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My Father's House

Updated on January 14, 2018
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I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

A House that is Home

All of us have either seen or been in very elaborate and expensive houses. They are in the best of neighborhoods, and are worth several million dollars. Some of them have servants that wait on you hand and foot. They are the type of house that the world would say that a successful person would own. Yet if one of those houses remains vacant, is it truly a home? How about if that same house is occupied by a family in which the husband and wife are fighting and on the verge of divorce? What if abuse is taking place in the house? What is it that truly makes a house a home?

I personally have seen families that obviously didn't own much of this world's goods yet they lived in houses that I wanted to visit again and again. They obviously were poor, but there was something at that house that drew me to it. This house had love in it. It had a family that cared for one another so much that it showed. And love, unlike so many things in this world, doesn't dissipate the more it is used. It actually grows and envelops all who come within its sphere of influence. So a family with true love has more than enough to share with all who call upon them.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has told us that God the Heavenly Father has a house with many rooms and Jesus himself has gone to prepare a place for all who are part of his forever family through faith. And there is more than enough love for all who want to go there.

Big House

I. A Place to Long For

At last count there are 7.6 billion people in this place we call Earth. And at the last census that was attempted by the United Nations there were 100 million homeless worldwide. That is 100 million people who aren't experiencing what most of us in America take for granted: A warm, dry, relatively safe place to live.

While this is tragic and we should do all that we can to help these people, the biggest tragedy of all is to miss what our Heavenly Father has in store for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Our Lord has told us:

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3)

The Apostle Paul teaches us that: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” ( I Corinthians 2:9) God, through his Spirit, and the Word has given us a glimpse of eternity and it is going to be glorious!"

As a matter of fact Paul, in Romans 8:18 also says: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." As bad as the worst experience is that you will ever undergo on this earth-be it the death of a loved one, a major illness, the loss of all your worldly possessions, or any other tragedy you can name- the glory of Heaven will so far outweigh it that when we think of it there it will be considered a minor inconvenience we had to go through.

Some think of heaven as a boring place in which we sit around on clouds all day and strum harps. Others think of it like an eternal church service and really don't want to go. Far from this notion is the biblical view of heaven as so marvelous and so great that we should in fact long to see and experience it. Jesus called heaven a paradise (Luke 23:43). The God who created this earth and universe in which we live is far from a boring God. When he created this earth apart from sin, he said it was very good. That is the place we don't want to leave now, even though it has been corrupted by sin and evil. Can we expect anything less of the New Heaven and the New Earth without the sin. Certainly not! It will be a place of utter joy and delight!

John Piper on Heaven

A Place that is Physical

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. It is interesting that Scripture describes it in physical terms, yet we still get the idea that we will be some disembodied spirits floating around on clouds for eternity. This comes from a Greek misunderstanding of physical life that is not biblical. Plato, and later a group known as the Gnostics, believed that the flesh was evil or inferior to the spiritual and you couldn't mix the two.

While it is true that Paul teaches that those who die will be absent from the body and present with the Lord, he further tells us that we will receive new resurrected bodies at his coming (I Thessalonians 4:16,17; I Corinthians 15). And our bodies will be like Jesus' glorious body ( I John 3:2).

We know from his post-resurrection time on earth that Jesus had a body that could be recognized and touched. Indeed he asked Thomas to touch him and see that it was really he (Luke 24:39). Jesus talked about eating and drinking in his glorious kingdom as well (Mark 14:25).

When Jesus returns to earth his Millennial Kingdom, or thousand year reign, is described in physical terms even though it seems that there will be those living in it that haven't yet died and those who are resurrected after the Great Tribulation that is to befall the earth before it. (Revelation 20:4-6). Isaiah 65 describes a New Heavens and a New earth in which God's people will live long lives and with no premature infant death. They will plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. People will build houses and others won't inhabit them. The wolf and lamb will graze together and the lion will eat straw like an ox. The natural order will not anymore include violent killing of one animal by another. But there still will be a natural order.

