When I Trade My Tent for a Mansion

2 Corinthians 5: 1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

We have so many incentives to keep serving the Lord and right here is one.  Jesus said that if he went away to prepare us a place he would come again for us.  We will be with Jesus one day.  I’m thankful for the way this is explained.  There is blessing in knowing Jesus not only in this world but in the world to come.  Not only have we been saved from hell, we have been saved for heaven.

A tabernacle is the same as a tent.  When the children of Israel traveled from place to place the tabernacle had to have the ability to be broken down and moved.  How many of you have ever camped out?  It is enjoyable.  I can remember the old days of camping when you dreaded the night time.  You had a blanket under you and one over before sleeping bags were invented.  The ground was hard and you could feel things crawling on you.  Seems like it always rained.  Even if the tent kept you pretty dry you dreaded getting out in the wet grass.  Even though enjoyable we were glad to get back to our bed.  If we’d been raised in a tent we wouldn’t feel that way.  We’d probably sleep in the floor because we were used to the hard ground.

We’ve never been to heaven but we have had tastes of it.  Because of the Holy Spirit we get foretastes of heaven every now and then.  We’ve had some good sniffs of air from heaven even if just for a minute when the Spirit touches us.  A good blessing just makes us want to go home.  We’ve just began to experience what it will be like to trade this tent for a mansion.

Our bodies are earthy and couldn’t last in heaven.  It couldn’t handle the superiority of heaven.  God has prepared a better body for every one of us who trusts him.  We have the promise of outer salvation of this body when the outer elements are changed.  It will happen in the twinkling of an eye.  It will be glorified and compatible for heaven.  We’re made of elements of earth.  If water was removed from our body we’d fit in a quart can.  We have to keep the tent going but it won’t last forever.  The reality of salvation is the hope of life everlasting in a better body.  When Jesus arose he had the same features, but he was better.  He had taken his divine form in a glorified body.  The nail prints are still in his hands and because of his we’ll have none.  The only scars in heaven will be on the body of Jesus.  He bears them so we can be free.

We’re like a tent.  We are ever moving and ever changing.  We don’t look like we did 10 years ago.  It’s not necessarily bad, just different.  If you buy a new tent and use it time after time it will show its wear.  The longer we live the more worn out our tent becomes.  This body is slowly dissolving away.  If and when this house dissolves we don’t have another tent.  We have a building of God not made with human hands.  It was made by the hands of our Savior.  It’s not sewn.  It’s not made of materials that wear out.  We know this because we know Jesus Christ.  The Bible also says we HAVE.  Not hope to have.  WE HAVE.  As soon as this body gives out, the new one will take over.  New eyeballs.  New backs.  New legs.  We’re wearing out but when it is dissolved we’ll have a glorified body.  This vile body will be changed and we’ll live in it forever.

A house doesn’t change locations like a tent.   A house is put on a foundation and stays put.  When the change comes, we’ll lay down the tent and pick up a house with a foundation whose builder and maker is God.  Real estate magazines will tell you it’s all about location, location, location.  What a location we’ll have!  We’re going to be in heaven in a house that’s bug free.  It doesn’t leak.  It’s not damp and chilly.  It’s sin free.  Devil free.  Congress free.  Hollywood free.  You won’t pack a bag to take with you.  You won’t need a dime.  It’s bought and paid for.

When we think of it, all we can do is groan for it.  Don’t get depressed.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If my last breath is tonight and this is my last sermon, I’ll be in glory.  Don’t feel sorry for me.

The questions:  are you ready to trade your tent for a mansion?  Are you ready in your soul?  Are you fixed up?  Are you ready to pick up and leave at any time?

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