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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

John 14:1-3, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

This morning, our mind has been stirred by two things that happened recently. While both of them are of a negative sense, we do hope that the negativity of both circumstances brought about positive, edifying thoughts rather than thoughts that gender strife leading to "ax grinding" from the word of God. The first circumstance that I had a few days past was to be present at a funeral that was conducted by an Arminian preacher, who used this text frequently in his message. The other circumstance was a church sign that I saw when driving to work one morning that cited the verses above with this statement, "God wants everyone with him." This one sentence sentiment resonated with the sentiments from the funeral message, which contained this statement (after quoting from John 14), "God has enough mansions in heaven for everybody, so anyone that wants one has some place to go if they want to go there." These thoughts have made me ponder the life to come
somewhat in relation to this passage that Christ utters shortly before going to Calvary and leaving this old world. Let us, for a moment, investigate these verses, prove primarily what they are saying and see how "well" the building stands, secondarily, that has been promoted by both the funeral preacher and the church sign.

When considering the life that is yet to come, in a manifest sense, it is apparent from Scripture that many references are made to it with clear indication of how one becomes an heir to it. The references include parallels to natural ties and circumstances. For example, our vital union to that life that is to come is compared to a birth, or new birth specifically. (John 3) Looking at birth, we see that a natural child has no active decision or part to play in being born. The child does not choose its parents, how to be born, etc. Likewise, spiritual birth from above does not come by active decision on the part of a child of God. (John 3:8) Furthermore, children are heirs of their parent's estate based on their circumstance of either being born or adopted into the family. In the case of birth or adoption, the child is completely passive in that circumstance, but they are the happy heirs of a position in an estate in which they had no decision to be a part. Since we are born into God's family (shown above) and adopted into His family as well (Ephesians 1:3-6) we are written into His will as His heirs. As His heirs we are also joint-heirs with His Son Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:17) Whatever is Christ's is ours, based on the nature of a joint relationship.

Being passive in all of the events surrounding the preparation to that estate, it should be no wonder that we are passive in the "finishing touches" of the preparation of it as well. In our verses above, Christ says that this work to do is His and makes no mention of any help along the way. He went to prepare us a place to be with Him. One might inquire, "Isn't our estate prepared from the foundation of the world as shown in the latter portion of Matthew 25?" Indeed, by God's eternal purpose and grace, that heavenly home and happy estate is just as sure for all the heirs of promise from before the foundation of the world through all the ages of eternity. However, for God's holy and supreme character to be upheld, we must be rendered righteous to inherit it. God will not simply sweep unrighteousness under the rug, so to speak, and allow us entrance into heaven's pure world. As corrupt beings, we must be washed, made righteous, and appear spotless before Him to enter. Barring that circumstance, He would impugn His own character to receive us where He is.

Christ is here speaking of that which He is about to accomplish. While many saints of the Old Testament were enjoying before He entered this world, the legal work must be done. Consider someone going to buy a house. As a homeowner, I currently live in a house that legally only partially belongs to me. Enjoying all the benefits of a nice home, I stare at a piece of paper every month that tells me just how much financial burden I have left before the house fully belongs to me in a legal way. However, when that last payment is made on the house, the "finishing touches" have been made to legally own what I already possess and enjoy. While many people fully enjoyed heaven before the offering was made, there was still a legal document that must be paid in full for the finishing touches to be made in the preparation of this place we call heaven. It was no less heaven than before, but all legal barriers had justly been removed and answered for. When the sacrifice was made and accepted, all preparation had been fully accomplished.

