3 – Going Home – The Journey’s End

by Jill

Learn about what our home will be like from Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book Home – How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy Our Deepest Longings. The journey home is worth everything, but what will we do there?

https://elysefitzpatrick.com

Transcript

[Music] Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast.

This is Jill.

Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like and we’re all just going to be fat angels playing harps on clouds.

That’s what we’ll talk about today.

[Music] The true object of all human life is play.

Earth is a task garden.

Heaven is a playground.

GK Chesterton.

Today we’re going to talk about the book “Home, How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy Our Deepest Longings” by Elise Fitzpatrick.

This is actually the third time i’ve read this book and every time I read it I get a lot more out of it.

She wrote it in 2016.

It has been one of my favorite books in Christian reading.

It’s a deep dive into everything we know about heaven, the life after, life here on earth, and what to expect.

And so talking about our journey that we’re on from paradise to paradise We know where we came from Now we have to talk about where we’re going.

And so that’s why this book is a particularly good book at this time Going home.

It’s it’s such a relief I’m someone who travels for my work and when I get on that plane to go home or even land in my airport when i’m at home, it’s Ah, i’m home.

I always feel so good about that Even if I had a good trip, I enjoyed the time I was there, there is just something about home.

And there’s all sorts of movies about going home, and you’ve seen that one with the dogs where they’re all running home.

You know, we have a thing about home and all the efforts that we try to make to go home.

So that, you know, we get homesick.

That means we’re away from home and we feel like we just wished we were there.

But when we think about heaven, it’s going to be a different thing because we do long for that home in heaven.

We’re not meant to live like this.

We’re not meant to be in a world like this.

And yet here we are.

And so our true homes are not our bodies, not even our houses.

Our true home is in heaven where we’ll be with God and we’ll get to live out the fulfillment of everything that we hope to do.

And she says probably in the end when we get to heaven, we’re all gonna laugh about our guesses about it.

Probably God’s gonna laugh with us because we probably had a lot of ideas about what heaven would be like.

Just not gonna be correct.

There’s this idea that C.

S.

Lewis talked called the shadow lands that right now what we’re seeing is a shadow of what heaven is going to be like.

I even said to a friend of mine when we were in Hawaii, we were there for work.

I mean, how lucky are you when you get to travel to Hawaii for work.

But we were standing on this amazing cliff overlooking whales and the ocean and all the beautiful things that Hawaii has.

And I said, “What’s interesting to me is this is just a reflection of what heaven’s going to be, that we still, as beautiful as this is, is not as glorious as what a perfected world will be.

” And she thought that was pretty amazing because we think of Hawaii and beautiful places in the world as the pinnacle of everything, only to realize that the pinnacle is not quite here.

It’s almost like the Matrix, right.

When you first watch the movie The Matrix, he’s in his office job and he’s typing away and you see this kind of dimmed tone in the video where it’s not bright colors, it’s a very bland world, and I didn’t know what to expect in The Matrix.

And the first time I saw it, you realize, “Oh, well that’s why this world is shaded.

” Because it’s not the actual world.

It’s not the place that anyone is supposed to be in.

And I think heaven is somewhat like that.

When suddenly the shades will come off and we see the world as it is, it’s going to be amazing for us all.

We have faith that we’re going to trust what happens next.

That we’re going to get away from the tears and the violence and all the bad things that we see here.

She even says that life on earth is like the Motel 6.

It’s not our home.

It’s a facsimile of what our home’s like, right.

There’s a bed and there’s a sink and a bathroom.

It’s a little bit like our home, but we know it’s not our home.

And just like our home homes, or our body homes are not our homes, our real homes are in heaven when we’re gonna be with God.

She said that Americans are really independent.

We believe that we can fix everything.

And I’m there with you.

I believe I can fix everything.

But then we realize that we can’t fix what’s going on in the world.

We try to do our best to be good representations in the world.

We try to make the world a better place and help those around us.

But in the end, we’re not gonna be able to fix everything in this world because it is unfixable.

Talks about Romans 8, 24.

but the hope that is seen is no hope at all, meaning the things we see around us.

