Lesson Eleven

Heaven is the home of the soul!  What a thrill it is to think that the Lord, the Righteous Judge, has for all who will obey His will prepared a home in eternity with Him.  The Bible begins and ends with Heaven.  It was from Heaven that God spoke His creation into existence, and it is from Heaven that we await the Lord Jesus to take us to that grand abode above where God dwells.  The Christians in Philippi were told, "For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).

Heaven is called in the Bible the throne of God, His dwelling place.  "Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest?" (Isaiah 66:1).  The prophet's words here indicate that no matter what men may try to build to glorify God, He makes it plain that He is above all.  The apostle Paul says essentially the same thing in Acts chapter 17, "The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (Acts 17:24).  Thus, it is not so very important that men try to build or prepare something for God, as it is that God has prepared eternity for us who are His children.

In the garden of Eden, when mankind sinned and had fallen from the grace and fellowship with God, God began the process which would bring man back into fellowship with Him.  That plan, as we have studied before, is the sacrifice of Jesus His Son for our sins.  After all, "for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  But the gospel of Christ, God's power unto salvation (Romans 1:16), has taken care of the problem of man's separation from God.  Note closely what Paul told the Christians in Rome:  "For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life; and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:6-11).

This is why God "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Let us now listen to the reasons Jesus Himself gave for His coming...and leaving...and coming back again.  "For the Son of man CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).  Paul the apostle has confirmed this of course in his teaching, as he wrote to Timothy, "Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS" (1 Timothy 1:15).  Why then did Jesus leave us?  Could He not have stayed and taken care of all mankind?  Listen to His answer: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; FOR IF I GO NOT AWAY, THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; but if I go, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7).  Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit who would guide the apostles into all the Truth, thus giving us the inspired Word today—the Bible.

So then, is mankind to stay upon this earth for all time without the benefit of Jesus' personal presence?  No, again He tells us about His leaving and return.  "Let not your heart be troubled: 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; FOR I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I COME AGAIN, AND WILL RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF; THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO" (John 14:1-3).

There it is!  This is what God has prepared.  This is why Jesus left this earth.  He will come again and take those who are His faithful followers back to Heaven forever.  Listen to what Paul says about this event and when it shall take place:  "But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming. THEN COMETH THE END, WHEN HE SHALL DELIVER UP THE KINGDOM TO GOD, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthians 15:20-25).

Jesus came that we might have life (John 10:10).  He went away to prepare a home in Heaven for us (John 14:1-3) and will return at the end in order to take us to that home on high (1 Corinthians 15:24).

Friend, the end is coming at a time that we nor no man knows.  Are you ready?  There is but one final lesson in this series.  It will be dedicated to helping you to answer the question, "Are you ready?"  God bless you as you continue in your study of His word.  God has cared enough for you to prepare Heaven.  Will you care enough to prepare yourself for Heaven?

 Questions for Lesson Eleven

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