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2 Corinthians 5 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 5 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 19, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shares encouraging truth that whatever peace you’ve experienced in your Christian life pales in comparison to what’s to come.


That's the idea of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. So just remember, when your Christian life is at its best and you've ever had those moments of peace and joy and purpose, you ain't seen nothing yet. That's just the preview. That's just the trailer.

The real movie's coming up. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip shares encouraging truth that whatever peace you've experienced in your Christian life pales in comparison with what's to come. But first, here's a resource that will help you understand what God's Word says about the future that's coming. The Book of Acts says we need to understand the days we live in and how we should be spending our time, energy, and finances. The first step is information, and this month to complement Skip's series, The End is Near, we're offering the excellent Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy by Tim LaHaye and Mark Hitchcock. This 450-page hardcover book is a reference guide to what the Bible says about the end times, covering over 150 topics from Armageddon to the wrath of the Lamb. The Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy is a comprehensive survey from the world's foremost experts on biblical prophecy. Here is what Tim LaHaye said about the importance of understanding what the Bible says concerning the future. To me, the signs of the times are evident that we're in the last days.

In fact, I call them the last days of the last days. I believe that the people that had a great deal to do with the early church were the expositors of the Scripture, but gave Christian evidences. Why do we believe what we believe? And one of the reasons we believe what we believe is because of prophecy. This Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy is our gift to you this month when you encourage the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more. Make your financial vote of support at or by calling 1-800-922-1888. With the Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy on your desk, you'll find yourself reaching for it frequently as events in these days speed forward. Receive this excellent hardcover book with your gift.

Go to or call 1-800-922-1888. Now, let's turn to 2 Corinthians 5 and hear what Skip has in store for us. Notice what he says. We know that if this earthly house, this tent is destroyed. The word destroyed means taken down.

Think of a guy camping, folding up the tent. It's done. In the last letter that Paul wrote, 2 Timothy chapter 4, he said, I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have finished the course. I have fought the fight, the good fight. And he said, Now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord our righteous judge will give me in that day, not only me, but all those who love his appearing. But he said, The time of my departure is at hand. And the word he used there, like similar to here, means to take down a tent and move on.

Take down a tent and move on. So he is describing death, physical death. That is why at a funeral, I never say a person died. I say the person moved. The tent has been taken down and he has moved on.

It's really inaccurate to say, he died. Yes, from a physical standpoint, we understand that. But as a believer, he's taken the tent down and he has moved on into something eternal and something more permanent. We have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this, we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven.

The word groan means sigh with longing. Ever listen to yourself when you get up in the morning? If you're not that self-aware, start listening. And you'll notice something with each passing year. You'll notice the groaning. Oh, man. And my wife will say, well, you know, I'll make these noises.

And she'll go, is everything okay? Yeah. Just life, you know. But it's more than that.

It's more than aches and pains and limitations and muscle sores and spasms and lumbar fusions and all that. It's a sigh with a longing, a longing for something permanent, a longing for glory. And so we get up in the morning, we groan a little bit. We look in the mirror, we groan a little bit more. It's okay to groan. It's scriptural. In this, we groan.

Claim that promise. Earnestly desiring to be clothed, this is the reason we do it, with our habitation, which is from heaven. Now, don't think that Paul had a death wish. He was not expressing some platonic philosophy of the body is horrible and I seek to be free from it. And some Christians get into almost a morbid description of life and death and I just want to die and get out of here.

I don't. I know what awaits me and that's great and I feel that more and more, but honestly, I want to do as much for the Lord as possible before I leave this body. I want to seize every opportunity. I want to take as many people with me to heaven as I possibly can.

And until that happens, I don't want to go anywhere. That's why Paul said for me to live is Christ. To die is gain. I'm in a straight between two. I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, but to remain here is more needful for you. So he said, I don't really know which is best for which I want more.

I know which is better to be with the Lord, but I also want to be used. So Paul, when he says this, is not expressing a death wish. He is simply noticing his own physical limitations. And so he says, we groan.

We want to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven. Now think about Paul's experience. Toward the end of this book, chapter 12, Paul will say something that while he's the only one that I've ever met who could really say what he said, he said, I know a man in Christ 14 years ago, whether in the body or out of the body, I don't really know, but he was caught up into the third heaven and he saw and heard things that are inexpressible beyond words.

I can't tell you what it was like. And then he said, of such a one I will boast. In other words, I'm talking in the third person about this person, but I'm really the guy who experienced it. Now, Paul, he said, was caught up into the third heaven, the place where God dwells. When did that happen?

Well, we don't know, but it's possible. And I believe it was when he was in Lystra and Derby and they pelted him with stones and they thought he was dead. And then he revived.

It could be that during that time, he lost consciousness for a period of time. He even went through a death experience and he was caught up into the third heaven. And can you imagine there's Paul's body lying on the ground and people are around, oh, this horrible man, Paul died. And then Paul's like, wow, this is awesome.

