October 5, 2003
II Corinthians 5:1-5
things about where we are going
first this body must be destroyed
we have - assurance
not made with hands
now we groan because we are not partaking of that heavenly dwelling.
We long to be clothed with it.
It isn’t that we want to die, it is that we want to inherit that heavenly dwelling.
Not “unclothed” ejkduvsasqai
Rather “reclothed” ejpenduvsasqai
Death swallowed up by life
God does this change in us
Spirit is a guarantee that it will happen.
Longing For Our Heavenly Dwelling
II Corinthians 5:1-10
- temporary shelter.
- don’t last forever.
- Israel. - finally able to build permanent homes.
- pastor’s at mid life.
- 17 years of ministry left
- Have you ever felt that life is like living in a tent - temporary and short lived?
- How do we handle the realization that life is short and our bodies are wearing out?
I. We Groan Because The Earthly Tent Will Be Destroyed
- Psalm 90 - 70 / 80 years
- 78 years and for women about 83. - make sure that you are born a woman.
- 78 years is 28490 days.
- 20 years - used up 7305 days and had 21185 left.
- today used up 17809 and have 10681 days left.
- 65 - 23741 used and 4749 days left.
- “we’re going to die!”
- Paul - tentmaker
- his own body
- statistics for 1997
-27 out of 100,000 - accidents,
-182 out of 100,000 died of cancer,
- 173 out of 100,000 died of heart disease.
- each passing year,
- played hockey last weekend
- 100,000 out of 100,000 people will die.
- My father was 41 years old
- Ben Funk - died in the accident.
- I did a funeral - 100 year old lady.
- TV a story about a man who was quite old but still very spry.
- II Corinthians 5:1 says that “if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed.”
- the word “if”
- I don’t like that thought.
- Menno said that no matter what, death is not a pleasant thought.
II. God Has Made Us For Life
- that is not our only choice.
A. An Eternal House
- Two weeks ago, - the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- first fruits.
- Adam changed the course of history
- Christ also changed the course of history
- verse 1, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
- Before we moved to Rosenort, - side-by-side
- rented our house for the first 10 months,
- looked forward to the day we would own it and we could develop it
- tent of our body
- What will that building be like?
- the one who built this world in the first place.
- I Corinthians 15,
- “imperishable,” “glorious,” “powerful,” “a spiritual body,” “like Jesus resurrected body.”
- metaphors for heaven.
- city planners dream city.
- This body will not get Alzheimer's disease or cancer or heart trouble. This body will have no back pains or arthritis. This body will have no mental or physical handicaps. This body will be perfect in every way imaginable. It will not be afflicted with a forgetful memory, poor eye-sight, clumsy coordination, or a failing and faltering heart. It is a perfect, glorious, wonderful body that will last throughout all eternity.
- will we still be ourselves? “Will others be able to recognize us?”
- verse 2. - Good News Bible, the phrase is, “And now we sigh, so great is our desire that our home which comes from heaven should be put on over us…”
- the eternal body which we will be given is “put on over” the earthly body which we have.
- continuity with the body we have now,
B. We Groan
- My mother-in-law is 88 years old
- How do we reconcile our glorious hope with the reality of our fear of death?
- doctor for certain types of exams.
- flimsy little cover up.
- hate the process of becoming naked in order to be examined,
- verse 4 “we do not wish to be unclothed.”
- spouse died.
- insisted that the funeral of their spouse be a celebration.
- determined within themselves not to cry,
- neither realistic nor healthy.
- Bible describes death as punishment
- as an enemy.
- becoming naked
- we do not want to become naked.
C. The Certainty Of It
- we do not groan without hope.
- 5:5, “…it is God who has made us for this very purpose…”
- God is the God of life.
- life principle lives within us because of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
- verse 5, “…and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
“presence of the spirit is not a “static deposit” but the life power which raised Jesus and will raise us.”
A. We Are Confident
- Euripides - “Old men’s prayers for death are lying prayers, in which they abuse old age and long extent of life. But when death draws near, not one is willing to die, and age no longer is a burden to them.”
- John Milton - “I fled, and cry’d out, DEATH! Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh’d From all her caves, and back resounded, DEATH!”
- Robert Burns - “But, oh! fell death’s untimely frost That nipt my flower sae early.”
- Paul says, “Therefore we are always confident.” What a contrast.
- Why such confidence? Because life is within us
- How such confidence?
- Face death personally
- “fear no evil”
- serve God in leprosy camps, AIDS hospitals, violent neighbourhoods.
- Do we live in such confidence?
- by faith,
- keeping our eye on the old tent that is fading away, or are we keeping our eyes on the permanent building
B. We Make It Our Goal To Please Him
- if we understand that this tent is going to be folded up in order to move into the eternal building from God, suddenly how we live changes completely.
- Paul says vs. 9, “So we make it our goal to please him…”
- “we will all appear before the judgement seat of Christ.”
- “while in the body.”
- James 2:17, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
- focus is on the permanent home
- Menno explained some of the ways
- 21 year old son of a friend of ours died
- angry at death
- pain that the parents, siblings and grand-parents are going through.
- looking forward to an eternal dwelling.
- how I am living my life.
- “How are you living?”
- Looking toward the heavenly house?
- With confidence?
- Pleasing Him?