Summary: What a wonderful thing coming home is! After a 15 mo. deployment in Iraq, this sermon was timely, with Jesus telling us about His home, the hope we can have to go there and how to get there.
Preached during “Reintegration” after a 15 mo. deployment of troops to Iraq from our military community.
The “Top Ten Reasons Heaven Will Be A Blast”’ under point I. are adapted from Steve Malones sermon by that title at http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/top-ten-reasons-why-heaven-is-going-to-be-a-blast-steve-malone-sermon-on-heaven-36334.asp?page=0). One or two other sources contributed to this message, but I somehow failed to record them. My apologies if you see an idea of yours in this message. I’d appreciate your contacting me so I can properly attribute.
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to John 14 (TO BE READ LATER)
What a wonderful thing coming home is! Many of you were away for fifteen months from home (except for your R&R time)—away from your spouse, from your children, from your church, from your belongings—from everything that has meaning to you and gives your life purpose. What did you do?—You longed for your loved ones, your home, and your things.
And what a thrill coming home was! What a blessing that you were able to come home safe and sound. What a joy to have your loved ones meet you and run to you and for you to be able to hold them in your arms and kiss and hug them in real life—not through videocam!
Homecoming is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. But folks, as joyful and thrilling as it is to come home on this earth, that’s NOTHING compared to the thrill believers will experience when they finally come to their REAL home. I want to talk to you about that today about coming home to the place God is preparing you for—the place God saved you for and is preparing for you if you have been saved—that place we usually call heaven.
In John 14 Jesus tells us about His Home, our Hope and How we can get there.
Let’s read our text, John 14:1-6 – “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
I. IN THESE VERSES JESUS SPEAKS THE HOME HE HAS PREPARED A NEW HOME FOR US
Jesus begins with calming words, words of comfort: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” He had just spoken of His own death and His disciples’ hearts were troubled. He was telling them, “Settle your hearts; still your anxious thoughts. You believe in God. Believe in Me too. Trust in God, and trust in Me.”
Then He says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” The Greek word translated “mansions” here doesn’t mean mansions as we think of them today. It literally means a “dwelling place” or an “abode.” In fact, the identical word is translated “abode” down in verse 23 where Jesus says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” The key point Jesus was making was not how big a place you’re going to get, but that there’s plenty of room in His house. Overcrowding heaven is not a problem.
We don’t need to fear that we will arrive at the gates of the new Jerusalem to find “No Vacancy” signs posted on the walls of jasper. Jesus says there is room for everyone who receives God’s offer of salvation. He says, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” He has gone ahead to prepare a place for each of us. Jesus is there making our home ready for each of us right now.
What is this place called heaven like? Well, it’s not nothing like what most of us picture heaven as being. I remember witnessing to a friend in England and he said, “I don’t want to go to heaven. The thought of endless tedium, floating on clouds, with nothing to do but strum a harp sounds boring. Hell would be much more interesting to.” John Eldridge, in The Journey of Desire says, “Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service….We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky, one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual.’ We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.”