Sunday, December 20, 2015

Do You Have a Home in Heaven? -- Mentoring on Eternity

It’s always so exciting to think about moving into a new home. Whether, you are moving across country to a new job, or you simply need a different or larger home within your community to meet the needs of a growing family, there is a great deal of thought, discussion, and looking that goes into searching for a new home. Some people, though, just can’t find a home that meets their needs or their desires, so they decide to build a home to their specifications. They then spend nearly an entire year working with a contractor to build the new home of their dreams. Every day the anticipation of the new home that is being built grows. The excitement builds too! But, the excitement doesn’t just come from building a new home. For, whether you are buying an existing home, building a home, or looking at renting a home, there is always a certain amount of excitement in looking forward to and in finally moving into a new home.

Some of the excitement in moving into a new home comes from: the change to your surroundings; the chance to have a different home style; the chance to decorate your new home in a different way than the previous one; or in some cases the chance to build or move into the home of your dreams. For some people, the excitement may come from all of the above reasons or anticipations. Sometimes, though, the excitement of moving into a new home simply comes from the unknown, especially if that unknown includes a move across the country to your new home or leads you away from the security of friends and family. In this case, the excitement may also include some fears and uncertainty.

There can be a certain amount of fear or trepidation of the unknown. For, moving to a new home also brings with it many questions. We can have such questions as; will the community that I move into be a kind and loving community?  Will the new job work out so that I don’t have to move again right away? Will there be unforeseen problems with the house that can’t be seen with a general inspection? Or, will the contractor be knowledgeable and really do a good job in building the home of my dreams? All of those questions and many more can produce fears and trepidations, which often go through our minds when we finally make a decision to move into a different or new home.

Christians do not have to have fear or trepidation about the unknown, because God is always here for us. He comforts us when there are problems in this world and He helps us to find answers and solutions to the problems we might face while here on earth. We do not have to fear Eternity either. For, it is through our Salvation, that Christ assures us that we will not only have the promise of an Eternity in Heaven with Him, but that we will have a glorious home awaiting us in Heaven. Indeed, Christ is preparing a home for us. He is building us a new home. We do not know what that entails, but we know this is true, because Christ told us so. Moreover, the Biblical Scriptures tell us about our Eternity in Heaven that God has prepared for those who love Him and His Son. Furthermore, through the Scriptures God has also given us assurances and guarantees that our home in Heaven will be more wonderful that we can even imagine. So, there is no reason to fear the unknown, if we know that we are, indeed, “Saved”.

Over the past weeks I have been discussing with you some of the different assurances that God has given all of us through His Word about our Eternity in Heaven. God has also given us assurances of Eternity through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and through our innate knowledge of Eternity in Heaven, which was placed in our souls by God. In the last three blogs, we talked about five of the at least ten assurances recorded of which the Scriptures tell us about Heaven and Eternity. Now, let’s take a closer look at the assurance number six that God gives us about our eternal home in Heaven.

Assurance Number Six about Eternal Life with God

Assurance number six comes from Christ’s own words about preparing for each of us a home in Eternity. We know that many days after His resurrection Jesus Christ went back to Heaven to await the time when He would return or come again to bring all Christians home to be in Eternity with Him. But, before Jesus Christ went back to Heaven He made it a point to give His disciples specific information about not only Eternity in Heaven, but information about their new home there. Christ also told His disciples what they would someday be doing in Heaven. For, from Jesus’ own words, the disciples learned that they would be ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel. Assurance number six about Eternity in Heaven also comes from Jesus’ own words. Indeed, Jesus Christ tells us that we can be assured of and be secure in our knowledge about our eternal life in Heaven.

Eternity is just one heart-beat away for each of us. But, Christians are not afraid of that final heart-beat. In fact, true “born-again” Christians are excited about an Eternity in Heaven with a brand new home waiting for us there. However, for those who do not know how to get to Heaven, Eternity can be scary to contemplate, especially if the person does not know how to get there, or if they feel that they are such a sinner that they can’t be forgiven. But, Jesus’ own words have again told us that there is a place in Heaven for everyone. Everyone can be forgiven and receive a place in Heaven, for that is the gift of God. In fact, anyone who will believe on Christ as the risen Son of God and who will repent of their sins can enter into the Heavenly rest of Eternity with God. It is just a matter of whether or not you have believed on Him, or if you will someday believe on Him before you take your last breath. If not, Eternity in Hell is also just one heart-beat away for those who decide that they do not believe in Christ as the Son of God, or that they do not want to ask Christ to come into their heart.

