Believe it or not, in eighth grade I wrote a song called “Home.”
It was all about “going home” to heaven, finally being with God. It was actually pretty good. In was an 8-bar blues song in the key of “C” with decent lyrics (for an 8th grader). I can still play it on guitar, but I’ve lost all the words—I’m sure you bummed.
Of course, given my evangelical-fundamentalist upbringing it is no surprise I viewed salvation as going home to heaven. The Rapture was going to whisk us all away. The earth was going to burn. And we needed to get everyone into the raft before Jesus came back and all was lost (yes, I know that is mixing metaphors of flood and fire, but hey, that’s what I was given).
Of course there are passages of the Bible that seem to suggest this—that we will leave this place and go somewhere else.
And for many that is GOOD NEWS. Because, well, this place can kind of stink. Many people can not find a home, a place to belong, or a place for love and welcome.
So, we’re going home!
But what if we aren’t going home.
What if our home is coming to us?
What if God had always made earth our home and will make it our home again?
This would fundamentally change the direction of salvation. Salvation is not about “us getting back to God” with a little help from God. Rather, it’s about “God coming back to us.”
So, really quick, here are 4 reason salvation is “coming”, not “going.”
4 Reasons Salvation is Coming
- The Biblical Bookends Say So
Genesis opens with God creating a home for humanity in God’s presence. And this home is here. God created all things as a cosmic-temple of his presence. In addition to this, God walked and talked with humanity in the garden-temple of his presence. And in Revelation, at the end of all things, we hear of heaven coming down to earth. And heaven comes so that God can dwell with humanity forever.If heaven is the place God lives, then every passage that speaks of heaven as somewhere else must be provisional, not final.
- God comes to Israel With the call of Abraham and the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, to the building of the tabernacle and temple, God comes to his chosen people. And when God comes there is salvation and life.The entire life of Israel is marked out by the fact that God lives with them. The sole purpose of the Law was to facilitate the presence of God among his people.
- Jesus is the who comes as sentJesus, the Son of God, is sent to us as one of us. He comes to “dwell among” us as the “tabernacle” of God (John 1:14). Jesus comes declaring the kingdom of God and his ministry makes it present. In Jesus, heaven is coming to earth in forgiveness, in healings from sickness, in deliverance from the powers.In Jesus salvation has come to us.
- The Church comes as sentAnd finally, like it or not, the church comes with the presence of God.It is no small thing that they church is called the “body of Christ” or the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” These both indicate the place where God dwells (in a primary sense, although God of course is in all places and times—which is a comfort to all who suffer in secret).
The real question is, Are you welcoming God home in your life right now?
And the next question is, Are you living as a home for others?