But what happens once the thousand year reign of Christ is over and Satan and all evil and sin has been put away forever? The Apostle John again talks about a new heaven and a new earth in physical terms, this time without any death. He says:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4).

Notice where John says the dwelling place of God will be. Jesus will reign forever in the New Jerusalem that has now come down from God. Heaven and earth will now be united because God himself will dwell with his people. And the Body of Christ, the people of God of this present age, whom Paul said would be with the Lord forever in I Thessalonians 4:17, will presumably be on earth where the Lord reigns as well. The earth, which has been groaning under the weight and curse of sin will now be completely redeemed by God just as he promised (Romans 18:20-25).

Scripture describes the new heaven-controlled earth as a wonderful place, minus the curse of sin where the River of Life flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb, On either side of the street is the tree of life bearing twelve kinds of fruit monthly. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1,2).

Conclusion

If you are getting the feeling that heaven is like an Eden restored, with God walking and talking with his people in the midst of it, then you are getting a more biblical view of this wonderful place. We will no doubt work and fulfill our god ordained purpose of bringing glory to him by using our talents and abilities to their fullest extent forever. We will be able to travel and explore the vast earth and most likely the universe that God has created. And it will be a place where we will be loved by God and all his people for eternity. The house will truly be a home!

This home is entered only if you are in the family of God. If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Savior, he is the only way into the place being prepared. Accept his sacrifice on the cross for your sins today.

Those in God's forever family have a wonderful future ahead full of adventure and joy. The best is yet to come in our Father's vast and wonderful home. Let us praise him for all he has done and all he will do!


© 2018 Jeff Shirley

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    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      8 months ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks Bill! It's always good to hear from you. I am also thankful for your godly wisdom and critique of my writing. God bless!!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      8 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good article, Jeff. It's truly sad that some people just don't get it. Thank you for standing for truth.

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      8 months ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Jesus did say that he didn't come to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). We can agree there. However, John 3:36 says that ""He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." Jesus came to give us life. It is a free gift. (Ephesians 2:8,9). But like any gift, your need to accept it.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      8 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      "It seems that you are using my Hub to argue. I don't mind honest debate in the right place but you can't really do that well on a forum like this."

      No, I do not believe in arguing or debating. I believe in discussion, intelligently. This is the purpose of Hubpages.

      Let us agree on this:

      Jesus Forgave everyone and never sought to Punish anyone.

      Jesus is our example of God.

      We are to learn to Forgive everyone and not seek to Punish anyone.

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      8 months ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Mr. OBrien: It seems that you are using my Hub to argue. I don't mind honest debate in the right place but you can't really do that well on a forum like this.

      It is interesting that you deny the sacrifice of Christ when the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament, which Jesus said he came to fulfill, is based upon substitutionary atonement for sin. If you read the book of Hebrews, it talks about that and that Jesus' blood shed on the cross has eternal value. He needed only one offering. Read chapters 9 and 10. That was the offering of himself on the cross. And I John 2:2 says that Jesus was the propitiation for our sins. " Propitiation, also called expiation, is the act of appeasing or making well-disposed a deity, thus incurring divine favor or avoiding divine retribution." God is a holy God who hates sin. This verse clearly teaches that Jesus' death appeased God's wrath toward us because of our sin. You simply cannot read the whole Bible and get around the fact that Jesus' death, burial and resurrection for the sin of the world is a central theme to which the Old Testament points and the New Testament explains after the fact. I cannot and will not cheapen the death of Christ to say forgiveness of sins is possible without his death on the cross. Hebrews 9:22 even says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. The Scriptures cannot be more clear.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      8 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      "God could not simply forgive sins because his holiness demands that sin be punished."

      No, Jesus always forgave and never sought punishment.

      "Acts 4:12 tells us that: "Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.""

      Salvation comes from Forgiveness, Not Condemnation... Jesus.

