing to see you fall and fail.
B. His names reveal his nature and his desires toward you and me. He is called:
1. The Accuser of the brethren Rev. 12:10 (Ill. Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5)
2. The Adversary – 1 Pet. 5:8
3. The Devil – Matt. 4:11
4. The Murder – John 8:44
5. The god of this world – 2 Cor. 4:4
6. The Temptor – Matt. 4:3
7. The Ruler of Darkness – Eph. 6:12
8. The Serpent – Gen. 3:4
9. The Wicked One – Matt. 13:19
C. He has many other names and they all tell us how evil he is. But, the saints of God can just call him “Gone some day, because as evil as he is, he cannot follow us home! (Ill. Rev. 20:1-3; 10; Rev. 21:27)
(Ill. I just want to tell old slewfoot today: “You might trouble me here; but you can’t follow me home!)
III. v. 2, 8 SIN, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME
A. Verse 2 tells us about the city of God, the New Jerusalem. Verse 9-11 tells us that this city is the Bride of the Lamb. As far as I can tell, the church is the Bride of Christ, 2 Cor. 11:2. Here, the city is associated with the inhabitants. Here, the Bride of Jesus is pictured as a glorious, spotless and sinless Bride, Ill. Rev. 19:7-8. This means that one of these days, we are going to be changed. This vile flesh will drop away and there will be no more appetite or ability to sin!
B. Let’s face it, everyone in this room; even those of us who are saved have trouble with this flesh we carry about. This was the experience of Paul, Rom. 7:14-25; and it is our experience as well.
You see, when the Lord saved us, He saved us from the Penalty of sin, John 5:24; Rom. 8:1. He also saved us from the Power of sin, Rom. 6:14. We have also been saved from the Presence of Sin, but that great blessing will not be realized as long as we live in this world.
C. According to the Bible, there will come a changing day for the saints of God, 1 Cor. 15:48-54. One glorious day, this flesh with all its appetites, affections and allurements will drop away forever. When that day comes, all the saints of God will be forever delivered from the presence of sin and will be in bodies that cannot possibly sin! We will be in a body and a land that is free from the blight and temptation of sin! We will be free! Free to worship. Free to praise! Free to live perfectly for the glory of God!
(Ill. I just want to remind this old flesh: “You might trouble me here, but you can’t follow me home!)
IV. v. 8 SINNER, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME
A. All of the things I have told you about today are wonderful and glorious for those who are saved. But, there is a sad note to this message. Verse 8 tells us that those who die in their sins will not be allowed inside that city. That bothers me, but that is the price of refusing to believe on Jesus.
B. Notice the fifth word of verse 8. It is the word “unbelieving.” This word refers to those “without faith, to those without trust in God. It speaks about those who have never been saved through a personal relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said that those who would not believe in Him would not be saved, John 8:24.
C. Friend, you may have listened as I tried to preach about Heaven and about some of the things that will not follow us to that perfect land. You might have thought, “That’s a place I too would like to go to when I leave this world. I just want you to know that unless you come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, you will never go to Heaven! You will instead go to Hell, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9!
D. Friend, it does not have to end up that way for you! You can be saved and you can be saved today. You can leave this building as sure for heaven and all its glories as if you were already there. If that is what you want, then here is how to get it.
1. Recognize that you are a lost sinner – Rom. 3:10-23
2. Understand that there is a tragic and terrible penalty on your sins – Rom. 6:23; Rom. 5:12.
3. Realize that God loves you and that His Son Jesus died to save you from your sins – Rom. 5:8.
4. Be willing to come before the Lord, confessing all this to Him – Rom. 10:9; 10:13.
5. This is the only plan of salvation God knows anything about and it will fit you for Heaven. Nothing and I mean nothing else can or will save your soul, Acts. 4:12; John 6:14!
Conc: Samuel Morrison was a faithful missionary who served twenty-five years in Africa. In failing health, Morrison returned to the United States. Also traveling home on the same ocean liner was President Teddy Roosevelt who had been in Africa for a three-week hunting expedition. As the large ship pulled into New York harbor, it looked as though the entire city had come out to welcome the President. Music filled the air, banners wafted in the wind, balloons flew to the sky, flashbulbs were popping, and confetti streamed down like snow. As Roosevelt stepped into sight, the crowd exploded in applause and cheers. It was truly a reception fit for a king. While all of the eyes were on the President, Morrison quietly disembarked and slipped through the crowd. None of the applause was for him and nobody was there to welcome him home.
His heart began to ache as he prayed, “Lord, the President has been in Africa for three weeks, killing animals, and the whole world turns out to welcome him home. I’ve given twenty-five years of my life in Africa, serving you, and no one has greeted me or even knows I’m here.” He then felt the gentle touch of God and sensed the Spirit say, “But my dear child, you are not home yet! What a joyous thought to realize presidential receptions pale in comparison to the heavenly homecoming that awaits every child of God.
My friends, you might be troubled by many things today, but if you are saved, do not worry! We are not home yet! None of the things that hinder and haunt our steps here can follow us home!
Do you need to come and talk to the Lord about some of the pressures and problems of your life? Do you need to talk to Him about your relationship with Him? Maybe you are struggling because you are not living as close to Him as you should. He can fix that! Do you need to come and be saved? He can fix that too!