Updated: Mar 24
Paul wrote in his second letter to the Church in Corinth:
"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man, whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows, was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak” —2 Corinthians 12:2-4
Now just try to imagine the inexpressible things that he saw. He got a glimpse of what God has in store for His children. As I contemplate that reality, it helps me to understand how Paul was able to pen these words to the Church in Rome...
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now” —Romans 8:18-22
Paul had such a longing to go home because he had seen that glimpse of our future. So many people say that pre-tribers just want to escape. But I take issue with that. Personally, I want to take off this corruption and put on incorruption. I want to commune with the Father and Jesus face to face. I want my sin nature to be eternally destroyed and have the mind of Christ. My longing is not to escape the trials of this life, my longing is to be in the loving presence of my God, Savior, King, and Friend for eternity.
Remember when you were a kid and you anticipated the Christmas season and all the presents you were going to get. The closer it got the more excited and anxious you became. You probably asked your mom everyday. “ How many more days mom?" And when that day finally came and all your presents were opened, I would venture to say that the experience never lived up to what you had envisioned in your mind. Not that it wasn’t great, but what you had created in your mind was just not the reality of the even!
Well, I can say for certain, that your wildest imaginations of what God has in store for us can’t compare to His reality. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says:
"But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
So, it is not only okay to long to go home, but we should set our minds on the things above, not on the things of this world as it says in Colossians 3:2. Also, we should finish well as we are reminded and encouraged to do in 1 Corinthians 9:24:
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win”.