Evening Reading for July 20

John 14:1-6
Suggested further reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-11

Heaven is `a Father's house', the house of that God of whom Jesus says, `I go to my Father, and your Father.' It is, in a word, home, the home of Christ and Christians. This is a sweet and touching expression. Home, as we all know, is the place where we are generally loved for our own sakes, and not for our gifts or possessions, the place where we are loved to the end, never forgotten and always welcome. This is one idea of heaven. Believers are in a strange land and at school in this life. In the life to come they will be at home.

Heaven is a place of `mansions', of lasting, permanent and eternal dwellings. Here in the body we are in lodgings, tents and tabernacles, and must submit to many changes. In heaven we shall be settled at last and go out no more. `Here we have no continuing city' (Heb. 13:14). Our house not made with hands shall never be taken down.

Heaven is a place of `many mansions'. There will be room for all believers and room for all sorts, for little saints as well as great ones, for the weakest believer as well as for the strongest. The feeblest child of God need not fear there will be no place for him. None will be shut out but impenitent sinners and obstinate unbelievers.

Heaven is a place where Christ himself shall be present. He will not be content to dwell without his people: `Where I am, there ye shall be also.' We need not think that we shall be alone and neglected. Our Saviour, our elder Brother, our Redeemer, who loved us and gave himself for us, shall be in the midst of us for ever. What we shall see and whom we shall see in heaven, we cannot fully conceive yet, while we are in the body. But one thing is certain: we shall see Christ.

For meditation: When the Christian leaves his body in the grave he is at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).


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