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. You might know the show Fixer-Upper which is about a couple who fixed old 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 was 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.
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 a while but then it felt like home. I have now been here for 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. We moved six times in our first fourteen years of marriage. But 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:
Isaiah 65:17 (ESV)
New Heavens and a New Earth
17 “For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
Isaiah 65:21–22 (ESV)
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall 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.
- Verse 21: build house, inhabit them, vineyards, and eating.
- 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 like 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; 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.
- Will we 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 the many 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!
Heaven will be home because we will be with Jesus (Rev. 21:3). God is restoring creation. Going all the way back to the Garden of Eden when everything was created good, God is making things good. He will dwell with us. This all happens because Jesus took care of our sin problem when He died on the cross for our sins and rose again.
Do you know Him?