“My home is in heaven, I’m just travelling through this world.” So said the late great evangelist Billy Graham. He certainly gave clear directions on how to get there to all He met along the way. But is heaven really our home? Are we all just passing through earth on our way to another place? Is Billy Graham’s statement, as great as he is, a humanly honest one?
Mark Twain, in typical style, remarked “I don’t like to commit myself to heaven or hell – you see, I have friends in both places.” Two great men, two different views, but the true essence of a home remains the same in both statements. It is a place you dwell with the people you most love and enjoy.
I have moved house quite a few times over the years, but home never remained the block of land where we used to be, home was the house my family lived in at the time, wherever that was.
The ideology of earth being a pilgrimage for the saint is taken from the book of Hebrews, a book written to an audience compiled of Levitical priests and Jews dealing with their difficult transition from a deeply rooted indigenous religion, where their identity and even bloodline was interwoven in the fabric of the temple, synagogue and priesthood.
Belief in Jesus increasingly meant losing all the visible, tangible comforts of ‘Home’. Encouragement was needed, firstly, to keep the faith, which had started their migration, secondly to layout that they will not be left without land to inherit, and thirdly: There is a temple, a priesthood, a great assembly and a High Priest, Superior to what you have left behind.
You just can’t see it physically yet. God had called them out of their home, but never to homelessness.
To truly be His Ecclesia, the sacred cow of indigenous pride must die with Christ. Jew or gentile, aboriginal or English, you must swear allegiance to a tribe and priesthood you never belonged to. Even American Evangelicals are not exempt.
A hope laid
Having a hope laid up in heaven does not necessarily mean that we have to go from ‘here’ to ‘there’ to obtain it. Something is being stored in that place, ready to be revealed very soon. Abraham left his family and land to go to a place he would later receive as an inheritance. He didn’t take a trip to heaven and write a book.
He lived like a stranger in the land given to him, not because his home was in a far off heaven, but because he was waiting for God to build a permanent house on that land. In other words, if God is going to call me away from home to give me some land to live on, He must provide the house in which we will together live!
Abraham’s journey of faith led him to see home as neither an invisible place he had never been yet, nor the land upon which he pitched his tent. Abraham saw home as a place where God and he would live together forever. A place of permanence with the one he loved the most. Until that day, Abraham would never fully be settled.
It is true that love for God makes men like Billy Graham see heaven as their eternal home, yet it is equally true that God in Christ has significantly expanded His premises from heaven. He laid a foundation stone in the earth, visible for all to see, one which could be touched and felt,
A resurrection stone, through which he would raise up David’s fallen tent, and build that everlasting city for which Abraham longed. A foundation stone that dug deep into the depths of hell and death, and was raised a capstone that pinnacles above the highest heaven.
God builds with Faith, and according to Hebrews chapter 12 verse 2 Jesus is the author and finisher of faith! He is the entire blueprint of God’s building, the desire of Abraham. The book of Hebrews announces that God is as much at home in earth with you today as He will be tomorrow in heaven. All his works are finished. ‘Today’ is a rest day!
“But’” many will say, “what about the sin and the crime and the suffering and the evil I still see? I want to live where things are right and flowers sing in the fields!” When you truly reach the highest heaven like Isaiah did, and you look upon the throne of God between the burning Seraphim, don’t make Isaiah’s mistake and talk about the earth like you just migrated from a sinful S#@thole. Heaven will burn your tongue.
The truth is, in Heaven’s eyes, “All the earth is filled with the glory of God!” If we knew that, we too, like Isaiah, might just put up our hand from the place we always wanted to make our home and cry, “Send me back there!”
Joshua Robbie is currently serving the Lord under Pastors Ronnie and Shirley Naidoo of KZN Celebration Centre in Tongaat South Africa. He and His wife Rene’ moved from Australia to South Africa in April 2016. Their desire is to help in whatever way they can so that the church can become all that God has purposed her to be. Josh also enjoys sports such as surfing, basketball and boxing.
Josh Robbie previous articles may be viewed
Joshua Robbie is currently serving the Lord under Pastors Ronnie and Shirley Naidoo of KZN Celebration Centre in Tongaat South Africa. He and His wife Rene’ moved from Australia to South Africa in April 2016. Their desire is to help in whatever way they can so that the church can become all that God has purposed her to be. Josh is a painter by trade and also enjoys sports such as surfing, basketball and boxing. He has also written a book, now available for purchase on Amazon called: “Your Father sees: Living the sermon on the mount”.Josh Robbie previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josh-robbie.html