And, with all due respect to Billy Graham (he deserves a lot!), what should it mean when we say, “My home is in heaven?”
As I said in my last post about being at rest in God, and Him being at rest in us, “Beloved, this is the deepest possible life with God. A life lived where we can be at home with Him, and He can be at home with us.”
If this is true…and it is…then why do we keep saying things like we can’t wait to leave this world and “go home to be with Jesus?”
We must die or get raptured to go home to be with Jesus?
Aren’t we with Him now? Actually…in Him now?
Now, I understand where the sentiment comes from. We want to leave this wicked old world and go to heaven. And if you’re a believer and were to die today, you would certainly go to heaven. But is that when you finally “go home?”
I admit I’m going to get a bit iconoclastic here (I warned you about me in my description of myself), but this eschatological “emperor” just doesn’t have any clothes. 🙂
Because, unfortunately, this comes from bad theology…or should I say, theology that lacks understanding about who we are and where we are in Christ. It comes from people who only have a “theoretical” view of being in Christ. For it makes no sense any other way.
I wrote about this in my post, “Actually, this world is my home.” I won’t go back into that here. You can read it if you would like some background on what I’m talking about.
So, let’s think through this for a moment…
Our home is in Christ
Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, and YOU are IN Him (Eph.1:20; 2:6; Col.1:27). So, where are you right now? Right, you are in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father in Christ. More on this in my post, “Thoughts about the house of God.”
So, if you’re actually home in heaven with Jesus now, the problem is not with this world, it’s with our spiritual perception.
Which “world” are we talking about?
The second issue here is in the terminology. I was reading an excellent post by Frank Viola, “Rethinking the Second Coming of Christ” and I think he can help us here about what the Bible means by “world.” (Bold text mine)
“Some have mistakenly embraced the notion that God hates this dirty little planet and has promised to rescue His people out of it before He trashes it. But Scripture teaches no such thing. Indeed, Scripture repeatedly warns that “the world” is evil. But the Greek words translated “world” in these passages do not refer to the earth, but to the world system (kosmos) or the present age (aion) that is marked by the corruptions of sin.”
I should add here that “kosmos” can also mean the inhabitants, or the people who live on this planet (John 3:16)–who God loves, by the way.
Actually, God seems to think that the earth belongs to Him, and that He’s given to us. (Psalm 24:1; 115:16).
God has never given the earth to the devil, so how could the earth be wicked? Of course, he can get his hands on it through human beings.
Actually, the idea of an evil physical world came from Greek philosophy, not Scripture.
Ultimately, we’re not going to heaven, it’s coming here
Ultimately, heaven is not our home…earth is our home. Well, a new heaven and new earth is our home. Heaven is coming to earth. We’re to bring it now in the spiritual realm wherever we go, and Jesus will bring it in fullness with His Second Coming (Rev.21:1-5).
Furthermore, all of physical creation, including the earth, is waiting for redemption from the fall. How so? When the sons of God are revealed…and they are…yup, you and me…when our bodies are “redeemed” or resurrected (Rom.8:19-23). So, man got created last, redeemed first; all of creation was made first and will be redeemed last.
Imagine a totally visible, open heaven in its full glory and splendor manifested on the redeemed earth–us eating, drinking, having fellowship…together…forever…with bodies like Jesus’ resurrected body (Luke 24:39-43; Phil.3:21)
So, you might as well get used to the earth being your home now.
Heaven is not our ultimate destination, it’s our orientation.
Again, if you died today, you would be in a place called heaven. But this is only because your physical body can’t go there. And as I already pointed out, your spirit is in heaven now.
We are “spiritual beings” (1 Cor.15:46-49), which means, our life has a heaven-born source. Your citizenship is in heaven from which you live NOW; you have come to Mount Zion…now. The Kingdom of heaven is within you (Phil.3:20; Heb.12:22; Luke 17:20-21). Get it?
So let’s not abdicate our role as co-heirs in our Father’s Kingdom
Beloved, let’s not be like the orphan-hearted elder brother who abdicated his role as a son in his father’s kingdom. All that the Father has is yours! (Luke 15:31; 12:32).
Do you see now how much of a waste of time it is to be waiting to vacate a place we’ve been told to care for, even have dominion over? (Gen.1:26-28).
So, instead of wishing we could leave this planet, let’s love the people “world” (kosmos) like Jesus did and show them the way home to our Father’s house too. After all, everyone is longing have a home with Him. It’s hard-wired in their DNA. They just don’t know it yet. Just a thought…