Our Eternal Home

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  15 : 34-54
Subject: Heaven; Eternity

John 14:1-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:34-54

What knowledge do you possess concerning [life and] life after death? What are you certain of? Man can be described as dwelling in a body during this time, but how does he live in the next life? What is the deep longing of the soul who has found life here and now? Is the life we are experiencing a mere blind whirl of unintelligent forces accidentally occurring and being structured only by our own or other people's wills? Or is there a divine guidance and a diving purpose to life?

In a very striking way this passage presents the Christian certainty as to his final future by what is occurring in the Christian's life right now. The Spirit-filled Christian longs to be clothed in a body fit for all eternity (CIT).

Paul refused to give into any evil force or be distracted from his set objectives despite whatever perplexity or despair or affliction or any other suffering for Christ he experienced. He could do so because he knew that when his earthly house perished he had a house in heaven. His certainty of this fact was caused by the groaning of the Holy Spirit within him. You who experience the same Holy Spirit longings should have the same certainty.


Verse 1 reference our heavenly body as a construct or building made by God. “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

The knowledge of which the apostle says “we know” is a specific knowledge which has been granted to seeking believers. It does not spring from human intellect but rises from one’s relationship with the Holy Spirit. John spoke of this knowledge that comes out of one's love relationship with God in John 14:21. “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest [disclose] Myself to him.”

When the famous biologist LOUIS PASTEUR stood at the bedside of his dying daughter, he said, "I know only scientifically determined truth, but I am going to believe what I wish to believe, what I cannot help but believe -I expect to meet this child in another world."

Pasteur's great affirmation of faith stopped short of being absolute scientific certainty. The most devoted and knowledgeable Christian scholars agree that our religious claims cannot be subjected to laboratory testing and proven scientifically. Yet Pasteur was right. The apostle Paul said, "we know." How could he know? Didn't we just acknowledge that we can't offer scientific proof for this belief?

The source of our certainty comes from God as He helps us to sense in our hearts the reality of His love for us (Jn. 14:21). That inner witness is as sure as any empirical test. Jesus said that all who love Him will be assured of His love and the Father's. This is the key to certainty. Our assurance rests more on God's love in our hearts than the logic in our heads. The Holy Spirit uses love to assure us that we belong to God for time and eternity. Blessed be His Name!

The knowledge we gain though God's Word and our relationship with Him is that if our earthly tent is torn down we have an eternal building from God. Earthly [epigeios] tent [ζκηνος from zka, to cover] is an expression which like earthen vessel (4:7) emphasizes the fragile impermanence of our present bodies. A tent is a familiar picture of what is transitory and without foundation. For Jews who had participated in the annual feast of tabernacles in memory of camping in the wilderness while awaiting entrance into the Land of Promise it would be an even more powerful metaphor.

If our tent is torn down dismantled, dissolved or destroyed, we need not fear for it is only swept away to make room for a permanent building. Our physical body is only the house in which we live. When a believer dies his body goes to the grave, but the soul and spirit goes to be with God (Phil. 1:20-25) for to be absent from the body is to be at home with God (5:6). Dying is not “leaving home” but “going home.”

The Bible promises that we have a building from God. The “house not made with hands” is our resurrected body, a glorious body custom-made for eternity. We presently possess the title to it and await it by faith (Gal. 3:27; l Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:24). Faith is that title deed of things hoped for (Heb. 11:7). This is a building not a tent with its thin canvas and bent poles because our heavenly abode has eternal foundations and is of permanent construction. The Bible teaches not only immortality of our soul but also immortality of the body that will cloth it. Our body gives us definiteness and allows us to relate to our environment, so our glorified body will allow us to relate to the environs of heaven. We will not be disembodied spirits in the New Heaven and Earth, but will have a glorified body. When Jesus Christ returns for His own, He will raise our dead bodies and transform them and the glorified body and spirit shall be joined together for all eternity in heaven (1 Cor. 15:35-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).