Who hopes for what he already has.

But if we hope for what we do not have yet, we wait patiently for it, meaning we’re waiting patiently to get to that place where heaven is really going to give us what really matters, what really is important, and that true happiness.

Mentions Ecclesiastes 3.

11, he has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they can’t fathom what God has done for them from beginning to end.

There’s that journey from beginning to the end.

We can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like.

She even says that we’re like day laborers, that we’re in this place.

That’s not our permanent work.

That’s not our permanent fulfillment in life.

We can do as well as we can do to make ourselves have happy lives.

I feel like I have a happy life, but our true happiness, our true work is yet to come.

Hebrews 11, 40 says, “God has planned something better for us that only together with us would they be made perfect.

” So when we are together, they will be perfect.

It’s kind of interesting, she talks about the stoning of Stephen, and at the very end, Stephen says in Acts 7:56, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.

And then the people who were yelling at him and threatening him and that were furious and about to kill him, all started covering their ears and yelling at the top of their voice and they suddenly rushed him.

It’s not even that they disagreed with what he said, they couldn’t even tolerate hearing it.

They couldn’t even debate it.

They just had to go rush at him and kill him.

And what are we.

What is it then that matters in this earth if everything is gonna be renewed and replenished someday in heaven.

In 2 Corinthians 5.

20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

” And we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

And so that’s what this is about.

Our time here on earth is about reconciliation.

It’s about learning our skills and our strength, and it’s about being ambassadors by using those gifts from God to be ambassadors to Christ.

She said that a lot of times we feel this false sense of security, that we think things are going really well.

I mean, I think things are going really well.

And talks about when the apostles, right.

Jesus is about to kick everyone’s butt.

We’re about to win this.

Look at that, we have followers.

We’re making a triumphant walk into Jerusalem.

This is gonna be amazing.

And instead, Jesus ends up at the cross.

Jesus ends up dying.

And just at that point when we think that this is going to be the winning moment, we don’t really know.

But the truth of the matter is we don’t have it here.

We are like the prisoners on the cross that will be in paradise with Him.

But a lot of skeptics say that, first of all, heaven sounds stupid, we’re all gonna play harps, because this is not a bunch of people standing in clouds reading harps.

We’re not gonna be on clouds, We’re not gonna be flying outside of Saturn in heaven.

It’s a different plane altogether.

She says that we’re not longing to be in the crab nebula or on top of a cloud.

We are not in space.

When Gagarin went to space, he said, “Well, there’s no God.

I didn’t see a heaven because it’s not even here.

” That is not what heaven is.

It’s a paradise.

It’s a new body.

It’s a new earth.

It’s all the things scoured and cleaned and then reunited together in the very end.

This is a chance of renewal.

It’s not a flying in the sky with harps.

This is going to be fun and it’s gonna be fulfilling.

It is gonna be something so much more than we can possibly even imagine, not flying around in harps.

And so that’s where 1 Corinthians 15, 58 talks about, “Therefore, my dear brother, stand firm.

“Let nothing move you.

“Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know your labor is not in vain.

It means we’re not just wasting our time on earth.

You know, there’s this idea that some people say, “Oh, well, there is no heaven.

We have to do everything here.

” Or there’s other people that say, “Well, we’re going to heaven and nothing we do here matters.

” And that is not true either.

We are doing the work of the Lord.

We’re being ambassadors.

We’re using our gifts and talents.

This time on earth matters, but we do have to stand firm and our labor is not in vain.

She says in the end that even Jesus longed to be home, he wanted to go back, but he knew that through his actions, he’d be bringing people back with him.

She says that heaven, paradise, our time after is gonna be amazing.

We’re gonna work, but work that’s truly fulfilling to us without the level of sin that we have.

We’re gonna be able to use the knowledge and the learning and talking to C.

S.

Lewis, and he can teach us how to write or exploring.

We’ll be able to look at the Crab Nebula even though heaven is not in the Crab Nebula.

I like that.

And we’ll be able to see places that we couldn’t see before.

The New Jerusalem is gonna be a garden city with rivers and trees.

