As I write this I am sitting in an airplane seat heading east. I’m flying coach mind you, as I can’t afford the luxury of first class, and neither have I the miles to upgrade. I’m heading back to the homeland, Wisconsin, to spend a few days with my mother and whichever other members of the family show up during my stay. Speaking of my stay, I’ll be staying tonight in the Red Roof Inn of Madison, WI. It was the lowest cost of all that I found available. Why am I bunking in Madison rather than at my Mom’s house in La Crosse? Economics is once more the answer. It is much less expensive to fly there, than my hometown of La Crosse, so I’ll make the three hour drive tomorrow. What I’m praying for tonight is a “clean comfortable room” and I don’t anticipate much beyond that.
As I sit here all smashed into the aisle seat in row 22, next to my new found friend (4 month old) Nathan, I’m looking forward to the night’s accommodations…been up since 5:00am. In situations like this I’m reminded of what the ultimate goal of our Christian life is; arriving in heaven forever to be with the Lord. Traveling helps me to remember, and to appreciate, what lies ahead, eternally ahead, for those of us who have responded by faith in the Spirit’s power to the call of God through the Gospel.
As Jesus is preparing His disciples for what soon will take place in His life and ministry He tells them that He won’t be around much longer. He will be going home to his heavenly Father, not as a visitor, but to be a permanent resident of the right hand of God. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) this doesn’t sit well with the twelve. Once again Jesus offers words of encouragement, reassurance and hope. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many mansions; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:1-2) At the end of this life lies a whole new life, a new world, a new universe; something that none of us can imagine let alone has experienced in this world. While life on earth today includes ever shrinking airplane seats and bargain basement hotels what we will experience in heaven will be beyond first class, the very best of the best of the best; including our very own mansion! The great preacher and evangelist, and founder of Moody Church, D.L. Moody put it this way. "Someday you will read in the papers, 'D. L. Moody of East Northfield is dead.' Don't you believe a word of it! "At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.”
Everything that we experience in our eternal life will be more vibrant, more intensely wonderful, more overwhelming to the senses, than anything that we will ever experience in this life, and all in a good way. We will be more alive than we’ve ever been, and that will last forever. All that we see, all that we hear, smell, taste and feel will be more than this mortal body could handle. That’s why we’ll receive a new body; one just like that of the risen Christ. That’s not just me talking…listen to the words of the Apostle John once again. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2) For all eternity, forever and ever, we will be transformed into the likeness of Jesus our Savior. We will be just like Him! We’ll experience life in the same way that He does, with all of the wonders, all of the wealth, all of the blessedness, peace and joy. That sure trumps the Red Roof Inn (no offense to its owners intended).
Jesus is right now preparing a place, YOUR PLACE. When it’s ready He will be coming back to take you there, to be with Him, forever. That’s His promise, and He ALWAYS keeps His promises!