Home sweet home. There’s no place like home. Home is where the heart is.
So where do you call home? Is it where you now live? Is it the place where you were born or grew up? Maybe you have a vacation property you think of as your home away from home. If home is where your heart is, maybe you’ve left left your heart somewhere else. What do you think of when you think of “going home?”
Probably, the answer depends on where you are in life and what consumes your thoughts and ambitions. If you have young kids or are in the middle of a house remodeling project, home is likely that place where you live. Those moving across town or across the world, likely think of home as where they are now and where they are going next.
Truth be told, we probably all consider this earth our home. It’s where we have always lived, breathed, worked, and played. We’ve never been away from it. But while we don’t know the time, we all know we will certainly come to a point when we die and earth will no longer be home. Followers of Jesus easily talk of “going home” when they refer to heaven. Scripture reminds us consistently that heaven is our real home and that we should look forward to our heavenly home:
We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 1 Chronicles 29:15
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-20
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
So if heaven is our true home and we are really just foreigners and strangers in this land called earth, why do we cling to this world so dearly, often at the expense of longing for or even thinking about our permanent heavenly home? We know heaven will be ever so much better than this place we now live. Why do we not eagerly await “going home?”
I think of the dad who told me of a conversation with his teenage son before his wedding day. “Do you look forward to going to heaven?” the dad asked. The son replied, “Yeah, but not before I get married and enjoy that wending night thing.” If we’re honest with ourselves, we probably have similar feelings. We long for heaven when the time comes, but in the meantime we long for so much of earth. It’s where our treasure is. And because we were created human with physical senses it is also where so many of our desires are. And don’t we long so dearly to remain with those God has taught us to love? We find ourselves caught in a conundrum, longing for earth, yet tiring of its troubles and woes, wanting to remain here and also sometimes yearning deeply to go home. One foot on earth and one foot in heaven, we remain with conflicted desires.
Randy Alcorn writes, “Our ancestors came from Eden. We are headed for a new earth (heaven on earth). We’re homesick for Eden. We’re homesick for Eden. We long for paradise – a perfect world without the corruption of sin, where God walks with us and talks with us in the cool of the day. Because we’re human beings, we desire something tangible and physical, something that will not fade away. And that is exactly what God promises us – a home that will not be destroyed, a kingdom that will not fade, a city with unshakable foundations, an incorruptible inheritance.”
Perhaps something that will help us in this dilemma is to realize that heaven will be in some ways a lot like earth, only without the suffering and sorrows. We’ll talk about that in the next post. But for now, I invite you to ponder this: “In what ways DO I long for my heavenly home and how might that impact my life here on earth?
intro to heaven