Saturday, June 6, 2015

Homesick For Heaven

Have you ever been to a really beautiful place that stayed with you long after you returned home? Maybe you have a picture of it as your screensaver, and you just sit and gaze at it. You love that place.  That is how Paul felt about heaven. He longed for it.

Paul had already been to heaven at this point. At one time in his life, we don't know when, he was killed and went to the third heaven. 
2 Corinthians 12:3-4 ... And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Having experienced the sounds and sights of heaven, Paul was homesick. This doesn't mean that Paul had a death wish. He just knew that when he died, it was ultimately a promotion.

When Paul said that he had "a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better" the word he used for depart is an interesting one. One way it is translated from Greek is "to strike the tent." It's the idea breaking camp. On more than one occasion, the Bible compares the human body to a tent. And one thing we know about tents is they are not meant to last forever. So why did Paul say this was far better? It's because he was moving from a tent to a mansion.

When Christians die, they go straight to heaven, because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The moment they take their last breath on earth, they take their first breath in heaven.

[Greg Laurie]

Philippians 1:22-23 ...  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Philippians 1:21 ...  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
2 Corinthians 5:8 ... We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.