Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 370

What a Christmas Present! December 24

I will come again and receive you to Myself John 14:3.

The time of Jesus' betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion was drawing near; and as the disciples gathered around Him, the Lord unfolded to them the mournful events that were about to take place, and their hearts were filled with sorrow. To comfort them He spoke these tender words: “Let not your heart be troubled.... I will come again, and receive you unto myself.” He directed their minds away from the scenes of sorrow to the mansions of heaven and the time of reunion in the kingdom of God.... Though He must go from them and ascend to His Father, His work for those He loved would not be at an end. He was to prepare homes for those who, for His sake, were to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth....

After His resurrection “he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” ... Do you imagine as they went back to Jerusalem that they said to one another, “Well, the Lord has left us. What is now the use of trying to gain followers to Jesus? Let us return to our nets.” ... There is no record of any such conversation. Not a line is written or a hint given that they had a thought of leaving the service of their ascended Lord for the service of self and the world. The Savior's hand had been outstretched in blessing His disciples He had left behind as He ascended. They had seen His glory. He had gone to prepare mansions for them. Their salvation had been provided for, and if they were faithful in complying with the conditions, they would assuredly follow Him to the world of unending joy. Their hearts were filled with songs of rejoicing and praise.

We all have the same cause for thanksgiving. The resurrection and ascension of our Lord is a sure evidence of the triumph of the saints of God over death and the grave, and a pledge that heaven is open to those who wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Jesus ascended to the Father as a representative of the human race, and God will bring those who reflect His image to behold and share with Him His glory....

Let us go forward together to reach the great reward and join in the song of the redeemed. If we ever sing the praises of God in heaven, we must first sing them here.—Signs of the Times, January 27, 1888.

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