Heaven, A Real Place
Jesus said, "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. You know the way to the place where I am going... I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:1-4, 6)
Sooner or later you are going to experience physical death. You have a specific quantity of days to inhabit this earth and God alone knows their number. God's Word is clear, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27)
Physical death is part of the curse that has come upon man since Adam and Eve. God told them after their sin, "...you [will] return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19) Until Christ returns, all of mankind will experience physical death. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23) and "the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23) However, Jesus shares a powerful truth that is for all who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord.
Twice in today's text, Jesus refers to heaven as being a "place." Heaven is not a surreal, fairy-tale kingdom. It is literal and more real than the house you live in. The New American Standard Bible has the best translation when saying "In My Father's house are many dwelling places..." "Places" (Greek topos) means places in which one dwells, an abode or a home. These are permanent habitations of eternal rest and peace.
Revelation Chapter Seven records the beloved John's vision of seeing a "...great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne of God and in front of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]." Matthew Henry in his exposition of heaven in Revelation 7: 15-17 says, "[Christians will be] happy in their employment, for they serve God continually, and that without weakness, drowsiness, or weariness. Heaven is a state of service, though not of suffering; it is a state of rest, but not of sloth, it is a praising delightful rest."
Jesus is faithful. When He says He is preparing a place for Christians that is what He means. He also states another compelling fact that is a blessing to those who have lost loved ones who were born again Christians and for the children of God who are facing the trial of death. Jesus declares, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die..." [spiritually, to be raised physically at the resurrection of believers]. After saying these words, the Lord asked a question of His listeners that is still relevant to us today, "Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)
It is important to note, Jesus said, "...whoever lives and believes in Me." This promise is only for those who have made the transition from the old life of sin-centeredness to Christ-centeredness, the born again, "...those who are led by the Spirit of God." (Romans 8:14) So the question lingers today,
"Do You Believe This?"
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