2 Corinthians 5:1–11 (NKJV)
5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.2 Corinthians 5:1-8
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Paul speaks to the eternity of the life of the soul for those in Christ. Christians have hope far beyond the life on earth. He speaks in poetic language about the earthly house, the tent, referring to our physical bodies. If this body is destroyed, the Christian’s hope can be found in a building from God, not made with hands, that is eternal in heaven. What a powerful blessing and hope! He then explains how the Christian’s spirit groans for this new house, a state where we receive a better home, an immortal home that encompasses our mortality. God has prepared this for us, and has given His Spirit as a guarantee that He is faithful. We may now be at home in our physical bodies, but we are absent from the Lord in a direct sense. We walk by faith, not by sight, understanding that God is near, but unable to see Him with our natural eyes. Faith assures us that He is there, but we cannot sense Him in our natural bodily ways. However, the Spirit enables us to sense Him spiritually. There is coming a day when we will be absent from this body and its limitations and we will be able to be fully present with the Lord. What a day that will be! What a powerful experience to see Him face to face and worship Him in spirit as well as body. That is the day for which our spirit yearns!
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.2 Corinthians 5:9-11
With the great goal of heaven with the Lord in sight, it is imperative that the Christian aim well to be pleasing to God. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and receive the reward of our actions while on earth, good or bad. We must strive fully to please God. We must live a life that reflects His glory and lifts up His greatness. The terror of the Lord is fearful. Thank God for His grace. Without His grace no man or woman can be saved. However, pleasing Him should be our heart’s desire. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we must persuade others to believe and be saved by His grace, so that God’s knowledge of us, complete and utter, will endear us to Him and to those to whom we minister. Live a life that shows your love for God, and that shows Him to others in the way you live. Walk by faith, not by sight, and lead others to walk with you!