Monday, January 19, 2009

II Peter 1:11 Home at Last

To get into buildings where I am working I have to have an ID badge. That badge confirms my identity and demonstrates that I have the authority to be in the building to do my job. As Christians, our home is not in this world but is in heaven. We will be able to enter heaven but our right to enter there will come not because of what we’ve done or who we are but rather because of what Christ has done through us and who we are in Christ.

Observe with me that Peter says our entrance into our heavenly home comes “in this way”. Peter is referring to true believers who live authentic lives of faith. Some people might do a passable job of fooling other people but God sees, hears, and knows everything. You will not “pull the wool” over His eyes, my friend. People who claim to be Christians but do not progress in sanctification and do not become more Christlike may, in fact, not be saved at all. However, we can have assurance of our salvation as we grow in godliness and because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we will “in this way” finally arrive at our heavenly destination. There will be those who want to enter but are not authorized and do not have permission. However, we will be able to enter into the joy of the Lord when we reach this destination.

Next, notice what a wonderful destination it is that God has prepared for us. This world will pass away. It is temporary and tainted with sin. However, we will live with Christ in an “eternal kingdom”. We will never grow old. There will be no death, sickness, sadness, or pain. If the thought of that kind of bliss lasting forever and ever doesn’t get you excited I just don’t what else to do. We should rejoice and take encouragement when we meditate on the wonderful home in heaven our God has prepared. Further, and most exciting to me, is the fact that it will be sinless. Satan is referred to as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31 and 14:30) and therefore in many ways this is his kingdom in a limited sense. However, the kingdom we will enter is that of “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. Because of His perfection and character, everything about this kingdom will reflect His nature. In fact, Revelation chapter 21 gives a soul-stirring description of our heavenly abode:

“1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them ,4 and He 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."

Can I get an amen? Can somebody give God glory for what He has done? But wait, as the old Ginsu commercial used to say, there’s more. Our spiritual growth demonstrates that we are truly children of God and therefore have the right to enter this kingdom but lest we think that we have to work to earn our home in heaven Peter reminds us that this entrance “will be abundantly supplied to you”. First of all, the verb supplied is in the passive tense which means that we are the objects of the action being described not the initiators. In other words, this entrance is given to us not something that we have to work for or work at. The word “epichoregeo” (2023) is the word translated “supplied”. This word used to refer to someone supplying for the needs of a chorus like one used in Greek theatre. It carries with it the idea of being supplied well beyond the point of need—lavishly. In other words, we will not enter heaven by the skin of our chinny-chin-chin but we will have everything we need supplied for our entrance into our Savior’s eternal kingdom.

The people to whom Peter wrote probably found this to be very comforting and encouraging. They faced persecution and possibly death because of their faith. While you and I may not be that kind of danger we too can be encouraged to live faithful lives to the glory of God knowing that our faithfulness is a proof of the fact that we will enter heaven. We can give glory to God in our words and look forward to the time when we will be able to praise Him forever in heaven.

2 comments:

Patricia Burns said...

Eternal Life in Eternity -

In the height of heaven (Job 22:12), in the third heaven (2 Cor.12:2) God inhabits eternity (Isa.57:15) and dwells in Zion (Joel 3:21, Ps.23:6), the city of the living God (Heb.12:22).

Christ chose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph.1:4): and He gave those He chose eternal life (Jn.10:28-29, Jn.3:36, Jn.17:2).

Having been given eternal life, we in Christ Jesus are passed from death unto life (Jn.5:24), never to die, to live with God in Eternity (Isa.57:15), in His kingdom (Dan.7:18, Dan.7:22), an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away (1 Pe.1:3-4).

We are of the household of God (Eph.2:19).



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Joe Blackmon said...

Ummm, hey Patricia Burns.

I do affirm your statements to be true. Certainly we can be encouraged by the truth of what the bible reveals about our home in heaven.