We Live In A Tent!
August 11, 2023
I saw a young lady on television one time who operates a traveling Elvis Presley museum in a mobile home. For the price of admission you can view all manner of Elvis "Stuff" including a clip off of one of his toenails. Also, for the price of $20 she will say a prayer for you on an Elvis Presley rug!). I was thinking about this the other day and began to wonder what a vender might sell at the Gates of Heaven shortly after the sound of the "last Trumpet" (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
I think I came up with the perfect item and that item would be a mirror. Why mirrors? Because everyone is going to want to see what they look like in their new imperishable bodies. "New bodies thy say?" "Yes." "Imperishable?" "Yes." But don't take my word for it. Let's open our Bibles to 11 Corinthians 5: 1-10 and see what the apostle Paul has to say on the matter as he continues his testimony on how to have "Hope Beyond Our Heartaches." He writes, "Therefore we do not lose heart." Why? First of all because of a couple of contrasts to consider. The outward vs. the inward The seen vs. the unseen. Secondly because of a confidence to claim. This is where I want to begin.
According to 11 Corinthians 5:1, Paul says, "now we know... we can have assurance of eternal life. If the earthly tent we live in is destroyed." Paul's choice of words here tell us several things about his view of life on earth: It is temporary. It is in transit through this life to a better life. In this world we are sojourners. Pilgrims moving through "a weary land."
This temporary perspective of life on earth gave Paul hope beyond his heartaches because...And here's the confidence he claimed; Here's what he said he knew: "we have a building from God... an eternal house (or body) in heaven, not built by human hands." (Verse 5:1) The Living Bible paraphrases this verse: "when we die and leave these bodies - we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore. Made for us by God himself, and not by human hands." (Isn't that beautiful?) Human workmanship, done with carefulness and pride is a beautiful thing to behold.
When it comes to our new bodies, God's in charge, and he's a Master Craftsman! He'll do it with loving care, and He'll get it right the first time. 20 /20 vision to see life, and Himself as He really is. Hearing so fine-tuned you'l be able to hear a deer step on a leaf a mile away. Strong legs to move swiftly to do the will of the Father. Arms strong enough to be raised in praise to the Lord and never grow weary. Taste buds sensitive enough to fully enjoy every bite of the deliciously sweet fruit of the tree of life (Revelation 22:2). According to Paul, God's going to do it up right. And Paul says in effect: "That gives me hope beyond my heartaches."
Does your belief system give you hope for a safe better life? The product of this earth is found wanting. "Meanwhile we groan..." (Verses 2-4) Have you ever groaned? I groan when I go to bed at night. And sometimes sigh with relief. Paul groaned for the "unseen," instead of the "seen."
"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose..." (Verse 5) To have eternal life and new bodies.
There is hope, eternal hope beyond our heartaches. God's guarantee that we'll get what God PROMISED (verse 5). "The presence of the Holy Spirit in my life gives me hope beyond my heartaches." Paul's hope beyond his heartaches resulted in a commitment to keep here on earth. "We make it our goal to please him." (Verses 9,10) "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ..." There will be no saying, "No thank you, I think I'll pass." No calling in sick. No forgetting our appointment. It can be something to look forward to. "That each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body..." For the Christian there is a hope beyond our heartaches. We do not lose heart Because God has promised, and Jesus has bought and paid for... a new life,...a new hope,...and a new imperishable body in Heaven for all who love him: for all who know Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior. Comfort each other with these words!
Until Next Time,
Pastor Joe Elick 1940-2021