A home away from home; feel at home; home is where the heart is; make yourself at home; a man’s home is his castle; there’s no place like home – have you ever noticed how many of our English idioms relate to home? Most of them contain the idea that home is different from every other place. It is where you can relax or literally feel at home.
A person’s home is a special place. When we were raising our children we tried to make our home that special place for our family – a refuge from the world. We wanted our home to be a place of peace; a place where we could shut the door, both literally and figuratively, on the stresses and pressures of the world. I remember our children’s friends commenting after a visit that our home seemed so peaceful. Even as adults our children have mentioned that they felt a sense of quiet and peace in our home. People should not only like their homes but long for their homes.
But there is a problem. The problem is that too many of us as Christians have made this world our home. We feel too at home in the society in which we live and we would like to stay here. After all (and this applies more to the United States than to other countries) we have it good here. We literally live in luxury compared to the majority of people in the world. Did you know that 1.1 billion people in the world live without clean drinking water? That 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation? That 3,900 children die every day of water-borne diseases (all statistics from www.worldwatercouncil.org)? That the median income in the world is $1,700 per year (half the world makes less, half more). And you don’t think that we in America live in luxury? We do. And herein is the problem for Christians. We have it so good here that we no longer long for heaven.
We are no longer like Abraham who dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:9-10). Think about it – even when he was in the promise land, Abraham was looking for something else. He wasn’t at home, he longed for heaven. Living in tents was Abraham’s way of saying this world is not my home, I’m just a’ passing through (for those of you old enough to remember singing that in your youth group in the sixties). There were cities in Abraham’s day, but he chose not to live in Sodom because it wasn’t what he longed for. By contrast, Lot became too comfortable in this world and there is no evidence in scripture that heaven was even on his radar screen.
But this world is not your home. Heaven is your home and you should feel a desire to go there. In fact you should long for heaven. Whenever I’m away from home for an extended period of time, I can’t wait to get back. The people I love are there; the quiet and peace that I want are there; I feel – well, at home there. The things that mean the most to me are represented by the word home. And that is exactly how you should feel about heaven. There is a danger for Christians to become so comfortable here that we no longer long to be there. Fanny Crosby had the right perspective when she wrote about heaven; Where the hoping and desponding of the weary heart are past, and we enter life eternal, home at last, home at last (from the hymn, Home at Last).
Don’t become so comfortable in this world that you forget about home.
Stay in the Word