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Our body is the house in which our spirit lives here on earth. When that house is destroyed, then God will give us another house. That house is not made by man's hand. But God made it. It will last for ever in heaven.

While we are in the house we have now, we are always crying and wanting to have our house from heaven.

When we have moved into it, then we are sure that we will never be left without a house.

While we are in this house, we cry and are troubled. It is not that we want to move out of this house, but we want to move into the other one. Then this body which will die will be changed into one which will live.

God is the one who has made us ready for this change. He has already given us the Spirit. This is the first part of what we are to receive, and it proves that we will get more.

So we always feel sure. While we live in our bodies we are not in our house with the Lord. We know that.

We do not see these things, but we believe them.

We feel sure that we will want to leave this body and go to live with the Lord.

So it does not matter if we are living here or go to live there. Wherever we are we want to please the Lord.

10 We must all stand before Christ to be judged. Then we will receive pay. If we have done well, our pay will be good. If we have not done well, our pay will not be good.

11 We know that the Lord must be feared, so we try to get people to believe. God knows what we are and what we do. And we hope that in your hearts you, too, know.

12 No, we are not praising ourselves again. But we are telling you this so that you may really be proud of us. Then you will be ready to answer people who are proud of themselves. They are proud of the things which can be seen. But in their hearts they have nothing to be proud of us.

13 If we are crazy, it is for God's sake. If we are right in our minds, it is for your sakes.

14 The love of Christ makes us do what we do to win men. We believe that one man died for all people. [To God] it is as if we all died with him.

15 He died for all, so that those who live would not live to please themselves. But they should live to please him who gave his life for them and rose again from death.

16 So then we no longer know people by what we see on the outside. There was a time when we knew Christ that way, but now we do not know him that way any longer.

17 So, if any man belongs to Christ, he is a new person. His old life has gone. You see, he has begun a new life.

18 But it is God who has done all this. He sent Christ to make peace with us and to bring us back to himself. Now he has given us the work of bringing other people back to God.

19 We are not looking at things that can be seen, but at things that cannot be seen. The things which can be seen last only a little while. But the things which cannot be seen last for ever.

20 So we are messengers for Christ. God is using us to call people. So we are standing here for Christ and begging people, `Come back to God!'

21 Christ did no wrong thing. But for our sake God put the blame for our wrong ways on Christ. So now God sees us as good, because we are in Christ.