Summary: When we walk by faith; we can courageously face the hard realities of this world. It helps us to understand Paul's saying: absent from the body and present with the Lord.
AT HOME WITH GOD
Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—
for we walk by faith, not by sight—
we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
How can we forget some of the final lines in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy keeps saying, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” Most of us feel the same way. Man has always felt a fondness for that dwelling called home. Adam and Eve were grieved when they were cast out of the garden of Eden—their home. Noah and his family listened as the waters covered their homeland. Moses left his homeland to follow the will of God for his life. Jesus found that a prophet was not without honor, except at home. The prodigal son knew that even as a servant, home was better than the pigpen. We rejoice today as we round the corner to “our home.” Whether it be a cardboard box in an alley, or a fine air-conditioned bastion of comfort in the stifling heat, we are glad to get home. As temporary as the structures on earth are, our home in heaven will be permanent. God challenges us to live daily in preparation for that great eternal home that He is preparing for His children. It will be untouched by the elements of nature, unscarred by strife, pure, clean, and holy, and yes—IT WILL LAST FOR ETERNITY! Do you feel as good about the home God is preparing for you as the one that may be gone tomorrow? If we anticipate that home with joy, how wonderfully we will live our lives today!
Propositional Statement: I seen a bumper sticker the other day as I was driving across the Glenn Jackson bridge. It was another sequel to the ‘got milk?’ commercial. It said, ‘got hope?’ When we walk by faith, we can courageously face the realities of our world. We have the opportunity to live a life of righteousness and blessedness; having hope. How much better is that than dealing daily with struggles that drain our lives of hope and goodness? Four hundred years before the birth of Christ, Socrates, the renowned Greek Philosopher, drank the poison hemlock and lay down to die. “Shall we live again?” his friends asked. The dying philosopher could only reply, “I hope so, but no man can know.” —Gospel Herald Isn’t is amazing that Socrates, one of the supposedly wisest men ever known, had no hope of salvation?
I. At Home in the Body and Absent from the Lord or PREFER Absent from the Body and be at Home with the Lord
----Paul was a tentmaker and he was probably comparing our bodies to the weak, temporary, and ordinary nature of a tent. Our glorified bodies will be starkly different though; because they will not be subject to weakness, nor ordinary. In fact, they will be eternal in nature. Our bodies have a transitory nature! It’s like the difference between a Motel 6; and a Suburban Ranch Home. (Did not say mansion because…)
A. In the Body.
What things do you identify with the body? The most clearly identifiable illustration of being in the body is having a “Body by Jake.” You know, (Swedish accent) “I’m going to pump you up!” I don’t mean to put down being physically fit; but there is a difference between being physically fit and worshipping a body with more time and attention than we give God. 1 Timothy says it like this: “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Maybe there is not so many of us who have to worry about that; and even I have a lot of work to do in that area. But, what is not so clear; is the reliance that we place upon the temporary things in life, as opposed to the eternal things. Also in Corinthians are the following passages that give us a view of what we are building in our bodily homes: “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
What do I do while I am in the body and away from the Lord? Now, might be a good time to mention, that Paul is not saying that he is completely separated from the Lord while he is in the body. He is simply expressing the fact that while he is in the body and absent from the Lord; that he should be “about his Father’s business!” Reflecting upon prayer, the indwelling Spirit, and fellowship through the Word, John MacArthur says that Paul was “simply expressing a heavenly homesickness, a strong yearning to be at home with his Lord.”