The Sojourner, the Temporal, and the Eternal

by Shawn Brasseaux

I am only flesh and blood and I cannot live forever in this mortal body. God has blessed me with over 18 years, and earth has been my home for almost two decades. One day, this very environment in which we all live will melt away. The house I lived in for all of my life will pass. The schools I went to and the places I frequented will also pass away. All of my material possessions will be gone and will never exist again. God never intended for me to stay here on earth forever, I am a sojourner, and earth is merely the pit stop.

The book of Hebrews refers to believers as “strangers and pilgrims” on this earth (Hebrews 11:13). The Apostle Paul wrote to his Gentile converts in Ephesus: “And [God the Father] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6 KJV). The Bible says that we Christians do not belong to the world, we belong to the Lord! We belong in the heavenly places!

It is only human to become attached to material things in this world, but never forget that we Christians have so much more in store for us in heaven. Through the turmoil and heartache of everyday life, Christians are prone to forgetting Scriptural truth. God never said that our lives on earth would be “a bed of roses,” carefree and stress free. God has promised to bless us Christians with heavenly treasures that we cannot even begin to fathom using the human mind. Our physical bodies and our physical world are temporal, while our new resurrected bodies and our new heavenly home are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18–5:1).

I tend to forget from time to time that the spiritual world is much better than my current home. The treasures and objects in God’s kingdom will last forever, while everything here will fade away. We should not be attached to the world. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, and not ony things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1,2 KJV). While the Olympic runners of Paul’s day trained and ran to win a crown of shriveled leaves, we should be striving far greater, for we Christians have the opportunity to receive an eternal crown through our service as Christians (1 Corinthians 9:25).

I want to stay here on earth, but I also do not want to stay here. I want to stay because this life is all that I have ever known, but I want to go to heaven because it is where I belong. In fact, the Apostle Paul was just as human and we are and he felt the same way. In Philippians 1:21-24 KJV, the Apostle Paul wrote:

“21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

The Apostle Paul confessed that he wanted to be with Christ in heaven (which is “far better”), but he would stay in this physical body so that he could further help his Gentile believers in their walk with the Lord. Sure, there is no death, no pain, no sadness, no sickness, and no sin in heaven, but there are still some lost souls here on earth who need us to give them the Gospel of Grace. They need a Christian to share God’s Word with them.

If I am on earth, I am still vulnerable to Satan’s attacks, but this is not the case in heaven. By the same token, once a person becomes saved by believing and trusting in the Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the Lord does not immediately take the person to heaven. God leaves the Christians here on earth, to evangelize and bring others to a knowledge of salvation. We are saved to serve the Lord; we are not saved to sit! Until He returns, we should be willing to do His work (which is what very few Christians are willing to do these days).

Heaven will be so awesome that you will not even have the slightest urge to return to earth. Our mindset will be completely different in eternity. Believers will not wish to return to this present violent and wicked world, because our present world will one day be destroyed. We will have a new heaven and new earth, and we will not want to leave that glorious, incorruptible environment.

One day, this very environment in which we all live will melt away. The house I lived in for all of my life will pass. The schools I went to and the places I frequented will also pass away. All of my material possessions will be gone and will never exist again. God never intended for me to stay here on earth forever, I am a sojourner, and earth is the pit stop. One day, the trumpet will sound, I will finish my course, and I will go home…. to live in a home “eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV).

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