Tag Archives: Longing for heaven

Where do you call home?


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

Are you looking forward to heaven?


I remember our first trip to the Smoky Mountains. We researched get away cabins that we could share with our friends the Neudahls, and then studied about the places where we could hike, eat, and visit. But our temporary vacation home was really at the center of all our plans. It had to be large enough two accommodate two couples, remote enough to give us a sense of living in the beautiful mountains and also close enough to access other nearby attractions. The closer we got to our vacation time, the more we longed to enjoy it.


I wonder, do you long for heaven like you long for a vacation or future home move across country? I remember one distinct day when there were two ladies in the nursing unit of the care facility where I worked. One’s body was failing quickly but she was clinging to stay alive. The other was longing for heaven but her body would not surrender. Odd isn’t it, how some long for one thing and others long for another. Typically, the deeper our trials on earth, the more we long for heaven. The more comfortable and content we are with our plot in life, the likely we are to aspire to remain here.


We all seek happiness in life. Why are we not always so eager to long for the even greater happiness we will experience in heaven? And where do we get our views of heaven? Do those views bring you to fear death or look forward to it as the step into the next and greatest adventure? Do you perceive heaven as an unending and boring church service? Is it more than sitting on clouds and playing harps? Will it be a peaceful yet purposeless existence or will it be filled with great celebration and endless rejoicing?


God made us to desire both life and heaven. And we will more fully enjoy each if we look at both life here and in heaven through God’s eyes. JC Ryle said, “I pity the man who does not think (accurately) about heaven.” For inaccurate thinking leads us to fanciful conclusions that have no bearing with reality. Yet when you consider the number of books on living life and the number on heaven, you quickly see where the disparity lies. How many times do you think about heaven in your daily life, as if it were the main thing that guides your life? How much do you hear about heaven in your own church? Perhaps we don’t much long for heaven because it just isn’t on our radar screen. It seems that most Americans believe in heaven, but are willing to let what they believe about heaven to be influenced by the media. What would happen if we let scripture guide us in understanding what we might about heaven? Instead of being the last thing in our thoughts and plans, what if it were the first? If we don’t think about heaven as our permanent home, then surely by default, this earthly existence will demand all our attention and passions! Can you imagine us spending thousand of dollars renovating that temporary cabin the mountains just for a one week stay? Ridiculous, you’d say. But then why on earth do we spend so much of our resources on this temporary earthly home, instead of preparing and longing for our permanent home in heaven?


We live in a world of spiritual blindness, too often ignorant and oblivious to our spiritual and heavenly reality. Our naturalistic assumptions are symptoms of this blindness. But where as “the god of this world has blinded the minds of believers so they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” (2 Corinthians 4:4) God has bound the mind of the mind blinding deceiver. If only we would turn to him for the truth on this matter!


Have you been so blinded by the shiny things of earth that you’ve lost theo desire for your true heavenly home? I invite you to step out in faith and pray at least once each day for God to increase your desire to spend time with him – on earth as it will be in heaven.