      "It is accepting Jesus as your substitute for sin that brings about the forgiveness of that sin."

      It is the Forgiveness of sin which removes sin. This is what Jesus taught.

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      8 months ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Mr. OBrian: Much of what I could tell you I already talked about in the comment below. God is a holy God and his standard is perfection. James 2:10 says that whoever keeps the whole law and yet offends in one point, he is guilty of all. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It also says that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).

      God could not simply forgive sins because his holiness demands that sin be punished. But it was Jesus Christ who took our punishment upon himself on the cross (II Corinthians 5:21).

      Acts 4:12 tells us that: "Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."

      In the Old Testament it was prophesied of Jesus: "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity (or sin) of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

      It is accepting Jesus as your substitute for sin that brings about the forgiveness of that sin.

      Paul says that we are saved by grace (unmerited favor) through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8,9). But we must accept that gift to receive it. Unfortunately, not all will.

      We can't do anything to merit forgiveness or eternal life. Scripture tells us that all our righteousness are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). And there is none that does good (Romans 3:12).

      Jesus Christ, who was both God and man, was the only one to ever live a perfect life on this earth. And it was because of this that he was able to make that sacrifice on the cross (I Peter 2:24; II Corinthians 5:21), not for his own sins, but for the sins of the world. I hope that helps. Feel free to ask if you have further questions. God bless!

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      8 months ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Charlie: I will answer you one time and one time only because I will not allow any arguing back and forth on my Hubs. If you want to write an article then so be it. Those who know me know that I try to remain as close to the Bible as possible. I am not saying that I'm perfect and I am perfectly willing to retract and correct any legitimate errors that are found. But what your are saying is not Scriptural and goes against 2000 years of teaching by men and women who love the Lord and who wanted to remain faithful to the Scriptures.

      II Corinthians 5:19-21 says that we are to preach the message of reconciliation. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

      Hebrews 10 tells us that all the offerings that were made in the Old Testament could not save us. But by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

      Also speaking of Jesus, Peter says in I Peter 2:24 "For he himself bore our sins in his own body upon the tree that we being dead to sin might live unto righteousness, by who wounds we are healed."

      And John 3:16 says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

      Jesus himself said that he came to serve and give his life a ransom for many in Matthew 20:28.

      I could go on but you are wrong. Jesus came to die for our sins and accepting him means we accept that sacrifice on our behalf.

      By the way, I deleted your first post because you were not being civil and I almost deleted this one as well. If you are truly sincere in your beliefs, then the way you talk to people will not cause them to be open to them. But please examine the Scriptures carefully. I truly believe that the Bible is clear on Salvation and none of us can afford to be wrong on this issue.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 

      8 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      ..removing my comment to correct your false doctrines will only cause an article exposing them.

      accepting Jesus as your savior does not make you a son of God. The Lord of this age Jesus Christ sets the rules and here is what He says

      Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

      sons of God must do ALL that Jesus requires

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      8 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      From article, "If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Savior, he is the only way into the place being prepared. Accept his sacrifice on the cross for your sins today."

      I accept Jesus and His teachings, however I do not get the sacrifice part.

      Forgiveness removes sin, not sacrifice. No sacrifice, animal or human has ever removed one sin. Forgiveness removes sin. Please explain what you mean.

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      8 months ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Jackie: Thanks for stopping by. The Bible teaches that we will receive a body just like Jesus. It will look like the body that we have now, since people will be able to recognize us as they recognized Christ. Of course they will not have any flaws caused by sin such as being unable to walk, talk or hear. Also, the Holy Spirit is sometimes depicted as a dove such as in Luke 3:22 and Matthew 3:16, but I don't think that humans are ever seen as looking like anything other than human. Thanks again and God bless you!!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      8 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Beautiful. I enjoyed reading this very much.

      I do think we will be all over this earth doing God's will in our spirit bodies and appear as doves maybe. You think so? There is a scripture somewhere that I do not recall right now that always made me think so.

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