Almost home. After ten days, twenty-three restaurants, four castles, seven cathedrals, one art museum, eleven taxi rides, two trains, three bus tours, one theater, and 459 miles of walking the streets of London and the countryside of England, I’m almost home.
After an eight-hour flight, a slow-moving line through customs, an hour limo drive, the door to our home opened. Out ran a beautiful seven-year-old. Her hair combed and braided. Wearing a brightly colored hair bow. Clean and pressed little jumper. And a toothless grin the width of the Grand Canyon. She jumps in my arms and cackles. Then she whispers in my ear, “Daddy, you’re home!”
If heaven is anything like that I can’t wait. If I can feel so welcomed and so wanted in an imperfect world, through an imperfect child, in an imperfect house, what must heaven be like in a perfect kingdom, through a perfect father, in a perfect mansion?
- Our Heavenly Home Is Real
Heaven is real place. Jesus told his disciples not to worry about death, not to worry about their heavenly residence, and then gave them a reason, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
Heaven is a real place for real people. Just as there as there was a house of brick and mortar and wood and siding when the limo driver pulled into my driveway, and just as there was a child and a mother-in-law opening the door when we came home from London, so will it be when we step inside the pearly gates of our heavenly home. It’s a real place with real people.
2. Our Heavenly Home Is Resplendent
In the Book of Revelation, God pulls back the curtain and allows the weary apostle John to peek into the homeland. When given the task of writing down what he sees, John chooses the most beautiful comparison earth has to offer. Our heavenly home, John says, is like “a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
What is more beautiful than a bride? One of the side benefits of being a minister is that I get an early glimpse of the bride as she stands at the back of the sanctuary before she walks down the aisle to her waiting husband to be. And I can say that I have never seen an ugly bride. I’ve seen grooms that needed a little help, but never a bride. As the bride cascades down the aisle an aura of beauty and an air of purity and the atmosphere of love abounds.
When you read that our heavenly home is similar to a bride, tell me, doesn’t it make you want to go home?
3. Our Heavenly Home Is Ready
Our heavenly home is ready. It’s a prepared place for prepared people. The Father has been expecting us. Jesus has gone ahead to make things ready for us. The carpenter of Nazareth who must have built many a home in his day has gone to build a mansion for you and me. Jesus has done everything necessary for us to be with him in this heavenly home, even die on the cross. We will live in our heavenly home, not because we hope so, but because he loves us and has made preparations for us.
Heaven is ready, are you? The preparation for our heavenly trip home needs to be made in advance. We dare not wait. It may be too late. We don’t want to be left behind. Preparations have to be made before the day of departure.
4. Our Heavenly Home Is Restricted
When it comes to entering our heavenly home, only one way, one plan, one road, one option exists. Jesus made it abundantly clear, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way. Without him there is no going home. Because of sin we are separated from God. We are hopelessly and helplessly lost. But Jesus has provided a way—a map to our heavenly home. Jesus is the truth. Without him there is no knowing God. Sin blinds us to the truth. But in Christ we find a full picture of him. Jesus is the life. Without him there is no growing in eternal life. Apart from Christ we are dead in trespasses and sins. But Jesus is the source of life. He who has Jesus has life—now and forevermore.
Only one thing is needed for entering our heavenly home: Trusting in Jesus. And if I am trusting in Jesus, I need not worry. Entrance is guaranteed. And, when I walk through those gates, I’ll hear my Heavenly Father say, “Child, you’re home!”
My book, Defining Moments: How God Shapes Our Character Through Crisis, takes a fresh look at the hard times that God uses to shape our character. This book offers hope that God can be found in crisis and shows how He turns our struggles into defining moments—opportunities to dramatically transform His people. Click here to claim your copy.