I think she said that it is going to be 1,380 miles in every direction, like a cube.

We’re gonna have all the rooms, it’s gonna radiate.

So she says that heaven’s gonna be 1,380 miles in every direction, and at the center of human achievement, we’ll be there.

We will show each other our art and our abilities and the things we build.

It’s funny because we think about life on earth as a time of building.

We have our homes, we build things, we produce things in our jobs.

We’re proud of the things that we accomplish in our lives.

There’s no reason to think that that stops.

We will have jobs in heaven.

The Bible says we’ll have jobs in heaven, but in this case, we will have all the human experience and knowledge to help us with that.

We’ll have not anger and hate and jealousy, but compassion and working together and support from people.

It’s going to be something that we’ll be able to have cities and software and all the things that we have in ways that we never could imagine because we’re not hampered in the way that we’re hampered here.

We’re not going to end our achievements, but she says that in the end, it’s gonna be a pillar of human achievement in heaven, and it’s gonna be what was intended from Eden in the first place, pinnacle of human achievement.

But she says that while we’re here, we are going to be persecuted, we’re called into suffering, our prayers are heard, all the suffering reminds us that we’re just not home.

We’re not in the place that we’re meant to be.

in that we can try our best to make things perfect, to plan out our perfect lives, but it’s gonna pale in comparison to what we’re going to get.

She says right now that we have this justification through Facebook, where we take pleasure in sharing with other people what we do and the photographs we have, and look at my lovely meal, and look at my great house and my wonderful kids.

And instead, we’re living a life of bucket lists and dreams instead of living a life of that true happiness that we’re working towards getting to God.

That in the end, a lot of people feel empty because it is that separation from heaven and that longing that we have.

St.

Augustine said in his work, “Confessions,” “that has made us for thyself, “and our heart is restless until we find rest in thee.

” And what we’re doing here is not as satisfying.

That it’s like trying to eat wind.

It’s trying to drink mud.

It’s just not going to be the fulfillment that we’re going to eventually get.

And Jesus says that he was going away, and he was going back to heaven, and that we would learn to rely on him more and more, and that eventually where he’s going will be too.

Because he’s a shepherd, he waits for all of his sheep, the slow stragglers, the ones who are lost in the field, which would totally be me as a sheep.

And what’s interesting is when I did my hike in England, I did this big 100 mile hike there, we were walking through a lot of sheep fields.

And at one point, my friend was well ahead of me, and I saw this one little baby sheep, and he was just right in the middle of the field.

All the sheep had gone back, and he just stayed there.

And I looked out in the horizon, and there was the farmer coming to find the lost sheep.

I don’t know, it was this weird moment, but suddenly there was a tear in my eye because I was like, wow, that’s Jesus and us.

He is gonna go back into that field and find us.

And it meant something really weird to me at that moment that it doesn’t matter that this was a brand new sheep.

Probably had hundreds of sheep, but he went and looked for that one lost sheep that was missing.

She said that we should read Psalm 23, right.

Yay, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, right.

That it’s not what we think it is.

It’s a promise of what heaven will be in, that we will lie down in green pastures and we will be in that spring of eternal refreshment, that we’ll be able to see God, unlike Moses who was not able to see God.

We will get the rest that we always wished we’d want to get.

I am not a very good sleeper and every morning I wake up and I go, oh, I just wish I could have slept better.

But in heaven, we will get that rest.

She says in the sacraments themselves that worship is a place where heaven and earth touch, the sacraments also are where heaven and earth touch, that the body and blood, the marriage feast, the baptism is all a place where heaven and earth are near to each other, where God has opened up to us.

Those are times where we can get that closeness with God in an unearthly way that we can’t get anywhere else on this planet.

So we tend to look at those things as being a burden.

When we go to communion, we’re like, “Oh gosh, now church is gonna be 20 minutes longer than it was before.

” Or we have a marriage and it’s a big deal and you think, “Can’t I just go get a judge and have him marry us too.

” I mean, this is a big, long ordeal.

Or when it comes to baptism, “Oh, I’m really busy right now.

