“So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Last Monday we said so long to my Aunt Ruby Mae. She passed from this life much the same way she’d lived – quietly and without fanfare. She simply went to sleep here in her own bed and woke up in the presence of her Savior. What a glorious morning for her!
The Apostle Paul said “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” For those of us who have trusted in Jesus, making Him our Savior and Lord, death is not something to be feared or dreaded. Physical death is not the end for us, it is a transition from mortality to eternity. In a single moment when we pass from this physical life, all of our physical limitations and weaknesses will be removed. Any sadness or burdens from this life will be done away with. We will be home. Here our spirit being is housed in a physical body subject to sin and decay. In heaven we will receive a new glorified body. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 5 says “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven…Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” The Message Bible puts it this way, “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5, The Message)
All of our questions will be answered, all of our “whys” and “how’s” will be resolved. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 says “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
I long for heaven. I want to see my parents and grandparents again. I want to see the baby who went to heaven before I had a chance to see or hold her. Most of all I want to see Jesus and to hear my heavenly Father say “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:21) The Apostle Paul wrote that the he was torn between wanting to go to heaven and wanting to stay. (Philippians 1:23)
God has given me assignments. Assignments that I must fulfill before I can go home. Aunt Ruby Mae fulfilled her assignments at the age of 90 and God called her home. Now I must be about my Father’s business until either Jesus returns to take His church home, or if He tarries, until He calls me home.
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
The Message Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson