This World is Not Our Home

 

Scripture Reading:

 

Hebrews 11:13-16  THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES, BUT HAVING SEEN THEM AFAR OFF, AND WERE PERSUADED OF them, AND EMBRACED them, AND CONFESSED THAT THEY WERE STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS ON THE EARTH.  FOR THEY THAT SAY SUCH THINGS DECLARE PLAINLY THAT THEY SEEK A COUNTRY.  AND TRULY, IF THEY HAD BEEN MINDFUL OF THAT country FROM WHENCE THEY CAME OUT, THEY MIGHT HAVE HAD OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE RETURNED.  BUT NOW THEY DESIRE A BETTER country, THAT IS, AN HEAVENLY: WHEREFORE GOD IS NOT ASHAMED TO BE CALLED THEIR GOD: FOR HE HATH PREPARED FOR THEM A CITY.”

 

INTRODUCTION

 

            God created mankind along with the rest of the universe, placed our ancestors in a most beautiful garden “EASTWARD IN EDEN”; giving them but one prohibition, they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  But man was unable to keep this law that God had given him and as we all know and have heard many times through the temptation of the devil, old Satan himself, and man’s weakness; they sinned and were removed.  Physical death came into the world, man’s days were now numbered and man’s spirit, when removed from its earthly house of clay, had nowhere to go, nowhere to reside, there was no place provided for it’s punishment or reward.

            But even as God removed his crowning creation from the very garden he had given them; to keep them from eating of the tree of life and living forever in their sinful condition He made a promise.  Through the seed of woman (Genesis 3:15), because it was through her being deceived that sin became known, God prepared a plan to relieve mankind of Satan’s authority or hold over us.  The terminology used in scripture is that Satan’s head would be bruised, the head here symbolizing the removal of his authority and power.

            Time went on; and mankind became so corrupt that God repented of having created this self-willed creature that refused to obey him.  But in Genesis chapter six we find that there was one man that still served God; one man who we’re told in Genesis 6:8-9 found grace or favor in the eyes of the LORD because of his righteousness; that man was Noah.  God destroyed this world by water that he had created.  The fountains of the deep were opened, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, so that even the highest mountains were covered and all mankind was destroyed by death except the eight that found refuge in God’s love because of their righteousness.

            And we know the rest of the story.  God chose men and set them aside because of their righteousness.  He made a promise to Abraham, his son Isaac and then Abraham’s grandson, Jacob who became Israel; that through their seed the entire world would be blessed.  God set aside a people for his purpose, but they rebelled, they tried God’s patience time and time again; but enough good people were preserved by God in spite of their rebellion and subsequent punishment that the linage through which the promise made to Eve was to be fulfilled was preserved and the Messiah, Jesus was born of woman and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus the Christ lived, taught and died that we might have a means to prepare our souls for eternity; that our souls might be cleansed of the sin that through man was brought into the world.  Now for the first time in man’s history his spirit could return to God who gave it and have an abode, a place to stay that the Son of God has prepared.  Because God will destroy this world again, permanently this time:

 

Read II Peter 3:7-13

 

            This world is not our home.  There is an immortal part of you and I that will live eternally.  Our spirit will be returned to God who gave it.  If we die physically before the Jesus comes again our souls will be sent to a waiting place (Luke 16:19-31); to await the day that God will destroy this world and judge all peoples.

 

This World was not designed by God to be an eternal home.

 

            God’s laws of nature are immutable.  The grain of the field, the trees in the forest, the animals both those domesticated and those that live in the wild were never designed to live forever.  All created beings that have life wax old, become feeble, and die, some earlier than others, for many different reasons sometimes but all die.  Man is no different:

 

“AND IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MAN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGEMENT.” Hebrews 9:27

 

            And why would we want to stay on this earth much longer than God gives us?  Why would we want to prolong the pain of suffering that we have with some diseases?  Why do we hold on to life so jealously, many even when suffering like Job; with the earth so full of sin, sickness and sorrow?  At one point Job even wished that he had not lived beyond birth:

 

“BECAUSE IT SHUT NOT UP THE DOORS OF MY mother’s WOMB, NOR HID SORROW FROM MINE EYES.  WHY DIED I NOT FROM THE WOMB?  why DID I not GIVE UP THE GHOST, WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE BELLY?” Job 3:10-11

 

David at one of his lowest points pleaded with God:

 

“FOR I am READY TO HALT, AND MY SORROW is CONTINUALLY BEFORE ME.”  Psalms 38:17

 

This earth is full of sin, sorrow, and death.  Neither it nor anything in it was ever intended to stand forever.