As that legal rendering was made in full, the outcome is that many mansions reside in the Father's house. These mansions, contrary to popular opinion, are not made of stone, wood, or even gold, silver, etc. Rather, they are of a spiritual, heavenly substance that endures longer and in more resplendent glory than any natural object ever could. These mansions are the saints of God that will one day reside in the Father's presence in glorified body, soul, and spirit. (I Thessalonians 5:23) While the departed souls and spirits of the saints of God are there now, one day those bodies will be raised as well, incorruptible, immortal, and spiritual. (I Corinthians 15)

Let us, for a moment, consider how this legal work was made and what MUST be the outcome of it. The statements that we witnessed above from the church sign and funeral service indicate that the offering was made for the "possibility" of all of humanity to live in a mansion with God forevermore in heaven. Should that be the case, do all live with Him forevermore in heaven? Most that make the claim that there is a mansion for everybody in the sky will just as clearly assert that not all will make it to be with Him in heaven. My question is, "What happens to their mansions in heaven?" If there is one prepared for all, do those empty mansions stay empty in heaven for all eternity to resound with large echoes to those lost souls that just did not quite make it? Or will there be a demolition ball in heaven that crumbles the structures at the end of time for every departed worker of iniquity that ends up in the lake of fire? Of course, both situations are ludicrous as heaven will not allow of such a sorrowful event. When looking at the legal work of Christ, we must take one of two conclusions if we truly believe it was made for all of humanity: 1. Either Christ is God and who He says He is, or 2. He is not.

If the first option be true, then He cannot fail nor be discouraged. (Isaiah 42:4) As God, He cannot fail in anything that He purposes to accomplish. Therefore, as God who cannot fail and died for everybody, all must be in heaven with Him. But, if He loses one, then option 2 must be true. As He is not who He says He is, then He is not able, as the GodMan, to save anyone, and therefore all are lost and no one is saved. If Christ died for everybody, then the two possibilities are inescapable. Yet, since the Scriptures are abundantly plain that option one is true (II Corinthians 5:17-21) and also abundantly plain that a multitude will end up departed from Him at the end of time (Revelation 20), then we must conclude that His legal offering was not on behalf of all of Adam's race. Scripture more plainly asserts that His death perfectly and completely was made for all those He intended to save: those that were sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

The joy that comes from this passage is not found in the mansions (although there is some comfort in that). The joy is not found in the work that made the finishing touches: death of Christ. Rather, the joy is found in the end result that there is no reason to be troubled or afraid of whatever comes in this life, for He has made sure and complete that happy estate to which we are going. It is reserved in heaven for us in an incorruptible state. (I Peter 1:4) This reservation will not be given to anyone else other than those for whom it was made, for His death is not in vain in the slightest degree. (Galatians 2:21) Furthermore, the joy of knowing that we have no reason to be troubled is cemented even more in the knowledge of that final day that He shall come again.

Based on the language of the verses above, the part to which we long to see is just as sure as that which He has already done. Did He go and prepare a place for us? Indeed He did! So, can there be any doubt that He will not come again and take us to where He is? Indeed there should not be! Just as surely as the one is true, the other must be true as well. There have been and will continue to be those that mock and scoff at the promise of His coming. They will claim that all things are just going to keep going on the way they are without any change. (II Peter 3:1-4) However, we have the words of the Changeless One that basically say, "I'm coming back." Will our belief or unbelief of this blessed event change it? Praise God it will not. Will our belief or unbelief of this blessed event change our outcome? Again, praise God it will not! (I Thessalonians 5:9-10) However, how mindful we ought to be of the Saviour's exhortation of how to view and
perceive that day.

Knowing that He is coming just as surely as He has come and accomplished, may we not live in fear or trouble of the uncertainty of our lives on the morrow. We know not what a day may bring, for our lives are but as a vapour in this life. We spend our years as a tale that is told, and our days are as the drop of a bucket. (Psalm 90, Isaiah 40) Yet, our uncertainty of the morrow of time is no excuse to be in fear, for we have the certainty of the morrow of eternity beyond this life that is in the radiance of the Son. Why should we fret because of evildoers? They can but destroy our flesh, take our natural lives, and squash the last of our fleeting breath. But, our Great Redeemer holds that life to come in the palm of His hand and none can pry us from Him or take that life from us. (John 10:28-30) May we live life to the fullest spiritual degree of fearless, faithful service to Him ever looking to that glorious time when we shall be with Him world
without end.

In Hope,

Bro Philip