Edward Everett Hale wrote the story “The Man Without a Country,” It is about a young Army lieutenant, named Philip Nolan, who stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, “Damn the United States. I wish I might never hear of the United States again.”
The courtroom is shocked and after a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: “You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country’s naval vessels – under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed.”
And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan’s dying hours in his small stateroom – now turned into a shrine to the country he cursed. Deprived of a homeland, Nolan slowly and painfully learns the true worth of his country. Without it, he was nothing.

The Hebrew writer describes the people of God by writing: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own…They were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13-16

We Christians, like Abraham of old, “look forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:10

How tragically sad to be a man without a country. A person, without Jesus Christ, is in that situation. They are homeless, nowhere to go, but to a dark hole in this earth. It does not have to be that way. God holds out hope for every person to claim, through faith in Jesus, that HOME in glory with Him.
Are you headed home?

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