[Wanda Pitts is an enthusiastic Christian, even though he suffers with THE PAIN of arthritis for many years. When people greet she and inquire, "How are you today?" she cheerfully answers, "Just fine!"

Those who know of her pain may question her sincerity. "How can you say you're fine when you're in so much pain?" Wanda's response is: "How I feel has very little to do with how I am. You see, the part of me that hurts is just a shell, not the real me, and the real me is just fine!"

What Wanda calls a shell, Paul called a tent. And the "real me" that Wanda refers to, the apostle called the inward man (4:16). Although Wanda's earthly tent is painful and perishing, she realizes that it is after all just a temporary housing for the inward man. One day she will exchange it for her permanent home awaiting her in heaven. That’s her confidence. But until then, the inward Wanda is conscious of being renewed daily. She know she will trade it for a mansion of glory one day.

How are you today? Is your tent drooping? Is the rain or cold leaking in? Remember, if Christ is your Savior and Lord, a perfect body awaits you. But until then, no matter what's on the outside, on the inside we can say, "I'm just fine!"Although our body is perishing, our spirit can be flourishing if we will renew it day by day.]


After using the analogy of the tent and the house, verse 2 introduces a picture of clothing. “For indeed in this [tent] we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,”

We who have the first fruits of our redemption long for the full harvest which involves our bodily transformation. The groaning experienced within us is a longing for promised fulfillment. As sure as the birds when faced with the grim northern winter know to fly southward to reach the sunny lands so the believer groans awaiting his heavenly home. If Christ had not risen from the dead there would be no such yearnings and if there were no warm lands there would be no such flight by birds.

The groans we have [therefore] are proof that we have an eternal dwelling. This groaning of expectation is not only within the believer but Romans 8:19-23 explains that the whole creation groans in expectation of the redemption of the body.

This eternal dwelling that we long to “put on is out of heaven.” This contrasts our mortal bodies which came from the dust of the earth. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50). "The resurrection of the dead" (not of the body) is not the taking up of the body once left behind but the re-investiture [reclothing] of our new man with another body.

Verse 3 reveals more of life beyond the grave. God’s destiny for man is not a mere disembodied spirit without a covering. “inasmuch as we, having put it on [been clothed], will not be found naked”

The Bible does not teach that death is extinction, or that in death we are absorbed up into the divine being, or that we become some disembodied spirit floating around in eternity. “Nakedness” in this context speaks of disembodiment. God is setting straight the misunderstanding that when a person dies, he becomes a disembodied spirit—an idea completely contradictory to Scripture. Buddha was wrong. The goal of man is not to reach Nirvana or the “state of the snuffed-out candle.”[Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 2003, S. 1118.]

We will not be disembodied spirits. This body which gives us definition and is the vehicle by which we relate to our natural world will be stripped off for our heavenly body which will give us definition and enable us to relate to the eternal universe that God has prepared for those who love Him. After death we will inhabit a heavenly body prepared by God for us that will make the one we’re living now seem like a tent by comparison.

[There is also another clothing we have been given, the robe of the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 13:14, Gal. 3:27). Who would want to stand before God naked, in their own righteousness?]

Verse 4 indicates that our inner transformation is longing to be covered or swallowed up by outer and eternal life. “For indeed while we are in this tent [lodging], we groan [sigh], being burdened [weighed down], because we do not want [desire] to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.

Death is not something we take pleasure in, though its sting of sin's judgment has been removed. Death is no longer feared yet it is still repulsive, a reminder that Christ has not yet come and made all things right, conquering this last enemy.

But indeed we do sigh for our redemption. Like the martyrs in the Apocalypses (6:9-11) we cry how long? Every such groan we experience carries with it the assurance of the promise of Christ that our longing will be answered by life. By God filling us with the longing, He is giving us the desires that help us, give us the drive and motivation needed for the preparation process for our next life.

Notice the text says “so that the mortal might be swallowed up.”Only what is mortal perishes, the soul and spirit, or who we really, are survives. Only our tent is swept away to make room for the building, the earthly dwelling is dissolved in order that there may be erected around the homeless tenant the eternal house, not made with hands, but God's handiwork. [Death creates a greater potential for growth and service.]

