Summary: In a world where everything changes it is reassuring to know that we have an eternal home in heaven.
“There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.” That is all that Dorothy had to say in order to return to her home in Kansas. (Well she also had to close her eyes and click her glass slippers together as well.) If you are familiar with the movie The Wizard of Oz you know that within moments of repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” Dorothy was back in her own bed with her family and friends standing around her. As she awakened from her dream those words were still on her lips. And even though no one believed Dorothy’s story about the Land of Oz the movie ends with her saying, “There’s no place like home!”
“There’s no place like home.” Perhaps because of the movie that phrase has become a part of our American culture. We all know the feelings connected to it. After a hard day at work or a difficult day at school we may think to ourselves how good it is to be home. Even if we are returning from an enjoyable vacation we still like getting back to our own space and our own bed. Even if things aren’t always perfect at home we still often say, “There’s no place like home.”
As children of God through Christ we can take the feelings that Dorothy expressed in The Wizard of Oz about going home, and the feelings that we have experienced in connection with our earthly homes, and multiply them many times over in connection with our heavenly home. Since we will be in God’s presence and we will also be free from sin forever we have many reasons to say, “There’s no place like home,” in connection with our eternal house in heaven.
To confirm that belief in our hearts we direct our attention to 2 Corinthians 5:1-9. (Read text.) The Holy Spirit breathed these words into the Apostle Paul to remind the Corinthian Christians that they had an eternal house with the LORD. May God the Holy Spirit now comfort us with that same conviction and confirm in us that same faith. The Word of God before us directs our thoughts to the fact that:
“WE HAVE AN ETERNAL HOUSE IN HEAVEN”
I. We long to be living there
II. We can be confident of getting there
III. We live for the owner until we arrive there
The resurrection of the dead and the eternal house that belongs to believers seems to have been a source of confusion for the Christians at Corinth. In his first letter to them the Apostle Paul clearly explained the bodily resurrection and the victory believers have over death through Jesus. But apparently there was still some lingering confusion among the Corinthians about the resurrection and about the eternal destination of believers. So Paul addressed these awesome truths again. He explained that a believer has an eternal house in heaven. And he acknowledged the facts that at this time we long to be living there, we can be confident of getting there, and we live for God until we arrive there.
“There’s no place like home.” For Dorothy those words marked the end of her long journey to get home. Remember that was the whole reason she took her trip down the yellow brick road to see the wizard. And really for Dorothy the whole movie centered on her deep desire to get back home.
In the verses that I just read the Apostle Paul described the longing believers have to get home to their eternal house in heaven. Looking back to the thoughts that led to his statements will help us understand them better. The closing verses of 2 Corinthians 4 shed some light on the deep desire believers have to join their Lord in heaven. The Apostle Paul declared, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17 18) Those verses mark a transition from the suffering believers face in this life to the glory that will be theirs in eternal life.
With that thought in the background the Apostle Paul begins his explanation of the believer’s unseen eternal home. “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.” One of the first questions that confronts us in these verses is the explanation of the word “tent.” Was the Apostle Paul using the word “tent” as a way to describe the literal buildings in which people live? Or was he referring to life in general as we know it? Or was Paul picturing our bodies as “tents?” I suppose we could make the case for more than one of those definitions. Both the houses that we call home and the body our soul calls home are like tents. They are temporary dwellings for us. And we know from God’s Word that all life as it now exists will like a tent be taken down and rolled up forever.