We often find ourselves feeling like strangers in a world that seems at odds with our faith and values. Join us on a contemplative journey through verses about how this world is not our home.
Discover the hope, purpose, and eternal perspective that empowers us to navigate life’s challenges and embrace our true identity as citizens of a heavenly kingdom.
Bible Verses about This World Is Not Our Home
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”
This verse underscores the fleeting nature of our earthly existence, highlighting that our true home is in heaven. The ‘lasting city’ referred to is the eternal kingdom of God, which we should strive to attain. Our worldly pursuits are ephemeral, and thus, should not be our primary focus.
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
This verse elucidates the antithesis between being of the world and being chosen by Christ. The world here represents earthly desires and pursuits that are incongruous with divine principles. Thus, being ‘chosen’ indicates the need to strive for a higher spiritual purpose, which may sometimes lead to worldly opposition.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The concept of ‘citizenship’ here signifies belonging, emphasizing that our true allegiance is to the heavenly kingdom. Our earthly existence is a transient journey, a preparatory phase for the ultimate homecoming with the Lord. The ‘awaiting Savior’ signifies hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:11
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
This verse appeals to us to live as ‘sojourners’ and ‘exiles’, acknowledging the temporal nature of our worldly existence. It cautions against succumbing to earthly desires (‘passions of the flesh’) as they are at odds with the soul’s spiritual pursuit.
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.'”
Jesus, in this verse, distinguishes his kingdom from worldly kingdoms, indicating its divine and eternal nature. It teaches that Jesus’s kingdom is of peace and love, not conflict and hate, which are characteristic of earthly kingdoms.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Jesus in this verse implores us to focus on accumulating ‘treasures in heaven’—spiritual gains—rather than worldly possessions that are transient and susceptible to decay or theft. The verse encourages us to prioritize eternal spiritual values over temporary earthly gains.
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
This verse enjoins us to fix our thoughts on divine and eternal truths instead of being preoccupied with earthly matters. It underscores the idea of aspiring for higher spiritual wisdom that transcends worldly understanding.
2 Corinthians 4:18
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
This verse presents a metaphor of ‘seeing’ to differentiate between the transient nature of visible worldly entities and the everlasting nature of the invisible spiritual realm. It motivates us to seek eternal truths and principles, which are far more valuable and enduring.
1 John 2:15-17
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
These verses caution against the allure of worldly passions and pride, which are fleeting and in opposition to God’s will. They remind us that adherence to God’s commandments offers eternal life, asserting the superiority of spiritual pursuits over earthly desires.
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
The verse uses the metaphor of ‘adultery’ to highlight the gravity of misplaced allegiance—devotion to the world instead of God. It sternly warns that those seeking ‘friendship with the world’ position themselves as adversaries of God, emphasizing the need for spiritual fidelity.
1 Chronicles 29:15
“For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.”
Here, the concept of life as a transitory journey is reiterated. We are considered ‘strangers’ and ‘sojourners’, passing through the earthly realm. The verse invites us to acknowledge the brevity of human life and the impermanence of earthly existence.
“I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me.”
This verse elucidates the Psalmist’s self-perception as a transient inhabitant of the earth who seeks divine guidance. The plea to God not to ‘hide’ His commandments underlines the longing for spiritual wisdom and direction in this temporary journey.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
This verse exhorts us to resist conforming to worldly standards and instead, transform through the ‘renewal’ of our minds. This transformation, guided by divine wisdom, will help discern God’s will and the true virtues that are good, acceptable, and perfect.
1 Peter 1:17
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.”
This verse advises reverence towards God during our earthly ‘exile’. As believers, we’re encouraged to ‘conduct ourselves with fear’, implying respect and deference to God, who judges each according to their deeds, signifying the need for righteous living.
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“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
In this verse, the faithful are recognized as ‘strangers and exiles’, acknowledging the temporal nature of earthly life. The faithful ‘greeted’ the divine promises ‘from afar’, signifying their enduring faith and spiritual focus, despite not receiving the fulfillment of promises during their earthly existence.
“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
This verse serves as a stern warning against those whose minds are engrossed in worldly concerns, ‘enemies of the cross of Christ’. It criticizes those who prioritize physical desires (‘their god is their belly’) and glory in shameful acts, cautioning that such conduct leads to destruction.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”
The verse paints a picture of the forthcoming ‘new heaven and a new earth’, signifying the transient nature of the present world. It fills believers with hope and anticipation for the divine and eternal realm, reminding them of their true home beyond the present earth and heaven.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
This verse assures believers of their spiritual citizenship in the ‘household of God’, alongside the saints. Though they may feel like ‘strangers and aliens’ in this world, their faith assures them of their place in God’s eternal kingdom.
2 Corinthians 5:1
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The verse uses the metaphor of an ‘earthly tent’ and a ‘building from God’ to distinguish between our temporary earthly bodies and our eternal spiritual existence. Even if our ‘earthly tent’ is destroyed, believers can take solace in the promise of an ‘eternal house’ in heaven.
“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
The Apostle Paul, in this verse, professes his singular devotion to the cross of Christ, indicating a detachment from the world. He describes the reciprocal ‘crucifixion’ between him and the world, suggesting the relinquishment of worldly desires for the sake of Christ.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Jesus, in this verse, affirms the impermanence of heaven and earth, juxtaposed with the eternal nature of His words. This teaches us the importance of centering our lives around His enduring teachings, rather than the transient elements of this world.
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”
This verse offers a promise to those who ‘conquer’, signifying the victorious believers who overcome worldly temptations. They are promised a stable and eternal place (‘pillar’) in God’s temple and are marked with God’s name and the name of the ‘new Jerusalem’, further asserting the believer’s heavenly citizenship.
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus advises his followers not to revel in the earthly power of controlling spirits, but rather to rejoice in their spiritual privilege—their names being ‘written in heaven’. This underscores the theme of prioritizing spiritual accomplishments over temporal earthly powers.
What does the Bible say About “This World Is Not Our Home”?
The phrase “This world is not our home” is often used to convey the idea that as believers in God, our ultimate citizenship and eternal destination lie in a spiritual realm rather than in the earthly world. While the exact wording isn’t found verbatim in the Bible, the concept is rooted in various passages that emphasize the temporary nature of earthly life and the anticipation of a heavenly or eternal dwelling.
Temporary Nature of Earthly Life
Several passages in the Bible emphasize the impermanence of our earthly existence and highlight the idea that our true home is elsewhere. These verses encourage believers to focus on spiritual matters and eternal values rather than becoming overly attached to the transient things of this world.
Citizenship in Heaven
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, speaks of believers’ citizenship in heaven. He reminds them that their true identity and home are not defined by their physical presence on earth but by their relationship with Christ and their eternal destiny in the heavenly realm.
Longing for a Better Country
The author of the book of Hebrews discusses how faithful individuals throughout history looked forward to a heavenly homeland, acknowledging that they were strangers and exiles on earth. This concept reflects the idea that believers are part of a greater story that extends beyond the boundaries of this world.
Storing Treasures in Heaven
Jesus himself taught about the impermanence of earthly treasures and the importance of focusing on eternal rewards. He encouraged his followers to store up treasures in heaven rather than accumulating wealth and possessions on earth, indicating that their ultimate loyalty should be to God’s kingdom.
While the exact phrase “This world is not our home” is not present in the Bible, the concept it conveys is deeply woven throughout its pages. The Scriptures encourage believers to view their earthly lives as a temporary journey and to set their hearts and minds on the eternal realities of God’s kingdom. This perspective shapes how Christians approach challenges, prioritize their values, and find hope in the promise of an everlasting home in the presence of God.