Without considering these words in their prophetic connection, let us regard them as the invitation of our great Forerunner to His sanctified people. In due time there shall be heard "a loud voice from heaven" to every believer, saying, "Come up here." This should be to the saints the subject of joyful anticipation.
Instead of dreading the time when we will leave this world to go to the Father, we should be longing for the hour of our emancipation. Our song should be--
My heart is with Him on His throne, And ill can brook delay; Each moment listening for the voice, "Rise up and come away."
We are not called down to the grave but up to the skies. Our heaven-born spirits should long for their native air. Yet the heavenly summons should be the object of patient waiting. Our God knows best when to bid us, "Come up here." We must not wish to antedate the period of our departure.
I know that strong love will make us cry, O Lord of Hosts, the waves divide, And land us all in heaven.
But patience must have her perfect work. God ordains with accurate wisdom the most fitting time for the redeemed to live below. Surely, if there could be regrets in heaven, the saints might mourn that they did not live longer here to do more good. Oh, for more sheaves for my Lord's harvest, more jewels for His crown! But how unless there be more work? True, there is the other side of it, that, living so briefly, our sins are the fewer; but oh, when we are fully serving God, and He is asking us to scatter precious seed and reap a hundredfold, we would even say it is well for us to stay where we are. Whether our Master shall say, "Go" or "Stay," let us be equally well pleased as long as He indulges us with His presence.