He's in glory. Caught up into the third heaven. And then it's like, the Lord said, Paul, you got to go back. And then to wake up on earth, it's like, really? After experiencing that, really? Now, what do you think that would do to a person if he was really? Now, what do you think that would do to a person if he experienced the heaven of heavens where God was, but then came back into this physical body?

I bet he would live differently and I bet he would groan more frequently. And I know what's coming, man. I know what's coming.

It's so awesome. That's why we say heaven is more than a destination. It's a motivation. So, he felt that, he saw that, he experienced that. And he said, he desires to be clothed with that habitation which is from heaven. If indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

That is a bodyless spirit. For we who are in this tent, this body, we groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed, may be swallowed up by life. Jesus made a promise to his followers. He said, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house, there are many, mansions is the word in the New King James, a better translation, many rooms, many abiding places. If it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself. He talked about his Father's house. Here he talks about your body being a tent, a temporary house. The longer I'm in this house as a Christian, the more I long for his house. Because I know based on the promises, what's ahead, even though I don't know it all. And so, that's the motivation, keeps me going, keeps me going.

That's what Paul said, kept him going. There's a great story about President John Adams. John Adams, I think, was our sixth president. And as he was aging, somebody came up to him and asked him, how, Mr. President, how are you feeling? How are you doing?

And his answer was interesting. He said, fine. He said, the house is a bit flimsy. The shingles are falling off the roof.

The foundation is shaking. But Mr. Adams is just fine. And I think that would sort of sum up Paul as he's experiencing the hardships of life and as he is aging.

Yep, I expect Paul to be and as he is aging. Yep, I express, I experience the limitations. And I got this tent, but the flaps are getting wrinkly and the rain fly, we can dye it now. But back then, it's just like, yeah, it's kind of leaking and thinning. But what kept him going was that. Now, verse five, he who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

We talked about this a few weeks ago in chapter one where he used the same language to speak about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit living inside of you is a foretaste of what the future holds. Think of it as a trailer of a movie. It's a preview of coming attractions. You see a preview and you go, oh, that's awesome.

I want to see that movie. And usually when you see the movie, it's not as good as the trailer. They take the best parts and they make it better than the movie sometimes. But sometimes the movie is better than the trailer, than the preview. The experience you have now at its best, at its best, the peace you have, the joy you have, the purpose you find, the peace that passes all understanding.

I hope you experience that. That's just a foretaste. That's just a deposit. And that's what this word means when it says here that the Holy Spirit has given to us as a guarantee. It means a down payment. The word means what you give as a first installment when you make a purchase.

So if you go into a store and you see an item and you think, oh, this is on sale. I got to buy this item, but I don't have my checkbook. I only have this much money in my wallet that's cash.

And the guy says, well, you know what? If you give me that, we'll hold it for you. That'll be the first installment. That'll be the earnest money.

That'll be the down payment. That's the idea of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. So just remember when your Christian life is at its best and you've ever had those moments of peace and joy and purpose, you ain't seen nothing yet. That's just the preview. That's just the trailer.

The real movie's coming up. And another way to look at this idea of a guarantee is like a wedding ring. When you're serious and you want to marry someone, you have a ring and you say, will you marry me? And she says, yes. And you give her the ring.

You place it on her finger. You're not married yet, but you have given her a ring as a pledge. And the pledge that she wears is the guarantee that you're good for your word. You're going to marry the girl. We are the bride of Christ.

One day, Jesus will come and take us, the bride, to Himself, and we will enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb. The Holy Spirit is that guarantee, is that deposit. Therefore, verse 6, for that reason, based on all that He just said, therefore, we are always confident.

I love that. Always confident. Knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith and not by sight. We are confident, yes, rather well pleased, rather, to be absent from the body and be present with the Lord. Christians can only be in one of two places, earth or heaven.

No other place they can be. There's no limbo. Doesn't exist. Somebody made that up. It's not real. There's no purgatory. Made up. Doesn't exist.

Somebody made it up. There's only two places that are possible for a Christian to live, on earth or in heaven. There's not a single Christian who ever lived who's in hell, who's a genuine believer. Christians can only be on earth and can only be in heaven, just like unbelievers can only be on earth or in hell. So, we're confident, He says, that while we are absent from the Lord, we are—I get it messed up—knowing while we are at home in the body, in the tent, the temporary dwelling place, we're absent from the Lord, but we would rather, verse 8, be absent from the body and present with the Lord. This is why Paul did not live in fear.

Too many Christians have lived in fear the last few years. Nothing to be afraid of. What's the worst that can happen? I could get sick and die. Really? And that bothers you?

Why? You see, this is not reckless fear. This is not reckless abandon.

He's not saying, yeah, I'm just going to go do stupid things. But he lived with confidence. He did not live with fear because of all these truths that we have been uncovering. Because when you're absent from the body, you are present with the Lord. Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well-pleasing to Him. What undergirded Paul's life, or you might say the overarching truth of Paul's life, is that no matter what his situation, whether he is living and free or in prison and facing possible death, absent from the body, present with the Lord, either one, he just wants to live his life to be pleasing to God.