I got this brand new baby.

Do I have to really have a baptism.

” That activity is a promised connection to God, helpers, aids, and that feeling of connection that’s there.

It’s important that we get them, even if they can feel like a hassle in our busy world.

Those portals, she says, to the rest of the world will open our eyes and keep us in that purpose of the church, of being the ambassadors, and helping other people who we see going over a cliff.

So every few years I do this talk at a Christian college about evangelism.

And I talk about like, if you were on this road and you knew the bridge was out ahead, and you see a bunch of people on bicycles just riding towards the bridge, would you go, “Hey, stop, there’s no bridge there.

Please stop what you’re doing.

You’ll die.

” Or do you go, “Yeah, I’m super tired today.

I would normally tell them the bridge is out, but I’m kind of pooped and, you know, I’ll tell them next week.

” You know, we don’t do that.

We don’t do that when we see that physical danger in front of us.

We tell people when we can tell them.

And that’s what we do as ambassadors.

We just don’t resign to the world, she says, that we actually go after the people who are about to fall off the cliff and help them from doing that.

So in the end, we have two bad choices.

So either we give up and we say, “Eat, drink, and be merry,” and that all our work is nothing and it just doesn’t matter, or we get so embroiled in everything matter that we forget about the promises of heaven and the promises of God.

But instead, we should be doing good and sharing and pleasing God and knowing that God will reward us here on earth, but also in heaven.

And we’ll do work like she says, a lot of that’s gonna be based on our personalities and all the things that we learned on earth, that we’re not just going to be machines, but we’re gonna be part of the new world.

Not planting, she says, on a dying garden, but instead creating in an everlasting building garden where there’s gonna be endless art and music and caring and nurturing, and the church will be resurrected too.

It’s gonna be enhanced, and that world will not come to the end.

There will be systems of Earth that just never seem to work out, that will work in the afterlife because we’ll have that perfected state.

She said there’ll be no more goodbyes, but only hellos.

I listened to a podcast from Rick Warren, and he said that when we see someone who dies, we’re thinking about the goodbyes.

We think that they’re leaving their home here on Earth, but they’re not leaving their home on Earth.

They’re going to their home in heaven, And it’s not a goodbye.

It’s a hello And it’s the very last time They will have that leaving That here on earth we live in what she calls a besieged city We feel like it’s disney world.

You ever been to disney world.

It’s great and it’s fun and it’s exciting But you know, it’s not the real thing when you go to the future towns You go to the future planets and the space stuff I love that kind of thing at Disney World or you go to the ocean Disney World, you know, it’s not real.

It’s fun It’s temporary But life on earth is like that Disney World.

It isn’t our home.

It isn’t what space is like It isn’t what even the ocean is like that instead it’s gonna be better and the good news is how we’re going to get there and The best news of all is we will get there and it will be ours forever The last part of her book talks about the good news how to get to heaven the message of Christ and I think she lays out The good news in the best way that I’ve seen laid out in this very concise But logical format about how and why we get to heaven So I again love this book.

I think it’s fantastic I’m happy to share it with you if you’ve never heard of it, and I hope that you enjoy this look at heaven So my challenge to you is think about The gifts and talents that you have learned on earth that you think will be great towards your occupation in heaven Maybe even pick a job that you would love to have in heaven for me I’m going for Explorer all I want to do is see all the planets and explore all the animals and say hi to all the critters and I’m gonna be a little bit like Steve Irwin in paradise.

That’s my goal.

And I hope we get to talk to the animals, too All righty one thanks so much.

I appreciate you listening to the podcast.

It’s brand new and getting used to it all Please let me know how I can pray for you Or if you have questions or ideas you’d like for me to cover in this podcast You can email me at Jill at small steps with God calm and let me know what you think Please remember to leave a review and tell a friend about the podcast.

It is brand new Please remember to subscribe and help me get the word out that this podcast is here to talk about issues that matter to us Please remember that the good things that you do on earth will help form your experience in heaven by taking small steps [MUSIC PLAYING] (upbeat music) [Music] [BLANK_AUDIO].

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