Wednesday, May 23, 2012

John 14:1-3

Jesus knew that His disciples were in turmoil about what He had just told them - He was going away and they would all abandon Him! So He refocuses them by giving them the most amazing words of comfort. These verses are so special, we are going to park here for a while!

“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. (John 14:1-3)

Jesus first gives them the key to peace for a troubled heart: trust in God! I love to quote Psalm 37:3a as my “mental health” verse: Trust in the LORD and do good. It says to me that if we just trust or believe in God and in His Word, then get outside of ourselves to help others, we will be able to overcome internal turmoil. Jesus tells the disciples here that they need to refocus their thoughts on believing in God and in Jesus. If we just believe and trust in and rely on what the Word of God tells us, we will have the peace that passes all understanding.

So Jesus tells them that they need to believe that there IS a place for us in heaven. He promises them that if it weren’t true He would have told them. He was not making this stuff up! The Bible mentions heaven more than 550 times. It is a real place. Believe it! If we truly focus on our eternal destination, nothing will shake us.

Jon Courson writes that an article in the Washington Post in April, 2000, said that 88% of Americans believe in a literal place called heaven. Then he describes what life on earth would be like if people DIDN’T believe in heaven:

     A society that didn’t believe in heaven would be obsessed with youth. It would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to look, stay, and feel young through plastic surgery, diets, and exercise programs. A society that didn’t believe in heaven would spend billions of dollars on life support systems to delay facing an unknown future. In a society that didn’t believe in heaven, crime would soar without fear of eternal judgment. The theology of a society that didn’t believe in heaven would be based upon the here and now - on health and prosperity. 
     Wait a minute. We are that culture, because although our generation gives lip service to the idea of heaven, we do no live out the reality of heaven. (Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: New Testament, P. 558)

There IS a heaven, and the really good news is that Jesus promises He is preparing a place there just for YOU! It is going to be specifically designed with you in mind, to fulfill your desires and potential. It will perfectly match your DNA! Imagine! We will look at this more tomorrow. Just want to briefly mention that third verse in this passage. Jesus promises that He will come back and take us to be with Him. I believe that will happen in one of two ways: either He will come personally at the hour of our deaths and usher us into heaven with Him, or we will meet Him in the air with His return. Wow! Lots more to say on these subjects!! This is good stuff!  

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