Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.…
It is impossible wholly to estimate the value of the gospel. It is not only that it brings the knowledge of salvation to us; but it makes revelations that no other book on earth ever made with reference to a future state of existence.
I. You find in the text, then, first, the idea of COMFORT. You will remark that it was Christ's intention, by this description of heaven, to administer comfort to the disciples. Then mark the consolations of religion, and the consolatory hope of heaven, belong to a certain class — to those that believe in God and believe also in Christ. But now, what is the comfort that the idea of a father's house, or home, conveys to the mind? First of all, Christ speaks of His Father's house, and therefore we call it our Father's house — just because he says, "My Father and your Father, my God and your God." Of all the ideas of comfort that we can form, "home" conveys the sweetest.
1. Now the first thing that strikes us here is a wonder certainly — but it is the truth — that we shall feel perfectly at home in our Father's house. When we think of our own weakness and sinfulness here, and then think of the glory of God, the glory of Christ, the glory of angels, and the glory of the spirits of just men made perfect, it requires no slight effort of mind to fancy that we shall be at home there: but we shall.
2. To constitute a home there must be familiarity and confidence. We can talk with the folks at home with a confidence that we cannot use towards strangers. Now imagine yourself in familiar conversation, in love, with patriarchs, and with prophets, and with Christ Himself — for He will be there. It requires an elevation of faith and confidence, and spirituality of mind.
3. But, of course, this supposes another thing with regard to home — that it is all love there. Here we are strangers — it may be, perhaps, surrounded by enemies; there all is love. Evil tempers, crabbed dispositions, restless fretfulness, that even some good men manifest, will not be there. There will be perfect love; and everyone will wear a cheerful countenance; and it will be a glorious home. Well, that is what you are to think about; that is what it will be. Don't let your hearts be troubled. If troubles come, think of your home, as a stranger does who has long journeyed, and not had a very comfortable berth to rest in at night.
II. In the second place, we have the idea of PERMANENCE. There is a permanence about heaven that we can well understand, if we cannot fully comprehend.
1. The first thing is this, that when we get there nobody can turn us out again.
2. Then you will further observe, that as to this permanence, there will be ample sources of joy for us throughout eternity.
III. The third idea in our text is PREPARATION. Observe it is prepared for us, and the preparation is made by Christ Himself. And you will notice that preparation made for us testifies to the kindness and love of Him who prepares it.
1. Now whilst this shows the love of Christ to His people, the simple fact of His going to prepare a place for us you see involves too His knowledge of our love to Him. It is really as though He had said, "Heaven won't be a complete home to Me till you are there, and I am sure it will not be to you till I am there; we must be together."
2. But, moreover, this preparation shows the adaptation of our present state to that home that He is gone to prepare for us. "He that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who bath also given us the earnest of the Spirit."
IV. But in the next place we have the idea of RECEPTION. "I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also." You immediately catch the idea of home here. The reception one will meet with from wife and children is one of the delightful anticipations of returning home. The moment the spirit is out of the body the first object on which it will fix its sight is Christ, with smiles on His face and glory on His brow. For, mark you, Christ would not trust the safety of one of His redeemed spirits in the hands of all the angels of heaven. He will be there Himself to take care of it. We do not know what death is: He does. Observe, there is a two-fold reception which Christ will give us — first, that which we may call our personal reception in heaven; and next that public, glorious reception that He will give us at the last great day, when He shall come a second time without sin unto salvation.
V. Now, in the last place, here is CERTAINTY. "If it were not so, I would have told you."
1. Christ is already there in possession.
2. Next, Christ says He would have told us if there had been no heaven. Further, our hopes of heaven should guard us against two evils that we are subject to. The first is that which Christ has set before you. Don't be unduly troubled about earthly things. Then, on the other hand, do not be too delighted with earthly things.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.