Don’t Threaten Me with Heaven! (2 Corinthians 5-9)

Scripture reading – 2 Corinthians 5-9

We continue our study of the Second Epistle to Corinth, and Paul reminds us that there is more to life than that which is earthly and temporal. Before we continue today’s Scripture reading (2 Corinthians 5-9), let us take a moment and review the closing verses of 2 Corinthians 4. If not for the chapters that follow, we might have concluded that the spiritual truths contained in the following verses were the great climax of the letter. Paul writes,

2 Corinthians 4:16b–18 – “17b Though our outward man perish [physical body], yet the inward man [the spirit] is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction [trouble; distress], which is but for a moment [passing], worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory [Paul’s troubles were nothing in light of the eternal reward]; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen [earthly; physical], but at the things which are not seen [eternal; heavenly]: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Writing of the sorrows of life, and the sufferings of ministry, the apostle reminded his readers that everything about this life is temporal, and fleeting; however, there is life beyond this veil of flesh and it is glorious and eternal. Continuing his focus on heaven and eternity, Paul stirs us with the promise that has been the hope of every saint of God for two millenniums.

2 Corinthians 5 – An Eternal Home

2 Corinthians 5:1 – “1  For we know [reason and understand] that if our earthly house [physical dwelling, i.e. body] of thistabernacle [temporal tent or dwelling] were dissolved [lifeless; decayed], we have a building of God [spiritual body], an house [dwelling] not made with hands [immortal body], eternal in the heavens [immortal].

What a wonderful promise! You cannot know when you will die (Hebrews 9:27); however, if you have faith that Jesus Christ as your Redeemer, you can be assured when your body lies still in the grave, your eternal spirit is with God in heaven (5:1). Paul would write, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Continuing the theme of his hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ, Paul wrote:

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – “6 Therefore we are always confident [full of hope and courage], knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent [away] from the Lord: 7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8  We are confident [full of hope and courage], I say, and willing rather to be absent [away] from the body [preferring to die], and to be present [at home] with the Lord.”

Your physical body is a temporal dwelling on this earth (5:6). Paul, however, was confident in this: When a believer dies, his spirit will be “absent [away] from the body [preferring to die], and…present [at home] with the Lord.”

Your spirit is eternal and will either be forever with the Lord, or separated eternally from Him and sentenced to eternal judgment (Revelation 20:12, 15). Paul, wrote to believers in Rome, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Friend, in what or in whom have you placed your confidence for eternal life after death? Do you have faith that your sins are forgiven? Is Jesus Christ your Savior and Redeemer? (Romans 3:24)

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith