2 Corinthians 5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
Do we really groan in our bodies? Are we really longing for heaven? Obviously in the context of Paul’s writing the persecution is in full swing (ch.4.8-11) so he is reacting with earnest zeal in light of the great ministry that has been given him (ch.3.1-18) and the great life that has been given him (ch.4.1-6), even authenticating his ministry to the Corinthian doubters.
But he is clearly speaking for himself along with other Christians in this audible expression of discontentment with this current world and body while longing for the heavenly dwelling.
I think of all of the emphasis that is laid on this current life in the Christian circles, whether it be Your Best Life Now, or The Purpose Driven Life, or the name it and claim it folks, or even the pop evangelicals who may never even say the word sin, death or judgment when they evangelize, never mind holiness, the glory of Jesus and/or the eternal bliss of glorified worship. I wonder if we might be missing something.
I have often set and meditated on why I want to go to heaven. Is it the miserable option of hell that cinches it for me? Do I just want to go to heaven because I am petrified of hell and the notion of unquenchable wrath and unwavering justice mediated through eternal holiness, love and power. See this view does not make me long for heaven, but rather just hate hell.
So I challenge myself (and you because I care) as to why we want to go to heaven? Is it really to worship the exalted Lamb of God who became a man to rescue and redeem sinful rebels through his willful laying down of his own life in the place of said rebels? Further, he guzzled the eternal wrath of God, dying in the place of sinners that he might justify these same sheep.
I get excited when I think of heaven in terms of holiness, love, grace and opportunity. When I consider my sin and its infinite depths I shudder to consider that in order to rescue me God must die! How horrific is sin that the royal blood of heaven must be shed to cure it?!
God’s holiness demands either my judgment or the Saviors, there is no other option. And to think that if it was up to me I would refuse the grace of God at every turn because it is Christ exalting grace, and Christ exalting grace is man humbling grace.
But thanks be to God that he has been pleased to rescue my from myself, even demonstrating his love, holiness and grace in my life through the application of my Savior’s redemption.
I now have opportunity to worship this Savior. I can worship him here and now. I can pray to him. I can read his word and grow in knowledge of him. I can be reproved by his perfection and sanctified by his helper. I can long for the day when this body of death, this earthly impediment is removed, when sin will be gone forever and I will stand before the holy one clothed in righteousness divine without a spot of sin of mine. I will worship him without fearing man, pray to him without thinking of myself, enjoy his presence without being distracted and delight fully in his glorious beauty with glorified motives!
Oh for this day to hurry! When this earthly tent is discarded and his throne fills my view, O for that day to hasten to enjoy him who is true.