“This world is not my home.” We like to write and sing songs about it. A hearty “amen!” is elicited whenever these sentiments are shared. We can’t wait to leave it all and be with Jesus. It’s seen like some rite of passage into our maturity in Christ. We’re finally taking up our cross. It’s an indicator of a heart that finally longs to leave this old world behind them.
I get all that…but why not just be home with Him now?
Thinking we aren’t “home” right now is a classic symptom of orphan Christianity. Orphans live like they don’t belong or have a home. And for Christian orphans, it means living under an illusion of separation…God’s up there, and I’m down here…waiting for something that we already have.
Beloved, you are in Him now, seated at the right hand of your Father in heaven (Eph.2:6). He’s waiting for you to get this. It’s not something you’re waiting for. According to the writer of Hebrews, the Old Testament saints were waiting for a “better country” (Heb.11:16). Guess what? We have that better country! We live there now. We have come to Mt. Zion, the city of the Living God. Read it. It’s all past tense.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…” (Heb.12:22)
Welcome to the New Testament.
And furthermore, Paul seems to think we’re actually waiting from our heavenly home for Jesus to return to the earth. Of course, we’re still on the earth while we do this. Look, I’m not making this up. Here’s what Paul told the Philippians…
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil.3:20)
Paul chastised the earthbound thinking Corinthians for acting like “mere humans.” (1 Cor.3:3) Why? Because they weren’t just plain folk anymore. They were an unprecedented species, a new creation. Christ was their prototype and they were co-heirs with Him as beloved “sons” (not a gender-specific term here) of their heavenly Father, literally seated with Him in heaven, far above all principalities and powers. From this place, they were to be representing His good and perfect will on the earth. The same is true for us. We’re supposed to be the conduit of heaven where our heavenly Father speaks and works through us (2 Cor.5:20).
Our “can’t wait to go home and be with Jesus” theology create an “elder brother” mindset. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the elder brother didn’t avail himself to his father’s kingdom. Likewise, we risk remaining ignorant of the fact that all that our heavenly Father has is ours…now (Lk.12:32). That’s why He told us not to worry about anything. This elder brother Christianity bases its righteousness on what we don’t do anymore instead of who we are…because we remain ignorant of where we are.
So, here’s an idea. Just be home! You are His child. Jesus is the way to your Papa God. And His house is your house. You have that mansion, but it’s not up in the sky somewhere…it’s in you right now. He made a dwelling place for you when He sent the Holy Spirit. But orphans turn the beautiful promise of Jesus in John 14 into something eschatological. It gets reduced to “What a day that will be…in the sweet by and by, hallelujah, when we die.”
Sure, there’s greater glory in the age to come, but have we availed ourselves to the glory within us right now? (2 Cor.3:18; Col.1:27). And this world is our home, though our citizenship is in heaven. We’re supposed to be ambassadors at home here, right? Are we engaged in our assignment to “be Jesus” in this world, bringing heaven to earth now? (Mt.6:10; Jn.14:12; 20:21; 2 Cor.5:17-21; 1 Jn.4:17) Do we understand that we actually live under an open heaven now (Jn.1:51).
Here’s my point. Let’s not abdicate our royal role, our destiny here in this world as sons and daughter of our Father’s kingdom. We are co-heirs with the King of kings. And let’s stop looking up to the sky…rather, let’s unpack our “rapture bag” and start looking to Who was placed within. As Paul prayed, communing by the Spirit and living in the overflow of the God’s love and the outrageous grace of Jesus Christ (2 Cor.13:14). Let’s be about our Father’s business in this world where we live now. Because wherever you go, there He is. Welcome home.