Our Inheritance

For those of us who have believed on Christ and have asked Him to come into our hearts, we have been given the security of an Eternity in Heaven that can’t be taken away. This security is placed deep within our souls, and it is the basis of all joy and love that we share. The Apostle Peter explained to us that the gift of our Salvation comes through the boundless love and mercy of God who doesn’t want any of us to perish. For those of us who have indeed been “born-again”, we live knowing that “God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children. It is kept in Heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond reach of change and decay. … It will be revealed on the last day for all to see.– (I Peter 1: 4-6. NLT).

God has reserved an inheritance for each of His children. As you probably know, inheritances come with the death of someone. Whether you are the first born child, an only child, or you are one of many children who will inherit through the splitting of your parent’s wealth equally, your parents first have to die in order for you to receive your inheritance. For Christians, though, our inheritance came with the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Indeed, God and His Son wrote a will or a living testament (New Covenant) telling us what we will receive, if we indeed become one of God’s children.

In Him (Christ), you also, after listening to the message of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him (Christ) with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
 -- (Ephesians 1: 13, 14. NASB).

What is this pledge of inheritance? Jesus Christ is our pledge of inheritance. Through Christ’s blood on the cross, our Salvation and eternal life has been secured forever. In other words, Christ is the contract, i.e. the New Covenant, or “will” for our inheritance. He is the One who died for our sins. His blood covered our sins. However, Christ arose from the grave conquering death! He is alive! We now have a living will. Because Christ is alive, we who believe on Him will inherit a home with Him in Eternity. Yes, Christ died to cleanse us from all our sins, but we have to choose to ask Him to do so. Moreover, Christ secured our Salvation and our Eternity with Him in Heaven. First, though, Christ had to fulfill the will or the New Covenant that God made with all of us.


He (Christ) took His own blood, and with it He secured our Salvation forever. …
For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why He is the One who mediates the new covenant between God and His people, so that all who are invited can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised for them. For Christ set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under the first covenant.

Now, when someone dies and leaves a will, no one gets anything until it is proved that the person who wrote the will is dead. The will goes into effect only after the death of the person who wrote it. While the person is still alive, no one can use the will to get any of the things promised to them.

That is why blood was required under the first covenant as proof of death. … Then he (Moses) said, ‘This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.’ … Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” 
-- (Hebrew 9: 12, 14, 15-18, 20, 22. NASB).

Christ died for all of us so that we could be forgiven of and cleansed of our sins. The First Covenant required the killing of an animal to cover the sins of the people. Their sins, however, were just covered and were not permanently cleansed away. However, with the Second Covenant, or living will, Christ’s blood actually cleanses and removes the sins of each person who willingly repents and calls upon the Lord. For, Romans 10: 13 tells us that “Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord will be Saved.” 
Consequently, Christ’s death and resurrection brought into being the New Covenant or living will for all those who will believe on Christ as the Son of God Who arose from the grave and death. Forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s cleansing blood and His living will brings with it righteousness and a new home in Eternity in Heaven.

How do we receive our inheritance?

Our inheritance as children of God’s is Salvation through Jesus Christ and an Eternity in Heaven with God. But, how do we become a child of God’s? Well, it is a matter of adoption. The Apostle Paul explained our adoption like this: “… when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world [i.e. we were slaves to a fallen world and to the prince of this world who constantly lied to us]. But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons [i.e. if you believed on and asked Christ into your heart], God sent the Spirit of the Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out ‘Abba” (Daddy), Father. So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” – (Galatians 4: 4-7. NIV). So, if you believe on Christ as the resurrected Son of God, you can become a child of God’s. In believing in Christ and in asking Him for His forgiveness and to come into your heart, you become a member of the family of God’s; a family member who can inherit a new home in Eternity.

It is because Christ Jesus took our sins upon His body on the cross that we are now no longer subject to eternal death, provided, of course, that we have truly, repented, trusted in and believed on Christ. Instead of being outcasts left out and sent to eternal Hell, everyone has been given the chance to be called children of God’s. As a child of God's, we receive an inheritance that is beyond our wildest imagining. As God’s children we will not only receive Salvation, i.e. cleansing and forgiveness of all sins, but we will inherit eternal life and a home with God.

