This World Is Not My Home

Old House

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

As Paul wrote to the brethren in Corinth, he described the fact that our lives on earth are temporary, yet we have an eternal home in heaven. It is important that we understand this – this world is not our home. Our real home is in heaven. In this article, we are going to contrast these two homes and consider how an understanding of the difference between them should cause us to live here.

What is Home?

When people think of “home,” many thoughts and emotions might come to mind. I want us to notice four characteristics of home found in the Scriptures and use these as the basis for our comparison.

  • Home is a place of comfort – When David decided he wanted to build the temple, he vowed that he would not enjoy the comforts of home until the task was completed: “Surely I will not enter my house, nor lie in my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob” (Psalm 132:3-5). Though God would chose David’s son Solomon to build the temple, the point about home that David expressed is commonly understood – home is a place to rest and recharge that is separate from the outside world of toil and turmoil.
  • Home is a place of security – When Lot welcomed the two angels (who had come in the form of men) into his home in Sodom, the men of the city surrounded the house and demanded that the visitors be given to them. Lot pleaded for them and said, “Only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof” (Genesis 19:8). He argued that his home was to be considered a place of safety – a principle that he expected even the godless residents of Sodom to understand.
  • Home is a place of love – This is the ideal that God has placed upon the home. Husbands are to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are to love their husbands and their children (Titus 2:4). This is the general expectation that people have – that there is love in the home among those who are in it.
  • Home is a place of family – The reason why home is a place of love (previous point) is because it is primarily a place for family. The wise man said, “Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house, or he will become weary of you and hate you” (Proverbs 25:17). Others may enter our homes from time to time – such as friends and neighbors – but the wise man’s point is that these other visits are occasional and the exception to the rule that the home is for family.

Our Temporary Home

Our earthly home offers temporary and imperfect comfort. While we can enjoy times of rest and relaxation at home, there are responsibilities as well. There is always work to be done. Paul made this clear when he gave the remedy for the threat of idleness among the young widows: “Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach” (1 Timothy 5:14). One cannot be idle while also devoted to the responsibilities that exist in the home. Furthermore, houses do not remain comfortable if they are not maintained. “Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks” (Ecclesiastes 10:18). While comfort can be found at home, it is temporary and imperfect.

Our earthly home provides temporary and imperfect security. There is certainly a degree of security that we have in our homes. Jesus said, “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). However, even if we are diligent to keep our homes as a place of security, we are never completely safe. Jesus warned about focusing on earthly treasures because “thieves [can] break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). Though a “strong man” may be prepared to defend his house, he could be overtaken and bound by intruders, then his house can be plundered (Matthew 12:29). We can and should feel safe in our home, but this security is still temporary and imperfect.

Our earthly home is a place of temporary and imperfect love. As we noticed earlier, love is commanded and taught. Husbands are taught to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are commanded to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:4). Why does this need to be taught? It is because the love that exists in the home is often lacking or it fades. Home should be a place of love, but it is often temporary and, even under the best of circumstances, imperfect.

Our earthly home is made up of a temporary and imperfect family. Family is valuable. Yet loved ones will pass away. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Furthermore, our families are made up of fallible people. This is because of the universal problem of sin: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Even if our family is made up of godly people, this home is still only temporary and imperfect.

Our Eternal Home

Our heavenly home offers eternal and perfect comfort. Heaven is described as a place in which God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). God will “wipe away every tear,” meaning that the pain from this life will be perfectly comforted. There will also be no cause of pain in the future – for eternity – as all things that had caused sorrow will have “passed away.

Our heavenly home provides eternal and perfect security. Nothing that does not belong in heaven will ever invade that home. John wrote, “And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). Later, the Lord said, “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” (Revelation 22:15). Once we are in our eternal home, nothing that could cause us harm will ever be able to enter into it.

Our heavenly home is a place of eternal and perfect love.God is love” (1 John 4:8). In heaven, we will be in the presence of God (2 Corinthians 5:8). Paul wrote, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Jesus displayed the greatest love by laying down His life for us (John 15:13). Heaven is a place of perfect love because we will be in the presence of the Lord.

Our heavenly home is made up of an eternal and perfect family. Jesus warned about the possibility that serving Him would put us in opposition to our earthly families: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household” (Matthew 10:34-36). Even if none of our earthly family is in heaven with us, our spiritual family will be there. We have the great privilege – through the love of the Father – to be “children of God” (1 John 3:1). Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). We are all brethren and have the blessing of being God’s children. We will all be together in heaven.

Our Lives as Pilgrims

When we compare the two homes, there really is no comparison. Our home in heaven is far superior than any home we might have here on the earth. Therefore, we need to remember where our true home is. Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

We must recognize that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. This recognition should cause us to live in a certain way. Peter wrote, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles” (1 Peter 2:11-12). Understanding that our home is in heaven, God expects us to keep from sin and engage in good works.

We also need to remember that we will be judged for how we have lived as pilgrims on the earth. Paul said, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). Therefore, our conduct is not something to be taken lightly.

As we live here on the earth, we must use our time wisely. Paul said, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). To make the most of our time, we must fill it with “fruitful labor” (Philippians 1:22) wherever we are so that we can please the Lord.

Conclusion

We must never lose sight of the fact that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20), but we must also live in such a way that we will get there. Jesus said we do this by doing the will of God (Matthew 7:21). When we get to the end of our earthly journey, we do not want to hear, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). Let us be busy serving the Lord so that we can reach the home in heaven that He has promised to the faithful.


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Comments

  1. Bobby McPherson says

    This is very fine description of home for us here and for eternity.

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  1. […] “This world is not my home.” Andy Sochor asks, “What is home?” and “What can we learn by comparing our temporary home to our eternal home?” […]