            The pleasures and joys of this world are transient; they’re here today and gone tomorrow.  We turn to Job again who describes those that follow after the pleasures of earth:

 

“THEY TAKE THE TIMBREL AND HARP, AND REJOICE AT THE SOUND OF THE ORGAN.  THEY SPEND THEIR DAYS IN WEALTH, AND IN A MOMENT GO DOWN TO THE GRAVE.” Job 21:12-13

 

Paul admonished the Corinthian brethren:

 

II Corinthians 4:18 “WHILE WE LOOK NOT AT THE THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN, BUT AT THE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN: FOR THE THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN are TEMPORAL; BUT THE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN are ETERNAL.”

 

The things not seen are eternal but the things that we see are temporal, they are temporary.  Whatever joy or pleasure they bring us is short lived, even if it is not overtaken by something else in a short span of time.   At the end of our time they will all evaporate like the early morning fog in a hot sun.

 

This World is Unable to Provide the Bliss and Comfort of Heaven

 

            Job did not desire to live always, he wanted a better life.  He knew that God would provide something better after death than he had to endure here on earth.

 

Job 7:16 (ASV1901) “I LOATHE MY LIFE; I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY: LET ME ALONE; FOR MY DAYS are VANITY.”

 

            David in one of his prayers to God during the period of time before he became king of Israel:

 

“FEARFULNESS AND TREMBLING ARE COME UPON ME, AND HORROR HATH OVERWHELMED ME.  AND I SAID, OH THAT I HAD WINGS LIKE A DOVE!  for then WOULD I FLY AWAY, AND BE AT REST.” Psalms 55:5-6

 

            There were times when Paul longed for that time that he would be with Christ in the promised reward:

 

Philippians 1:22-23 “BUT IF I LIVE IN THE FLESH, THIS is THE FRUIT OF MY LABOR; YET WHAT I SHALL CHOOSE I WOT NOT.  FOR I AM IN A STRAIT BETWIXT TWO, HAVING A DESIRE TO DEPART, AND TO BE WITH CHRIST; WHICH IS FAR BETTER.”

 

Paul’s longing and desire was to go forward unto the end of his time.  To reach the promised bliss of heaven:

 

Philippians 3:13-2113Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

15Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, this also shall God reveal unto you: 16only, whereunto we have attained, by that same rule let us walk.

17Brethren, be ye imitators together of me, and mark them that so walk even as ye have us for an ensample. 18For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19whose end is perdition, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. 20For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself.” (ASV1901)

 

Heaven Will be an Eternal Home of Bliss

 

            Jesus went to prepare that home of many mansions for you and I and all those who are, have been or will be faithful to God and the precepts taught by Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit through men chosen by Him:

 

John 14:1-2LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED; YE BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.  IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS; IF it were NOT so, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU.  I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.”

 

And oh, such a place it will be.  It will be a home for us built by God.  When God finished the creation of this earth he paused, looked over its lush beauty, the harmony and order found within all of its being; it’s absolute perfection:

 

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

 

Can Heaven be anything less?  Paul writes of heaven, its perfection and the assurance of God’s children of being there:

 

“FOR WE KNOW THAT IF OUR EARTHLY HOUSE OF this TABERNACLE WERE DISSOLVED, WE HAVE A BUILDING OF GOD, AN HOME NOT MADE WITH HANDS, ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS.” II Corinthians 5:1 

 

The great heroes of faith looked forward to heaven and longed for it:

 

“BUT NOW THEY DESIRE A BETTER country, THAT IS, AN HEAVENLY: WHEREFORE GOD IS NOT ASHAMED TO BE CALLED THEIR GOD: FOR HE HATH PREPARED FOR THEM A CITY.” Hebrews 11:16

 

The Word of God tells us further of heaven’s beauty; hear the words recorded by John:

 

Read Revelation 21:1-2; 16-19, 21-25

 

            We will be given new bodies, spiritual bodies that will not hurt, bodies that will not decay, bodies that will not age but be forever the same.  There will be no more death there.

 

Hear the words of Jesus:

 

Luke 20:35-36BUT THEY WHICH SHALL BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO OBTAIN THAT WORLD, AND THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, NEITHER MARRY, NOR ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE: NEITHER CAN THEY DIE ANY MORE: FOR THEY ARE EQUAL UNTO THE ANGELS; AND ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD, BEING THE CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION.”

