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 Corinthians 5:1
After a few days of camping, especially a week, I am always ready to break camp and go home to enjoy the luxuries of a hot shower, clean clothes, and a roof over my head. I am happy to break camp.
Referring to his imminent death, the apostle Paul, wrote, “The time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6). He chose a very interesting word here, because in the original language, the word “departure” could also be described as breaking camp.
It reminds us that when death comes, our tent, also known as the body, will be laid aside when our spirit moves into a more permanent residence. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:1, “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.”
The word “departure” Paul used could also be translated, “to be released from shackles.” It is the picture of a prisoner in a cell, who was bound, but his shackles are being released.
Lastly, the word “departure” in the original language also describes a boat being untied from its moorings. So Paul was saying, “It’s time to set sail. It’s time to be freed from the shackles. It’s time to break camp. It is good news, because I am going to a better place.”
This reminds us that heaven is not a place of unconscious oblivion; it is a place of conscious existence. It is to go and be with Christ, not merely lie in some grave. It is a part of life, not the conclusion of it. It is a beginning, not an ending.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.