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Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

18 May

In my last post, I talked about keeping your eyes on eternal things.  Now Paul talks about exactly what it is that he keeps his eyes on.

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.
2 Corinthians 5:1

This is one of the greatest truths in Scripture.  Someday, we will experience the same resurrection as Jesus Christ.

Right now, we live in an earthly tent.  A tent is only a temporary dwelling place.  I have to use a tent when I go camping.  After living in a tent for a few days or a week, it always feels good to get back home and sleep in a real bed.  I’m also grateful that my house has running water, indoor plumbing, heat, and electricity.

In the same way, there’s a huge difference between our physical body now and our future resurrected body.  The sin nature will be gone and it will be indestructible.

In order for this change to take place, our present body must be destroyed.  That Greek word literally means to be dissolved.

That will happen in one of two ways.  If I die before the return of the Lord, then my body will be buried in the ground and it will dissolve into dust.  If I’m alive when He comes, then my body will be immediately dissolved and I will be given a new, resurrection body in the blink of an eye.

That’s something to look forward to.  Actually, the events in the world right now point to the fact that Jesus Christ will be returning very soon!

As wonderful as this knowledge is, that’s not the most important part.  Paul continues…

Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
2 Corinthians 5:2-4

This is the key to our knowledge of the resurrection.  It’s not just an interesting future event to look forward to.  Paul uses two words to describe the feeling that it inspires in him.

First, he says that it causes him to groan.  This word implies that knowledge of the resurrection narrows his vision.  It causes him to sigh and pray inaudibly.  It becomes the focus of his attention.

The next thing that he says is that he longs for it.  That word means that he obsesses over it and intensely desires to take possession of it.

Does that describe your attitude toward our future Resurrection Day?  I’ve actually heard believers say things like, “I hope Jesus doesn’t return before I can take a trip to Europe.”

Personally, I think that statement is insane.  Given the choice – Europe or my resurrected body in the presence of God – there’s no question what the better choice is.  Of course, you could put any other earthly desire in place of Europe.

We need to make our future dwelling the focus of our attention.  In the next few posts, we’ll see how this works.

Question: What’s your attitude toward the Resurrection Day?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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