Mr. Johnson, a businessman from Wisconsin, went on a business trip to Louisiana. He immediately sent an e-mail back to his wife, Jean. Unfortunately, he mistyped a letter and the e-mail ended up going to a Mrs. Joan Johnson, the wife of a preacher who just passed away.
The preacher’s wife took one look at the e-mail and promptly fainted. When she was finally revived, she nervously pointed to the message, which read: “Arrived safely, but it sure is hot down here!”
Let’s continue talking about Heaven. Let’s talk about home.
Let’s think some random thoughts about home…
What is your dream home? Think about it for a minute. I have seen these shows on television where they show celebrity estates and they are absolutely huge. I have seen shows where they fix up homes. Mercedes actually likes the show Fixer-Upper which is about a couple who fix old homes and dilapidated homes for people. Most of us can probably think of the way homes have changed over the years. I grew up in a two story house with four bedrooms. I recently saw pictures of that house online and it has totally changed. The new owners have made the kitchen, dining room and living room almost like one big room. The fireplace has changed, everything has changed. It doesn’t seem like home to me anymore. What makes something home? Until I have five years old we lived in an old house outside of downtown Dayton. The house had beautiful woodwork and the rooms were so big, I was also so little, so they even appeared bigger! We had an incinerator in the basement. I remember watching my dad burn stuff in it and as a young child it was so cool! We had a front porch and could watch thunderstorms. It was a nice home, but if I went back to that house it would no longer be home to me. In fact, it has changed, the whole area has changed. We can all think of home. Think of your childhood home. Think of your favorite home. I remember talking with Dr. Chester Bartram’s family and they talked about a farm they would travel down to. Are there places that you can go and you know you are home? When I drive around Dayton, I still feel home because that is where I lived until I was twenty-five years old. But then I was in Cincinnati and it took awhile but then it felt like home. I have now been here for almost five and a half years and it also feels like home. I have an intimate connection with this area as it has become part of my life. Meagan and I have lived in our current house longer than any other house since we have been married. We moved five times in our first eight years of marriage. I remember driving to visit with people in this area and as I drive up and down the streets I can think of that. I remember jogging up and down the streets in a snowstorm, all covered with snow. I remember jogging with a church member and getting caught in a lightning storm. When I moved to Cincinnati I realized that when my memories of that area included, not just work, but time with my wife in that area, then it was home. When I could be driving to a hospital to visit someone and think about driving down that same road with my wife, then it was home. The memories had to include family. Some of you have lived in your same house for forty or more years. Some of you have lived in this area all your life and I am sure you would say this is home.
So, think about Heaven, will we have homes? Will we have our own homes?
I want to say, yes, and yes to an extent.
Theme: Heaven will have all the comforts of this world without the sin, pain and suffering. In heaven we will have home-sweet-home.
Let’s read Isaiah 65:17 and 21-22:
“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the work of their hands.
- Yes, we will have homes in Heaven.
- Our homes will reflect this life without sin, trouble, hardship, pain and sickness.
- Remember that it seems there is some continuity between this life and Heaven.
- If you read the context of that passage some of it could have to do with the Millennial reign, though it seems evident that it for sure includes the eternal New Jerusalem as well.
- As I look at this it seems for sure that we will have homes.
- It seems that we may have land.
- Remember that if you read Revelation chapters 21-22 we see a huge city which is the New Jerusalem, but we also see a Garden. If you like the city, you got it. If you like the opened country, you have that as well.
- In the passage in Revelation it seems that we will be able to work the soil on our land.
- Work is not a consequence of sin. In Genesis 2:15 we see that Adam was placed in the Garden to take care of it and this is before sin entered the world. But Because of sin we work and grow weary. In Heaven we won’t. This doesn’t mean we won’t rest in Heaven.
- What will our homes be like?
- So, in Heaven we have homes and we have land and we can take care of the land.
- Will our homes be big or small?
- In Chip Ingram’s book The Real Heaven, What the Bible Actually Says, he has a chapter on our homes. He says that our homes will be a lot like the new bodies we have. Our new bodies are to be similar to our current bodies and our new homes will be as well, except they will not have all the limitations and illness, etc.
- There is only so much we can know, but I do think we can go a little deeper.
- Let’s read John 14:1-2: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
- Randy Alcorn helps us understand this: The Vulgate, the Latin Bible, used the word mansions in that verse, and the King James Version followed by using mansions. Unfortunately, that rendering is misleading if it makes us envision having massive lodgings on separate estates. The intended meaning seems to be that we’ll have separate dwelling places on a single estate or even separate rooms within the same house.
- New Testament scholar D. A. Carson says, “Since heaven is here pictured as the Father’s house, it is more natural to think of ‘dwelling-places’ within a house as rooms or suites. . . . The simplest explanation is best: my Father’s house refers to heaven, and in heaven are many rooms, many dwelling-places. The point is not the lavishness of each apartment, but the fact that such ample provision has been made that there is more than enough space for every one of Jesus’ disciples to join him in his Father’s home.”
- The New International Version rendering of John 14:2 is this: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Place is singular, but rooms is plural. This suggests Jesus has in mind for each of us an individual dwelling that’s a smaller part of the larger place. This place will be home to us in the most unique sense.
- The term room is cozy and intimate. The terms house or estate suggest spaciousness. That’s Heaven: a place both spacious and intimate. Some of us enjoy coziness, being in a private space. Others enjoy a large, wide-open space. Most of us enjoy both— and the New Earth will offer both. Heaven isn’t likely to have lots of identical residences. God loves diversity, and he tailor-makes his children and his provisions for them. When we see the particular place he’s prepared for us— not just for mankind in general but for us in particular— we’ll rejoice to see our ideal home.
- We will entertain in Heaven? Since we have homes I think it is likely that we will entertain in our homes just like we do today. This gets into a broader topic of feasts in Heaven, eating in Heaven, relationships in Heaven, etc, but it seems that we will have all of that.
- It seems that we will feast with people.
- Look at all the times Jesus ate with people.
- Hebrews 13:2 talks about entertaining angels, so entertainment is important.
- We also know about the Marriage supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19:6-9.
- Let’s take a moment to apply
- Why wouldn’t we have nice homes in Heaven?
- Why wouldn’t we have dream homes in Heaven?
- We will have real, resurrected bodies.
- We will have a real city and a real garden that will be paradise.
- We will have relationships.
- We will eat.
- Heaven will be what this life was and is meant to be. There will be no suffering, crying, pain, sickness or death, but there will be purpose and living.
- We can be encouraged that we will have some form of dwelling in Heaven.
- We can be encouraged that some things from this life will continue to eternity.
- We can recognize that we must live in community now, as we will later.
- We can serve and entertain now, as we will in eternity. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13: 2).
- We can recognize that we must live for eternity now and be blessed later. (Matthew 6:19-20)
What makes something or someplace home?
Could it be that home is where your family is? Could it be that home is where your community is? Could it be that home is where you belong? Could it be that home is where you have purpose? Could it be that home is where you have memories? I believe you will have all that in Heaven and so much more. You will have memories and make new memories. You will have community and new community. You will have family and more family. You will have purpose. You will belong like you have never belonged before. You will have an estate, land and house. Oh, you will also have joy. You will have joy like you have never known before.
Heaven will be home! Home sweet home!
Do you know Christ?
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)