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I Want to Go Home

"There's no place like home."  That is the lesson learned by the character Dorothy in the story of The Wizard of Oz.  For most people, this lesson is true, for if their homes are what they should be, then they are places of comfort, refuge, rest, peace, and security.  Home is the place where loved ones dwell and where a person feels that he belongs the most.  Indeed, regardless of how much you may enjoy any activity outside of your home, at some point you are likely to think, "I want to go home."

While our desire for home may be strong in this world, our desire for our spiritual home should be much stronger.  As we sing in the old hymn,

This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through.

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;

The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,

And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Many of the songs we sing express this spiritual truth, but no words express it as well as the Scripture in 2Corinthians 5:1-10. Consider this passage here:

1For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.  4For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.  5Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.  6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord -- 7for we walk by faith, not by sight -- 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.  10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Paul wrote these words in a context where he was speaking of his own physical suffering and decay.  He said that "our outer man is decaying" and that the "momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2Cor. 4:16-17).  The burdens of life in our earthly home just make the glory of our heavenly home seem all the better.

Notice the contrasts between our earthly home and our heavenly home.  The earthly home is merely a tent, which is only a temporary dwelling.  Truly, the fleshly body is not made to last long, and "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable" (1Cor. 15:50).  In contrast, our heavenly home is an eternal house not made with hands.  We don't know yet exactly what that eternal house shall be, but we know that we shall be like our Lord Jesus (1John 3:2).  Our earthly home is described as being clothed in mortality, which indicates that on earth we are subject to death in our physical bodies. However, when we are clothed in that heavenly dwelling, mortality shall be "swallowed up by life."  The greatest contrast of all is that while we are "at home in the body we are absent from the Lord" and that when we are "absent from the body" we will "be at home with the Lord."  Of course, Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always" (Matt. 28:20), but in that heavenly home, we will see Him face to face (Rev. 22:4).  What could be better than that?

Needless to say, our heavenly home will be immeasurably better than the home we have known in this world.  That being the case, don't you want to go home?  Regardless of how good your life may seem in this world, eternal life in the presence of Christ is far, far better.  Therefore, make it your goal to go home with the Lord, and pursue that goal according to the Lord's directions.  Jesus is the way to those dwelling places in the Father's house (John 14:1-6), so set your ambition to be pleasing to Him.  We all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and those who have done good deeds according to the Lord's will while in the earthly home of their bodies will be recompensed with that heavenly home that is eternal.  So then, let's get ready to go home "so we shall always be with the Lord" (1Thess. 4:17).

Stacey E. Durham



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