John 14:1-6Amplified Bible
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “[a]I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.
Gloria. In Excelsis Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Amen.
An experienced traveler knows the value of making hotel reservations.
They spend some time working on their itinerary – the quality of the hotel they will be staying in, the quality of the food from local restaurants, entertainment venues which will help them pass their time while they are away from family.
The very thought of a comfortable room, a comfortable bed, the possibility of a good meal waiting for us at your destination just makes one feel more relaxed.
If we have to be away from our families, we might as well know the best ways we will be able to relax, get our share of work and rest, enjoy that time away.
The trip goes ever more smoothly when you have those advanced reservations.
In our reading for today from John’s Narrative, Rabbi Jesus speaks of hospitable lodging at the end of a long trip.
To comfort his disciples then, He tells us, his followers now , not to be worried during our journey on the road to eternity, on the road to our heavenly abode.
We have to trust in the Father.
In his heavenly abode there are many rooms.
And the Son prepares a special place for us.
The best medicine for a heavenly travelers heart is to utterly trust in God.
As we study this passage, we discover two important facts.
First, Jesus promises us more than just temporary housing.
The Greek words refer to “dwelling places,” and that implies permanence and stability.
Once we travel into that heavenly sanctuary, we won’t have to worry about finding new shelter again.
Second, we won’t have to look for that place on our own.
On this earth, it can be challenging to find an unfamiliar location, even with good directions.
But Jesus himself will return to show us the way.
The reservation confirmation for this heavenly lodging is going to be very simple.
BELIEVE IN GOD …
BELIEVE ALSO IN HIS SON, JESUS …
BELIEVE It’s forever safe for us in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you trusted him fully?
But, I can imagine that such a complete level of trust should have come from Rabbi Jesus’ disciples in that Upper Room after they have been told their Rabbi was going away – was going to be arrested, humiliated, brutalized, and killed.
I can also probably safely guess that if we were the ones in that Upper Room, our hearts too would be greatly disquieted and visibly shocked, out of sorts.
Setting aside the indescribable shock of learning your Messiah is about to be [voluntarily] walking down the roadway into his own grave, from which there is no return, is the lingering question for them of exactly what comes afterwards.
A Place, A heavenly place, A heavenly Abode …. A Mansion with many rooms.
Prepared by Jesus Himself … who will return for us one day … take us “home.”
What About this “Heavenly Mansion, Heavenly Home?”
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Everyone wants to know about heaven and everyone wants to go there.
Except, who has actually been there and will testify, paint that masterpiece everyone will automatically point to and believe is the true and actual place?
Recent polls suggest that nearly 80% of all Americans believe there is a place called heaven.
I find that statistic encouraging because it tells me that even in this skeptical age there is something deep inside the human heart that cries out,
“There has got to be something more, something better.”
Something more than the pain and suffering of this life.
Something more than 70 or 80 years on planet earth. Something more than being born, living, suffering an dying, and then being buried in the ground.
Sometimes we talk about a “God-shaped vacuum” inside the human heart.
I believe there is also a “heaven-shaped vacuum,” a sense that we were made for something more than this life.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-13Amplified Bible
God Set Eternity in the Heart of Man
11 He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
God Himself, despite our own self-opinions, has made everything and everyone beautiful and appropriate in their own time, their own unique, individual place.
God has also planted eternity, a sense of divine purpose into our human hearts.
And then gifted us with an insatiable desire we always refer to as “curiosity.”
Considering this notion of “curiosity” and the always and forever lingering question “what comes next for us when Jehovah Ra’ah the shepherd comes?”
It is reasonable to say and then to believe that …
“We were definitely made to live forever somewhere.”
In a very real sense we were made for heaven.
There is another fascinating statistic I should mention.
Not only do most Americans believe in heaven, most people expect to go there when they die.
If you took a microphone to the streets of where ever you live and asked, “Do you think you will go to heaven when you die?”
the vast majority of people would answer, “I hope so,” or “I think so,” or perhaps “I think I’ve got a good chance.
Not very many people would say they aren’t going to heaven.
Perhaps one modest point is in order.
Whenever you talk about living forever somewhere, it would help to know for sure where you are going.
After all, if you’re wrong about heaven, you’re going to be wrong for a long, long time.
With that background, I now consider some what I believe are some of the most frequently asked questions about heaven.
But before I jump in, I should make one preliminary point.
The only things we can know for certain about heaven are the things revealed in the Bible.
Everything else is just speculation and hearsay.
The Bible tells us everything we need to know and I believe it also tells us everything we can know for certain about heaven.
