We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. ~2 Corinthians 5:8
Whenever I go on missions trips, I plan for a very packed schedule of preaching, teaching, and winning souls. The time spent with the pastor, the missionary, and the church members is a very encouraging time. However, for trips that last longer than five days, I start to get homesick for my family and to be back preaching and doing ministry at my church. In 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, Paul makes it very clear that he was homesick for Heaven. In fact, what he says should be the desire of every saved person.
We see the place.
Heaven is paradise. It is the city of the living God. It is the home of the saved. Jesus said of Heaven, “That where I am, there ye may be also.” Paul says that it is "to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” There is no sin in Heaven. There is no death, sorrow, crying, or pain in Heaven. It is cubic in size and measures 1,500 miles in length, width, and height. Its streets are made of gold. Its foundations are garnished with precious stones. It has gates that are made of pearls. The glory of God and the light of the Lamb give it perpetual light. It is a city whose Builder and Maker is God. It is the destiny of everyone who is saved.
We see the people.
God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are there. An innumerable number of the angels of God are there. Believers during the Old Testament are there. Everyone who has placed his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior is there after he leaves this life. These people are referred to as the church of the firstborn, which are written in Heaven. Heaven is populated with people who are saved.
We see the perfection.
Paul speaks about a building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. He is referring to the glory of the resurrected body. At the Rapture, the dead in Christ and we which are alive and remain will have transformed bodies. Our bodies will be made like unto His when He rose from the dead. Death will have no power over us. We will have bodies that are immortal and incorruptible. "Death is swallowed up in victory." "We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." Our glorified bodies will not suffer as we do now. We will be complete and perfect in Christ.
We see the preference.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Paul preferred to go to Heaven. He said, "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Paul said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We should be looking forward to Heaven. This happens when we have our eyes on that which is eternal and not on that which is temporal. "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen." Paul lived his life in anticipation of Heaven. He walked by faith and not by sight. Paul was homesick for Heaven!
We see the priority.
First, do you know for sure that you are going to Heaven? If not, you must get saved so that Heaven will be your home. Second, walk by faith and not by sight. As Vance Havner said, “If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world.” Third, we must be diligent in witnessing to sinners and helping them get saved so that they, too, can go to Heaven.
Have a heavenly God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 25-27