Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Home Is Heaven

It is certainly true for the Christian that home is where the heart is.: Heaven! Whenever a Christian dies someone is sure to say that they have ‘gone home to be with the Lord.’ Perhaps the most famous ‘going home’ story in the Bible is the ‘Prodigal Son’ parable. After squandering everything he had in a life of debauchery he returned to his father’s house with a penitent heart. Even though he had turned his back on him his father welcomed him home. The picture here is, of course, that all humanity (which includes you) has turned its collective back on God and lives life as it sees fit. However, there are many who hear the Gospel and by the grace of God repent and return to the Father’s house. Jesus says, ‘In My Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go there to prepare a place for you.’ John 14:2. Jesus had Himself slaughtered at a Roman abattoir to prepare a place for each one of His people. He raised Himself from the dead and ascended into Heaven to go and prepare a place for them.

Scripture says that God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and that those who repent and believe in the Gospel will spend eternity with God in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15; John 3:16). But where exactly is the house with many mansions? Where is home for the Christian? First, God converts the individual, i.e., causes them to be born again, born spiritually, enabled to see and to enter His kingdom (John 3:3-8). Second, when the Christian dies he or she temporarily departs his or her body and goes to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 1:21-24). This temporary period is the ‘Intermediate State.’ Some mistake this as Heaven for Christians and Hell for God-rejecters, forgetting about the resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15:13). The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus speaks of the ‘Intermediate State.’ ‘Then he [i.e., the Rich Man] cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.”’ Luke 16:24-26. Third, the Lord returns to earth and the graves give up their dead, i.e., all humanity is resurrected on the Last Day which is Judgment Day (John 6:39; 12:48; Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:11-15). This means that the souls in Heaven and in Hell regain their bodies (albeit raised with different qualities, 1 Corinthians 15:39-45). The question arises at this point: If there are people in Heaven and Hell before Judgment Day, then what is Judgment Day? It is the day when God makes His face shine grace upon believers while His justice pours consuming fire upon unbelievers (Revelation 21:6-8). Jesus says, ‘Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.’ John 5:28-29. Fourth and finally, the house of ‘many mansions’ is on the new earth (Revelation 20:1).  This is the eternal home of resurrected Christians. This is where the heart is. This is Heaven.

‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.’ Matthew 6:33.


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