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, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I was flipping through television channels in a futile attempt to find something worth watching for a few minutes when the commercial for an upcoming movie grabbed my attention. A young man was trying to console his obviously upset friend. As he leaned across the table and took her hand, the young man quietly said, “God promised that everything will be okay in the end. So if everything is not okay, then this is not the end.” The profound and simple truth stopped me in my tracks.
It had been a hard day – for many reasons. I have to admit that several times during the day I had thought, “God, I don’t get it. Why is this happening?”
I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for many years, but my faith obviously still has a long way to grow. For a few minutes, I had forgotten that this world is not my eternal home, and its troubles and trials are only temporary. When I came to Christ, my citizenship was automatically and eternally changed from earth to heaven.
I read about an American tourist who paid a visit to a renowned Polish rabbi. The tourist was astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was just a simple room filled with books, a table, and a cot. “Rabbi, where is your furniture?” the tourist asked. The rabbi simply replied, “Where is yours?” The puzzled American asked, “Mine? But I am only a visitor here. I’m only passing through.” The rabbi smiled and replied, “So am I.”
The apostle John wrote, “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.”
In this passage, Jesus calls heaven “topos.” In the Greek, the literal meaning of this word is “place.” In other words, heaven is described as a real place. In this same passage, Jesus also calls heaven “oikos” which means “a house or home, a dwelling.” Some people say heaven is “a state of mind, a dream or wishful thinking,” but the Bible is very clear about the fact that heaven is a real place. It is as real as the home and city in which you live.
· Acts 1:11 “They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw Him go, He will return!”’
Jesus did not go up into a state of mind, a dream or wishful thinking. He went to a real place and a real home.
· Acts 10:9-11 “Peter was going up to the roof to pray. He was hungry and wanted to eat, but while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. He saw heaven opened.”
· Stephen was martyred for Christ. While he was being stoned, he spoke these words:
“Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (Acts 7:56).
The Bible repeatedly refers to heaven as a real place … a very real and very beautiful place. Heaven is the workmanship of God. Think about that for a moment.
Jesus was a carpenter, a builder. He announced that He was going away to prepare a beautiful home in heaven for us. We know what kind of work He does. He created the universe in six days. Jesus loves detail. Look at the wings of a butterfly. He loves color. Look at a rainbow or a sunset. He loves beauty. Look into the face of a newborn baby. Jesus has been working on heaven for over 2,000 years. What a place it must be!
When I hold the troubles and trials of this world against the backdrop of heaven, peace floods my heart, mind and soul. I just need to remember that this world is not really my home. I am just passing through. How about you?
Father, I want to thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life. I cannot even imagine what my home in heaven is like. When the storms of life hit, help me remember that this world is not my home … I am just passing through.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Heaven is the heart and soul of our faith. It is a reality. Read the following two verses. Record them in your journal. What new truth and hope about heaven does each verse give you?
· Isaiah 63:15 “LORD, look down from the heavens and see; look at us from your wonderful and holy home in heaven.”
· Colossians 1:5 “You have this faith and love because of your hope, and what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven.”