A tent is only a tent for a wee while. You’re supposed to have a permanent dwelling.
There is so much chatter today about Heaven and it is unsurprisingly diverse. Some speak of a bodiless ephemeral existence. Many deny even the possibility that Heaven exists. One of my most depressing church attendance experiences was at a Unitarian service during which the children’s message told the story of a child who was sad when his grandfather died but after being reminded that because they planted grandfather in the earth he was “feeding” the trees, the child found a “peaceful joy.” I was horrified. This is not what Christianity teaches.
Yesterday I heard the first part of this sermon on Truth For Life radio. The broadcasts segments are often overlapped to fit the allotted time and message congruity so I’ve linked the original sermon rather than the broadcasts. (At the website sermons can be accessed in their entirety and by subject.)
The primary foundation for this message is 2 Corinthains 5:1-10. http://www.biblestudytools.com/2-corinthians/passage/?q=2-corinthians+5:1-10. Here are a few of my highlights:
- The Christian church has, as one of its key apologetics the uniqueness of the biblical teaching in relationship to death and dying.
- Christianity doesn’t affirm the immortality of the soul, but rather the resurrection of the body.
- The contemporary church is increasingly squeezed into the mold of our culture when it comes to the issues of death and dying. Funeral services are now called memorial services. Solemnity has been pushed out by superficiality…grieving has been replaced with viewing…so we stand around and speak idle pleasantries while everybody is somehow managing to overlook the fact that in this coffin there’s a dead body.
What we know as Christians: 1. Like tents our bodies are impermanent. “A tent is only a tent for a wee while. You’re supposed to have a permanent dwelling.” (v.1)
2. Our bodies are destined for destruction.
3. If this earthly tent is destroyed we have a building from God, a house not made with hands.
4. Meanwhile we groan…a spiritual exercise; combination of frustration and anticipation. (Rom 8:22)… the redemption of our BODIES.
Paul isn’t interested in some kind of bodiless existence; he is actually looking for what is mortal to be swallowed up with life. What will our resurrection bodies be like? The same but different; How do we know? (1) God said so and (2) we have the witness of Jesus’s resurrection body which recognizable, could be touched, he ate; and yet it was different….could pass through doors and the grave wrappings. (3) He has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
5. We live:
(v 7) by faith not sight
6. We must face the judgement seat of Christ (v 10)
so we make it our goal to please Him (v 9) and
He is changing us (II Cor 3:18; I Jn 3:2)
There is a lot more, and the presentation is very good with more life examples and, typical of Pastor Begg, some lyrics to wonderful old hymns.