Three years ago i had an assignment that took me entirely around the world—first to Japan, then Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, on to Europe, and finally to New York and home. During this trip I did my best to carry out my task effectively. But in the back of my mind there was always a lurking longing for home and for loved ones and friends. I was anxious to get back to the place where I belong, where there is always a loving welcome, where I am comfortable and at peace.

Has the Church lost its sense of home, so to speak—of man’s ultimate destiny? Have Christians forfeited their rightful anticipation of heaven? Are we so concerned about making this world a “better place to live in” that we forget the Bible’s admonition, “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Heb. 13:14)? Do we think that the Son of God came into this world primarily to reconcile man to man, rather than to redeem man from his sins and make him fit for heaven?

The activities of many suggest that our world is permanent, and that man’s tenancy is permanent. But that is not so. We live in a world dominated by sin and dying of it, and the Christian’s witness is not primarily about what is seen and temporary but about what is not seen and eternal.

“Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly use,” we’ve heard. Perhaps so. But there certainly are many others who are so anxious to be where the action is that they overlook the place where the greatest “action” of history took place—the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Why shouldn’t the Christian think of and look forward to heaven? The earth and our bodies are temporary; heaven is home. Christ makes it plain that his primary objective in coming into this world was to “save” and to give ...

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