I don’t know about you, but I want to go to heaven. In heaven there will be no more tears, pains, sorrows, or even death (Rev. 21:4). There the faithful will serve God eternally without the obstacles we face in this life. In the fourteenth chapter of the John’s gospel account, Jesus paints for us a beautiful landscape of heaven upon the canvas of revelation with the pure words of inspiration. In the first four verses he paints a portrait of heaven as (1) a place of peace, as (2) a place of preparation, as (3) a place of possession, and as (4a) a place of a plan. I want a place in heaven because it is a …
Place Of Peace
In verse one, Jesus presents heaven as a place of peace or rest. The word “trouble” is the word which means to agitate, stir up, or unsettle. But the Lord said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Why? Jesus had just said that he was going to be glorified with His Father. This occurred when He was raised to sit at the Father’s right hand in heaven. He further said that His disciples could follow Him afterwards. The fact that the Lord is in heaven and that we will one day follow Him there should comfort the most anxious of hearts (I Thess. 4:13-18). Heaven is a place of peace and great comfort. Indeed, of rest (Heb. 4:9-11).
We have no right to rest yet, however. We must work. Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Our work will not be finished until we leave this earth, until the toils of life have ceased. Revelation states, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13). It is only after we have finished our gospel endeavors on this earth can we hope to enter into that heavenly rest (II Cor. 5:1-10). Heaven is also a…
Place In Preparation
Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you” (14:3). This does not mean that Jesus will have to build more mansions. No, there are plenty. He has already said that in His Father’s house are “many mansions.” This word “prepare” means to make ready. The Bible teaches that heaven has been prepared for us by God since the beginning of time. Jesus said, “And then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). We are further told “but now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:16).
Too, notice that Jesus said there are “many mansions” in His Father’s house. On another occasion, Jesus said that “few” would enter into the straight and narrow path that leads to heaven (Matt. 7:14), but heaven is big enough for all men who will obey God. Jesus further assures us that if it were not the case that heaven was big enough for us, He would have told us. God does not keep anyone from heaven. He has not predestined some to be saved and others lost. It is man that deceives himself. If any man does not make it to heaven, he will have only himself to blame. Heaven is also a. . .
Place Of Possession
Heaven is also a place of possession. Jesus said, “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.” Jesus here makes a promise to his faithful disciples: I will come again. We must know that “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9). Regardless of what the critics may say, Christ will return. Regardless of how many false predictions of His return are made, Christ will return. He has made a promise.
However, the Lord promised also to receive us unto Himself. This is what makes the Christian life so special: we are close to God. The apostle Paul taught that we are no longer our own masters when we obey the gospel of Christ. Christ lives in us (Gal.2:20). We divorce ourselves from our own wills and begin to do the will of Him who owns us. When the Lord returns and we are taken to glory, we know that we shall be as He is (I John 3:1-3). Finally, heaven is a . . .
Place Of A Plan
Most every successful journey we take to new lands requires us to plan our route. There must be a road to where we wish to go. The journey to heaven is no different. To get to heaven we must follow the Master’s Plan–the Bible. The Bible plainly tells us that there is a correct way to go heaven (Matt. 7:21-23). In fact, the Bible teaches there is only one way to get there. All other ways will lead to hell (Matt. 67:13,14).
God has always had a plan. The church of Christ is God’s plan to save man from the consequences of his sins (Eph. 5:32). This plan was not the last minute decision of deity, as the millenialists say, but the eternal plan of God (Rev. 13:8). The church of Christ is God’s eternal plan (Eph. 3:10,11). While in ages past the plan was not made manifest Paul states that the Old Covenant was “imposed” on the Jews till the time of reformation, when Christ would show the path into the Holiest of all–heaven (Heb. 9:8-12)! When Christ did enter heaven after His triumphant resurrection from the grave, He obtained eternal redemption for us (Eph. 1:3-13). We now have access into the Holiest of all through Christ.
Eric L. Padgett