And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from where they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.…
I. THE CONDITION OF THE CHRISTIAN IN THIS WORLD IS GOOD. Implied in the word "better."
1. His sufferings are good.
(1) They make us resemble Christ.
(2) They teach us to depend upon God.
(3) They serve to develop character. The unweeded garden — no flowers. The unpruned tree — little fruit.
2. His privileges are good.
(1) A good God.
(2) A good book.
(3) A good house.
(4) Good companionship.
(5) Good work.
II. THE CONDITION OF THE CHRISTIAN IN THE NEXT WORLD WILL BE SUPERIOR TO THIS.
1. The Christian is to live in the future.
(1) His nature is compound — body and spirit. Death is only a change in the mode of being.
(2) Life here is incomplete.
(3) The affections imply a future state. Love is of God, and God is eternal.
(4) The resurrection of Jesus Christ. "The First-Begotten from the dead."The life of the Christian in the future will be glorious.
(1) No sorrows.
(2) Better privileges.
(a) Fellowship with Christ without an intervening medium.
(b) Uninterrupted companionship with the perfect good.
(c) Engagement in perfect service. More strength. A pure soul in a perfect body. Boundless sphere of activity.
III. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE FUTURE TO THE PRESENT CREATES IN THE CHRISTIAN A WISH TO ENTER UPON IT.
1. The nature of the desire. A wish for something not in possession. This feeling is quite consistent with consecration to work here, and yet so much stronger as ever to be rising above it and triumphing over it. No ordinary attainment.
2. The influence of the desire.
(1) In relation to the world.
(a) There should be no needless accumulation of temporal things.
(b) There should be no complaint if we do not possess much of them.
(c) Our chief enjoyment should not be found in using them.
(d) We should be prepared to leave them.
(2) In relation to afflictions. Christians expect trials — prepares for them — hopes for better times.
(3) In relation to bereavement and death. Only a change. On Albert Durer's tombstone is engraved — "Emigrated: To be with Christ." When Christmas Evans was dying, he saw the chariot of God come to take him home, and cried out, "Drive on!"
(B. D. Johns.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.