"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for 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."
In those final hours of the Lord's time on the earth, the disciples' hearts were troubled by the Master's mood of deepening gloom, as He spoke of leaving, of betrayal, of death. Then, turning a corner, He gives a clarion call to encouragement, through promises of: (1) personalized preparation, (2) personal return, and (3) perennial fellowship.
"I go to prepare a place for you." In the process of soothing their troubled hearts, the Lord assures them that He will see to the preparation of each one's heavenly dwelling place, personally. This is no angelic mission, no assignment for deceased saints... rather, the Son of God Himself promised to make ready each believer's everlasting abode, perfectly suiting each one's "forever home" to his or her individuality. Our bodies will have been changed, transformed from earthy shells housing our redeemed spirit as well as the blessed Holy Spirit, to glorified ones, freed from all effects of sin's curse. And the place our Lord has prepared will match our glorified body and personality perfectly, producing praise to His glorious Name!
"I will come again, and receive you to Myself." The enemy of our soul loves to whisper subtle suggestions such as, "It's been centuries... He's not coming back..." Still, we must constantly remember: Our Lord's own character is the fundamental basis for the certainty of His promises. Not one word of anything He ever said failed to come to pass, because each syllable was an expression of His infallible character. So, when He said, "I will come again," He will! In His perfect timing, He will return. And note: we who are His will be received to Himself-- (causing one old preacher to say that heaven won't be a place so much as a Person!). For, what would all the streets of gold, pearly gates, etc., be without the Lord Jesus there..? Gorgeous surroundings, maybe, but not heaven... not unless the Lord of glory is there!
"...that where I am, there you may be also." For the blood-bought child of God there could be no sweeter place to be in all this universe than near the Lord Jesus Christ. Simply to be in His presence will be overwhelmingly full of wonder and adoration. When He walked this sin-cursed earth, children were drawn to climb into His lap, women wept at His feet, others left everything simply to be near Him as He walked, taught, healed, and revealed the Father. Is it even possible to imagine the joy of fellowship we'll experience without sin's interference in the heavenlies, as we are "with Him, where He is," forever?
Come quickly, Lord Jesus! May the truth of Your return impact our daily behavior, causing us to live holier, better-prepared lives. O that You would find us faithful when You come! Deepen our desire to not be ashamed at Your appearing. May Your Spirit remind us often of these things, as we are so forgetful. Thank You for Your great compassion and patience with us.
In Your Name we plea,