 

            There will be no more sorrow.  The troubles, sorrows, problems that plague us in this world will be no more; Isaiah tells us in prophecy about Christ’s kingdom:

 

“AND THE RANSOMED OF THE LORD SHALL RETURN, AND COME TO ZION WITH SONGS AND EVERLASTING JOY UPON THEIR HEADS: THEY SHALL OBTAIN JOY AND GLADNESS, AND SORROW AND SIGHING SHALL FLEE AWAY.” Isaiah 35:10

 

And the Holy Spirit confirms Isaiah’s words through John the Apostle:

 

“AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN: FOR THE FORMER THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY.” Revelation 21:4

 

            We will live in joy forever.  David describes it using these words:

 

“THOU WILT SHOW ME THE PATH OF LIFE: IN THY PRESENCE is FULNESS OF JOY; AT THY RIGHT HAND there are PLEASURES FOR EVERMORE.” Psalms 16:11

 

Psalms 36:7-8 “HOW PRECIOUS is THY LOVINGKINDNESS, O GOD!  AND THE CHILDREN OF MEN TAKE REFUGE UNDER THE SHADOW OF THY WINGS.  THEY SHALL BE ABUNDANTLY SATISIFIED WITH THE FATNESS OF THY HOUSE; AND THOU WILT MAKE THEM DRINK OF THE RIVER OF THY PLEASURES.” (ASV1901)

 

            We shall live with the redeemed of all ages.  Those whose names we find on the honor roll of God: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called Israel, Peter, John and Paul, will be our near neighbors, these will share with us God’s unlimited blessings.  Hear the words of Jesus:

 

AND I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT MANY SHALL COME FROM THE EAST AND WEST, AND SHALL SIT DOWN WITH ABRAHAM, AND ISAAC, AND JACOB, IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” Matthew 8:11

 

Further; Jesus in teaching the 12 tells them and us:

 

Matthew 19:28-29 “…VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT YE WHICH HAVE FOLLOWED ME, IN THE REGENERATION WHEN THE SON OF MAN SHALL SIT IN THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY, YE ALSO SHALL SIT UPON TWELVE THRONES, JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.  AND EVERY ONE THAT HATH FORSAKEN HOUSES, OR BRETHREN, OR SISTERS, OR FATHER, OR MOTHER, OR WIFE, OR CHILDREN, OR LANDS, FOR MY NAME’S SAKE, SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDRED FOLD, AND SHALL INHERIT EVERLASTING LIFE.”

 

            We will live eternally.  We are told first by Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 25:8 “HE HATH SWALLOWED UP DEATH FOREVER; AND THE LORD JEHOVAH WILL WIPE AWAY TEARS FROM OFF ALL FACES; AND THE REPROACH OF HIS PEOPLE WILL HE TAKE AWAY FROM OFF ALL THE EARTH: FOR JEOHOVAH HATH SPOKEN it.” (ASV1901)

 

Then by Daniel:

 

Daniel 12:2 “AND MANY OF THEM THAT SLEEP IN THE DUST OF THE EARTH SHALL AWAKE, SOME TO EVERLASTING LIFE, AND SOME TO SHAME and EVERLASTING CONTEMPT.”

 

Then by Jesus in his teaching of his disciples:

 

Matthew 25:46AND THESE SHALL GO AWAY INTO EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT: BUT THE RIGHTEOUS INTO LIFE ETERNAL.”

 

And who will inherit this tremendous blessing?  Hear the words of Jesus and then John:

 

Revelation 22:12-14AND, BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY; AND MY REWARD is WITH ME, TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK SHALL BE.  I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST.  BLESSED are THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS (ASV1901 – “WASH THEIR ROBES”), THAT THEY MAY HAVE RIGHT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, AND MAY ENTER IN THROUGH THE GATES INTO THE CITY.”

 

            What about you, my friend?  Are you one that would inherit eternal life with the Father, His Son, His Angels and His faithful?  Are you one that has done God’s commandments, has washed his robes, as we just read in the symbolism of the Revelation.  Are you prepared to go to that eternal home with God?  Because this world is not our home, it will be destroyed in fire permanently and completely. Then that part of us that is immortal; our soul will be given a new body and we will reside eternally either in life with God, or in death or separation from God with Satan and his followers.  If you need to become a child of His today the way is easy and simple:

 

Hear the word of God as you have this morning; Romans 10:17

Believe that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, the Messiah promised, as he told Paul in explaining his new purpose in life on the Damascus road:

 

Acts 26:18TO OPEN THEIR EYES, and TO TURN them FROM DARKESS TO LIGHT, AND from THE POWER OF SATAN UNTO GOD, THAT THEY MAY RECEIVE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, AND INHERITANCE AMOUNG THEM WHICH ARE SANCTIFIED BY FAITH THAT IS IN ME.”

 

Repent of your past sins and Jesus tells us in Luke 13:3

Confess his name before men as Jesus instructs in Matthew 10:32 and Paul in Romans 10:9-10

Be baptized to wash away your sins, have your sins remitted, removed as we’re told in Acts 2:38, and Acts 22:16

 

            Or perhaps you’ve done all these things but have not lived as you know God expects you to.  Have not endured as Jesus tells us we must:

 

Matthew 10:22AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL men FOR MY NAME’S SAKE: BUT HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED.”

 

And need to repent and pray God as Christians are instructed in James 5:16.  Heaven is waiting; if your time on this earth ended and your future opportunity to obey God is removed; a devil’s Hell is the only alternative.  If you have need won’t you come as we stand and sing.