Where is Heaven?
There are three things I can try to tell you in answer to this question.
John 14:1-3Easy-to-Read Version
Jesus Comforts His Followers
14 Jesus said, “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back. Then I will take you with me, so that you can be where I am.
1. The most important fact is that heaven is a real place.
Twice in three verses Jesus calls heaven a place.
He means that heaven (“my Father’s house”) is a real place, as real as New York, London or Chicago.
The place called heaven is just as real as the place you call home.
It’s a very real place which is why the Bible sometimes compares heaven to a mansion with many rooms (John 14:1-3) and sometimes to an enormous city teeming with people (Revelation 21).
2. The Bible also tells us that heaven is the dwelling place of God.
His throne is there, the angels are there, the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven.
Philippians 3:20 says very plainly that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
That’s why Jesus told the thief on the Cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
3. Third (and I find this fact fascinating), the Bible hints heaven is not as far away as we might think.
Because heaven is a real place, we will sometimes think it must be outside our present universe – which would mean billions and billions of light years away.
However, it’s very clear that the early Christians understood that they would pass immediately from this life into the presence of Christ in heaven.
How can that be possible if heaven is “beyond the farthest universal bounds?”
Hebrews 12:22-24Amplified Bible
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels [in festive gathering], 23 and to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to God, who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect [bringing them to their final glory], 24 and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant [uniting God and man], and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance].
Hebrews 12:22-24 tells us something amazing about what the gospel has done for us:
“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
The writer is here comparing Mt. Sinai with Mt. Zion.
Under the old covenant no one could come near God except under very strict conditions – and then only by one person – the High Aaronic High Priest .
That’s why the mountain shook with thunder and lightning.
[Note: three times the writer of Hebrews uses a Greek word that means “to come near” or “to approach closely.]
But now in Christ, we have been brought near to heavenly realities.
Think very carefully and very prayerfully of what the author is saying:
- We’re not that far from heaven.
- We’re not that far from the angels.
- We’re not that far from our loved ones in heaven.
- We’re not that far from God.
- We’re not that far from Jesus himself.
- Heaven is a real place, it’s where Jesus is right now, and it’s not far away from us.
What is Heaven Like?
I would have to answer this by saying that the Bible doesn’t give us a great deal of information.
By the Word of God for the Children of God are images and pictures and visions of heaven and comparisons with life on earth.
What is heaven like? Here are seven biblical facts about heaven. It is …
- God’s dwelling place (Psalms 33:13).
- Where Christ is today (Acts 1:11).
- Where Christians go when they die (Philippians 1:21-23).
- The Father’s house (John 14:2).
- A city designed and built by God (Hebrews 11:10).
- A better country (Hebrews 11:16).
- Paradise (Luke 23:43).
Most of us have heard that heaven is a place where the streets are paved with gold, the gates are made of pearl, and the walls made of precious jewels.
Those images come from Revelation 21, which offers us the most extended picture of heaven in the entire Bible.
If you ask me if I believe those things are literally true, the answer is yes and no.
Yes, they are literally true but no, heaven won’t be anything like we imagine.
It will be infinitely greater.
When John writes about a street paved with gold, I do not doubt his words.
He simply reports what he saw in his vision.
Thus, I believe his words are literally true.
They are also meant to tell us that the things we value so highly in this life will be used to pave the roads in heaven.
Each of the stones and gems mentioned in the chapter represent something to the readers, have very well known and very specific spiritual qualities to them.
They are also meant to tell us that the things of this earth we value so highly in this life will be used to pave the roads in heaven.
You may also google each stone individually … Educate Yourself.
Jesus Has Our Eternal Travel Itinerary Already Prepared For Us
John 14:1-7 The Message
14 1-4 “Don’t let this rattle you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”
5 Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”
6-7 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”
Believe in God the Father …
Believe in God the Son …
Believe in God the Holy Spirit …
Believe in the Word of God for the Children of God …
Believe in the Life, Death, and Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Loving Father, thank You for Christ’s wonderful words of comfort, “Let not your heart be troubled…” Thank You that God the Son came to earth as the Son of Man to bring comfort to my heart, healing to my soul, and live in my spirit. Enable me, in the power of the Spirit, to hold fast to this wonderful truth in Your Word, and I pray that You endow me with the wisdom, the words, and the grace, to pour forth Your great comfort to others who are facing their own difficult trials. Our Father, what a total joy it is to know that Jesus has prepared a place for us in your presence! Help us to overcome our worries and to trust in you fully as we journey with you. Amen.
Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.
Gloria. In Excelsis Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.