Are You Locked Out of God’s House?
Don’t be troubled, but trust Jesus because Jesus himself is going to make ready the place of dwelling with God. Jesus himself is going to make ready the place. So, let’s look at John 14:2–3: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” And again Jesus says, “if I go and prepare a place for you.” So twice he says, “I’m going and I’m preparing. I’m going and I’m preparing.”
Here’s the question this raises for me: Is my home in heaven in disrepair, needing some work? Does this mean that sweet fellowship with God is somehow defective and would need to be worked on? Can Jesus say in Matthew 25:34, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” but he can’t say that the rooms have been prepared before the foundation of the world? Do they have work to do?
“The house of God is not in disrepair. Fellowship with God and all of its sweetness can’t be improved.”
I don’t think so. The house of God is not in disrepair in heaven. Fellowship with God and all of its sweetness can’t be improved upon, and this dwelling near the heart of God has been — at least in one sense — designed and made suitable for redeemed sinners before the creation of the world. I was chosen and redeemed in Christ before the foundation of the world. So what is he talking about in saying, “I’m going to prepare it”?
I think there are two senses in which this is meant to be taken. One is this: “Your room is just fine. I’m not going to have to fix it. What’s not just fine is you can’t get there if I don’t go do what I’m about to do. What has to be prepared is an open door in this room. This room is locked tight to sinners who are not forgiven. And there will be no forgiveness for your sin if I don’t leave you right now and do what I have to do. I am going to prepare something about nine hours from now on Golgotha. I will do this massive work of preparing an open door in this room for you.” I think that’s the gist of the first sense.
“Sin has to be atoned for, and I’m the Lamb of God ready to be slain. The wrath of God, the condemnation, the curse of God is still unsatisfied, and I am about — in the next few hours — to become a curse for you, bear the condemnation for you, bear the bruising of the Father for you. Death has to be defeated before you can be raised from the dead when I come back and go into your room. And I am about to surrender myself up to death and burst its jaws and release myself and you from it. None of that has been done yet and you can’t go in there. It is closed tight until I prepare it by opening the door for it.”
Here’s a confirmation of this sense in John 14:4–6: “‘You know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
In other words, “I’m going to prepare a place for you. I’m going to become the way for you to get there. I’m going to complete the truth that you’ll hold onto to get there. I’m going to kill death and rise into glorious new life that you will one day be able to share in your room with the Father. And until I do that, there will be no way, there will be no completed truth, and there will be no life for you anywhere. So I’ve got a lot of work to do tonight in order to get this room ready and available for you.
“Therefore, Peter, Philip, Thomas, Bethlehem, trust me. I’m going to get it done tonight and tomorrow morning. Trust me. I will make a way. I will be the way. I will be all the truth you need. I will be all the life you need. And I will be there because of what’s going to happen in these next three days. So trust me, and don’t let your heart have an unholy turmoil about what you’re going through right now.”
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