Summary: There are times when we are all homesick for Heaven
Homesick for Heaven
October 14, 2007
When I was in sixth grade, we were sent to camp for several days. It was the first time that I had ever been away from my family for any length of time. The camp was interesting, at least parts of it were. I can remember one day, while we were studying weather. I was ready to go home.
The feeling of being homesick wasn’t that I missed my family. I missed my routine, my things, my bed. I missed being at home. There is something about being at home that make life comfortable. The old saying is true: Home is where the heart is. My heart was not at that campground the last day of camp.
We all get homesick from time to time. We long for the things that make us most comfortable, things that bring us joy, things that bring back good memories. We all long for the feelings of home.
Entrance into heaven is not at the hour of death, but at the moment of conversion – Benjamin Whichcote
Our place is in heaven. We belong with God in the place he has so generously prepared for us. There can be no mistaking this fact.
Paul seems to be almost homesick when he writes to the Corinthian church. If you have your Bibles please open them to 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.
1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
We get homesick for our heavenly house
How many of you have ever been camping in a tent? Camping may be fun for a while but it gets old fairly quickly. We get tired of roughing it and we start to desire the comforts of home. Would you want to live in a tent all of the time? Of course not.
Paul uses an image of heaven that seems a bit unusual. He compares our human body to a tent. The body is the temporary housing for our spirit. Our tent may get old, may not be able to handle the weather like it did years ago and the appearance may change. Paul makes it clear that we move from the tent to the real home. We move from this life to heaven.
Human life is a lot like camping. It’s the roughing it part of following Jesus. This earthly is not our permanent place to live. Just like you wouldn’t be satisfied with living in a tent all of the time, believers aren’t satisfied with living here on earth. We trade our earthly tent for God’s eternal mansion.
We get homesick to be clothed with eternity
Most, if not all, of us hate to wait for anything. This is especially true if it is something good or if we are in a hurry. We eagerly wait for good things to come. Paul echoed this in his words to the Philippian church.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21
Think about it in human terms. We eagerly expect many things in life.
• Parents await their children to be born
• Couples wait for their wedding day
• Children, young and old, wait for Christmas
Waiting is often difficult and when we are waiting on heaven, it seems even harder. Our days are filled with difficulties and disappointments. Each day that we live, we move one day closer to heaven. We wait in the now for that which is not yet.