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The Rent Is Due

by Tim O'Hearn

For those of us who do not own our houses, every month we dread hearing, "The rent is due.” The rent may be equal to, or even less than, a mortgage, but just the idea that we are paying monthly for something without getting ownership is a problem. When I was in the military, I never knew how long I would live in any given location, so I never purchased a house. As it turned out, I lived for almost twelve years in one military housing unit. I could have bought a house, but we never knew that we would stay there that long. When I retired from the Navy, we started renting. Especially because my first two jobs did not last more than a couple of years, we just kept renting. Even when I spent fourteen years in one job, we never bought a house, and now that I am retired and older it seems that purchasing is out of the question. So every month I think, “The rent is due.”

We are all just renters. These bodies we live in are temporary at best. They are not a permanent home. The apostles knew that.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (2 Cor 5:1-4)

Paul knew he had a house later, but for the moment he was renting a tent. Peter seems to have had the same idea.

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. (2 Pet 1:13-14)

What is this life, after all, but a mere vapor? We don’t have time to purchase a house, even if we could. And so every month we should hear God tell us, “The rent is due.”

There is a reason most landlords charge rent. They have obligations, such as the purchase of the property itself. A landlord is not going to say that all future rent is forgiven, based on how long you have been living in the house. (Would that it were so!) He has to collect the rent. But God is not your typical landlord.

Here is the situation. The landlord comes up to you and says you owe the rent. Not only that, because you have caused damage to the property this month, like you did last month and the month before, you owe the rent plus damages. By all rights, you should be evicted. But wait. The Landlord tells you the rent and all damages have been paid. And not just for this month, but until you should move out. And when you do move out, he will welcome you into a permanent dwelling that is also rent free. That is how God is.

The rent and damages have been paid. God sent his Son to pay the price.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Cor 6:19-20)

Just before Jesus paid the rent on our tabernacles, he also made the promise of a permanent home. He even said that he was going to be the property manager, and clean the place up for us.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)

The rent is paid. We don’t have to be reminded the rent is due.