Too many Christians are still living to please themselves. When you come to a place of total abandonment and you, Lord, I throw caution to the wind, so to speak, in terms of a commitment to you, that's when you really start to live. That's when you really start to experience confidence and a fearlessness.

And that's when you really a fearlessness. And I love the idea, I'm making it my aim to be pleasing to God. I hope that you are as zealous in serving the Lord as you were in serving the devil before you got saved.

And Paul says, that's my aim. I want to be as zealous in the Lord as I was before the Lord. And he was zealous before the Lord. Before he came to Christ, he had a zeal, he admitted, a zeal without knowledge. He was zealously persecuting Christians, he was hunting them down. And he thought he was doing God a service. But now he is saved, and he makes it his aim to be pleasing to the Lord.

For, verse 10, we should always live that way. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, that is, what you did on earth in your physical body, the works, the actions, the activities, the service rendered, the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. What does it mean when it says we're all going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ?

First of all, let me tell you what it doesn't mean. Number one, it doesn't mean that there's one general judgment at the end of time, where all of us stand, you know, on a big field, and we're kind of like white-knuckling it and hoping that God picks us to be with him forever. That's sort of the general picture that most people have of judgment. That does not refer to that.

In fact, if you think that is going to happen, it's not on any level. There is not one general judgment. There is a judgment for believers, and there is a judgment for unbelievers, and they are separated by a thousand years. The millennial kingdom is in between those two judgments. There is a judgment seat of Christ for believers, a thousand-year millennial kingdom is on the earth. After that, there is the great white throne judgment, Revelation chapter 20, for the dead, unbelievers who stand before God and are finally consigned everlasting punishment.

So it's not one general judgment. Nor is this verse speaking of a judgment whereby you are admitted into heaven. The judgment seat of Christ is a reference to the rewards you get once you get to heaven. The word that is used for judgment seat is the word beimatas. You've ever heard of the beima seat judgment? You hear preachers talk about the beima seat? It's actually the beimatas, and the beimatas was a raised platform where a governor stood, and I'll show you a picture that I took in Corinth. So Paul is writing to the Corinthians.

I know it's in the middle of the day, and so it's not really great to see, but you see that little white sign on the wall? It says beima on it, and that's where the beimatas, the sat. So why is that significant? Because in the book of Acts chapter 18, Paul was brought before the proconsul named Galileo of Corinth at the, it says, judgment seat.

Paul stood there to be judged, and it wasn't a judgment of life and death. It was a rendering on a civil court rendered by a governor, and it was also the place when there were the Olympic games, in this case, the Ithsmian games that took place in Corinth that I've told you about before. Whoever won and got first place stood before the beima seat, and they placed a wreath, a crown on his head. It was the place where you would get rewarded, and the Bible says, don't you know that all who run in a race, they all run, but only one receives the prize.

Run in such a way that you may win that prize. So the beima seat, the judgment seat of Christ, is where you will stand before Christ not to get into heaven. You know, that's all taken care of.

You know that, right? Whoever believes in me, Jesus said, passes from death into life and will not face the judgment. Words of Jesus, John chapter 5. You will not face judgment. The only judgment that you will receive is what reward you get for what you did on earth.

Now get this. The rewards that he will dole out to you won't just be based on what you did. I said, well, you were a preacher. You get a great reward.

No, not necessarily. In fact, you were a prayer warrior, and nobody saw you, but you accomplished so much, but nobody knew it. Therefore, you didn't get any rewards on earth versus you were a preacher, and yeah, you did a bunch of stuff and said a whole lot of stuff, but everybody saw you. Once since you already got a reward, but the one who never was rewarded may be rewarded more handsomely in eternity.

You get the idea that it's motivation and faithfulness to your calling. So in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, when you do a charitable deed, don't do it in such a way that everybody sees that you do a charitable deed, for verily, I say you have already received your reward. But when you do a charitable deed, don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.

Do it in secret. That's Skip Heintze with a message from his series Expound, 2 Corinthians. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at Now here's Skip to share how you can connect you and many others with the truth of God's word with a gift. To keep these messages going out around the world through Connect with Skip Heintze.

God speaks into every aspect of our life through his word with timeless wisdom from God's own heart. Well, this ministry exists to connect people around the world to God's unchanging truth so they can experience the life change that comes from knowing and following Christ. Through your generosity, you can help grow the reach of Connect with Skip Heintze into more major cities and help more people respond to the life-changing truths of Scripture.

Plus, you'll keep these teachings that you love available to you whenever and wherever you listen. Would you partner with me in this effort? Here's how you can give a gift now. Visit to give a gift. That's or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And did you know that you can find full message series and libraries of content from Skip Heintze on YouTube? Simply visit the Connect with Skip Heintze channel on YouTube to watch or re-watch your favorite teachings or find new ones to dive into more solid biblical teaching to help deepen your walk. And be sure to subscribe to the channel so you never miss any new content. That's Connect with Skip Heintze on YouTube. Tune in again next week for more verse-by-verse teaching from God's Word with Skip. Connect with Skip Heintze is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-19 06:07:46 / 2024-04-19 06:17:14 / 9

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