As I mentioned, part of a Christian’s inheritance is a home in Eternity. Throughout His ministry, Jesus assured His disciples and all believers that not only would they get to spend Eternity with God, but that they would have a home of their own in Heaven as well. But, with all Jesus Christ’s talk about leaving them and then returning someday, the disciples were getting nervous and becoming afraid. So one day, as His time here on earth was winding down, Jesus specifically took the time to tell His disciples about their new home in Eternity. Jesus wanted to reassure them that things would be fine. So, Jesus told them: “Don’t be troubled, You trust God, now trust in Me. There are many rooms in My Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. Whenever everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there. …”

Then Jesus told the disciples that they would not be alone while He was with His Father preparing a home for them. For, Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to indwell them and to help them. The Holy Spirit would comfort the disciples and help them to remember every word that Christ Jesus had spoken to them. Moreover, Christ would be with them always through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit and through the spiritual peace that Christ would give to them. All that they and future Christians had to do was obey Christ’s and His Father’s Commands. For, Jesus said,

“All those who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and live with them. … I am telling you these things now, while I am still with you. … I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart

And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again

If you really love Me, you will be very happy for Me, because now I can go to the Father, Who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that you will believe when they do happen.” 
-- (John 14:1-4,23, 24, 27-29. NLT).

Although there are only a few verses in the Bible that describe what eternal life will be like, these verses give us some knowledge and many promises. First, Jesus told us that not only would He need to go back to Heaven, but that He would return for us. Secondly, Christ Jesus also told us what He would be doing while we are waiting for His return. He will be preparing us a home. I don’t know what kind of home Christ is preparing for me, but I do know that whether it is a home by a lake or some condo high rise somewhere that it will indeed be a home with God, because God’s Kingdom has many rooms. I will get to see the glorious light of God every day.

The Bible tells us, too, that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” – (I Corinthians 2: 9. NLT). Yes, Christians have an Eternity in Heaven with God. Yes, Christians will someday have a home that will be greater than anything that we can imagine. Actually, we cannot imagine what God has in store in this life or in Eternity for those who have accepted His Son, as their Lord and Savior. We know through the Scriptures, though, that God will create a new Heaven and a new earth and Christians will get to live with Him forever.  -- (See Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation 21: 1). Until we get to see Heaven and Eternity, we will be comforted, encouraged and guided by the Holy Spirit.  No, we cannot imagine what God has prepared for us. We just know that the best is yet to come. Christ has assured us of our Salvation, our home and our Eternity with Him, if we will just believe upon Him. What more could we ask?

We know, too, that we do not have to have fears or trepidations about our new home in Heaven. There is nothing to fear about where a Christian is going or about where we will live, for we are going to Heaven to live with God and Christ forever. We also will not have to worry about the community we are moving into or worry about our new job, for we will be with the community of believers who will worship God. Furthermore, our job, whatever it will be, will be exciting and glorious for it is the job of honoring and glorifying God. Our rewards, though, are dependent on the kind of love and the help that we have given to people who were in need while we are here on earth. Did we love others? Did we help those who couldn’t help themselves? Did we share the Gospel message with others? Did we truly live for Christ? You see, our fruitfulness or service here on earth will determine the types of rewards that we get in Eternity. Although we don’t know the type of home that is awaiting us in Heaven, we know that Christ is preparing a home for each of us where there is no fear or pain.

Isn’t it exciting to have a new home awaiting you in Heaven? You can share this wonderful knowledge and the Scriptures that provide the knowledge of your new home with your mentees, family members and friends. Time is running out which means that you need to step forward and serve the Lord through Active Relational Christian Mentoring or some other Christian service. You need to speak up! Remember, you were made to serve God! You were given the Great Commission to share Christ and Eternity with others. Don’t let the world go without having done everything that you can to share your gifts, talents, information, godly knowledge and skills with the rest of the world. Sharing also gives you a chance to share the greatest gift of all – the gift of Salvation and Eternity.

I would like to end with a Hymn that speaks of our glorious Eternity to come and the joy that is awaiting us there. The words to this hymn were written by Henry J. Van Dyke in 1907. They are words that express the glory of God and our new Heavenly Home. Below are the first, third, and fourth stanzas to:

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

“Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

Thou are giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us up to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward,
In the triumph song of life.”

You can Do it!
You can mentor and share Christ with others!

May God bless you all!

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