A House, Not Hand-Made

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Scripture Text – 2 Corinthians 5:1-5

I’m glad that we share a belief that one of the ways God speaks to us is through the Holy Scriptures, and furthermore, that part of what God says to us in the Bible is there for our comfort. Our passage from the apostle Paul is a practical and theological reflection in which many people do find comfort.

Paul was not always in the mood for comfort, but he manages here in spite of himself. He told the Corinthians, at some other place, that he was better at building up than he was at tearing down. This brief passage is part of that reality.

Paul had a keen eye for what mattered, and much with which we worry day by day really doesn’t matter. He could look beyond the limitations of our earthly existence and set the value of life here and now in the context of eternity.

One fact about which he was certain is that there is more to human life than the body in which we live, during our years on earth. This body is important and essential in the way God has created us. We won’t overlook that, and we don’t want to. Paul was quick to remind us that when this body fails—and it will—it’s not the end of us by any means. “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.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1.

The “tent,” when set up properly and well cared for, can last and give those who use it protection and enjoyment, but there are no delusions about its durability. A tent is something human-made, not permanent; we could not live there long. Paul contrasts a tent with a house that God builds—a heavenly, eternal home. This eternal home with God is promised to all who are children of God. We want it, and we need it. “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.” – 2 Corinthian 5:2.

pd house God built

Life lived in relationship with God is so rich and full. When we begin to understand just how wonderful it is, we don’t want to lose out on such life—ever, and we don’t have to. God’s children don’t lose out on it. Instead, what happens is that, in God’s vast plan, “mortality may be swallowed up by life.” – 2 Corinthians 5:4. The essence of who one is, is transformed into fullness in the heavenly realms—no more weaknesses or limitations.

It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 5:5. Through the Holy Spirit of God, there are constant renewals in our lives and in the lives of many people we know, and these take place in an imperfect world. If this goes on here in this life and we can know a sense of renewal and resurrection in this life, how much greater the transformation God has waiting for God’s children in heaven! The best of life in the present is only a foretaste of all that God has for God’s own. After all, it was our Savior and Redeemer who promised a life “more abundantly” (John 10.10).

Dear friends, when our loved one and our friend has moved out of their tent and into a most elegant heavenly home, they are renewed in a heavenly body in which they can celebrate their wholeness even as they join the celestial choirs singing praise to God. They have begun to receive the gifts of eternity; they are in a new home, not a home made with hands but a home made by God. Though separated from us for a time, they are well-cared for. After all, to be away from the “tent” as we know it was best described by Paul:

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5:8.

And so, one day we shall all be. Glory to God through our precious Lord, Jesus who has made it possible.

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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