Thursday, May 24, 2012

John 14:1-3 Again!

I love Jon Courson’s reminder that while the 88% of us claim to believe in heaven, we are certainly not acting like we believe it! He writes, “Believers are sometimes accused of being so heavenly-minded that they’re no earthly good. The Bible, however, teaches just the opposite – that we won’t be any earthly good until we are heavenly-minded…” (Courson, P.559)

In the first three verses of chapter 14, we see Jesus trying to refocus the discouraged disciples with an eternal perspective:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

All of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ are headed home! Some will get there sooner than others, but in the light of eternity, it’s all a short blip of time before we will see Him face to face. That is our hope – it’s also our assurance. Jesus says that this hope should calm troubled hearts.

Now, if your image of heaven was formed by cartoons or Hollywood, and you have a picture of sitting on clouds playing a harp, you will probably NOT get jump-up-and-down excited about heaven. So what do we know about heaven? Well, God is there!! (See Deut 26:15, 1 Kings 8:30, 2 Chron 6, etc.) A topical search of “heaven” will bring up hundreds of references to God being on His throne in heaven. So, just to be where He is will be beyond what we can imagine!

John describes the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21, and while we are not sure of what it will be like exactly (John was limited in his ability to completely describe it), we know it will be more beautiful and glorious than anything our puny minds can conceive. God’s presence will fill the city with light, since He IS Light, and with His glory. There will be no more tears, death, mourning, or pain (Rev 21:4) It will be a place for only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 21:27). So, there will be no sin or evil present. And, we will have glorified bodies like Christ’s (see 1 Cor 15)! No need for plastic surgery. Our bodies will be perfect!

But what I cannot get over is that Jesus is preparing a special place there just for me! It will be the perfect fit for who I am. No wonder Christians have comforted each other with these verses in John 14 for centuries! Our death will be a closing of the door on this crummy world, with an opening into our perfect place in His presence! Death, where is your sting??

How do we get there? Jesus makes that crystal clear in the next verses, which will look at tomorrow.  

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