Our present tent, though smoky, dimly lit and by our careless keeping often sluggish and grimy in many a crevice, is the only abode we have ever known. So our natural man may shrink back from being stripped of the flesh but fear not we shall not be naked. “To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord” (5:6).


Verse 5 informs us that the Spirit is preparing us for this life even now. “Now He who has been subduing us into Him this God gave to us the Spirit as the first installment”

Why all our discipline, molding and suffering (ch. 4) if it is not for a great purpose? Why all this apprenticing here if there is no journeyman's life to live after it? Why should we be treated as if we are rough iron ore torn from the ground, heated hot with trials, hopes and fears, plunged into baths of hissing tears and hammered with the shocks of life if, after all this processing, the shaped and polished metal is to be despised and tossed away as rubbish? [-as our earthly body will be.] It only makes sense if God is making you, your inner man, fit for heaven. This task though is too big and too difficult to do all at once. Philippians 1:6 says of the Divine craftsman, “He who began this good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Life is an insolvable riddle, unless the purpose of it lies beyond the grave and unless all this rigorous training of sorrows that sadden and joys that gladden are meant to equip us for a perfect life fit for a perfected soul in a perfect body in the eternal great unknown beyond.

It is for life eternal that God's grace has been subduing us like some sculptor does a stone in a labor of love chipping away the evil and creating the good until the glorious image of Christ be more truly formed in us. This perfecting of men such as us is no small task Yes sometimes the Master Craftsman hits a vein of obstinate material that require His loving hand to strike many hard blows to crack and remove it but rest assure it was needed for the final product’s shaping. But rest assured God is fashioning man not for death but for immorality and eternal life. How can you rest assured? Our God has even given to us the first installment of His Spirit!

Even now we can be assured that our outward clothing in the righteousness of Christ is being fashioned because of the internal assurance of the Spirit which God has given us right now. We already have the deposit which guarantees the payment in full at the resurrection of the righteous (1:22, Lk. 14:14).

The life giving Spirit is right now causing the daily renewing of the inward man. The Spirit is presently producing an eternal weight of glory in us that far outweighs all the afflictions endured by the outward man. On the believers horizons may be clouds but they cannot block out our view by faith of the eternal glory that is on the horizon.


The question of life after death is not answered by metaphysics or philosophy but by revelation from the One who originally created life. Life after death steps over the physical boundary of natural man by the pledge of Spirit of Life Himself given to redeemed men. This life is not inherent within man but a possession of the Divine Spirit and given to all whom the Divine Spirit possesses. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit to the fact of our eternal life by His groaning within us causing our longing to be eternally clothed (Rom. 8:11-30).

Will you allow your inter-spiritual groaning to convince you of the fact that you have a glorious body and eternal heavenly home? If you do, you will be less likely to rebel at God's earthy work in you but yield yourself to His hand, for only He knows the eternal plan and only He has the Almighty ability to prepare us for it. Submit to Him and let His purpose for your life become your purpose for living life (2 Cor. 10:5-6, Jas. 5:5-10; 1 Pet. 5:6-7).

If you are not sure of your eternal home, may I have a word with you? God alone is the source of life and immortality. He is from everlasting to everlasting and is the Giver of life. For us humans though physical death is universal and it leads to judgment (Heb. 9:27). Because we have sinned we will die and those without Christ will be called into account for their sins and what they did with their physical life.

Yet, because God is love, He has provided a way out, a way of redemption for and from our sin. Jesus died on an old rugged cross to pay for and cancel out your sin. Will you come and surrender your life, this life that He has given you so that He can grace gift you with new life, spiritual life, eternal life? He who has risen from the dead offers to raise us up to new life if you will turn from following your ideas, your self-will and receive Him because you desire to follow Him.

You come as the Spirit leads and let us help you encounter Christ, the giver of life, life eternal.