Three Key Facts About the Father's House
God has wonderful things in store for us at the end of the journey.
In John 14, Jesus told His followers He would be leaving. They didn’t understand at the time, but He was telling them about their future and explaining where He would be going.
This was a statement about the Rapture and the end times:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”—John 14:1-4
When the Rapture happens, we will go home. For the first time in our lives, we will step into a new place and recognize we are finally in the Father’s house, the New Jerusalem. Jesus is preparing mansions for all of us there.
I like to know as much as I can when I travel to a new place. For instance, I like to fly planes and have my pilot’s license. A good pilot always knows what to expect on the other end of the trip, because it increases safety. What is the weather like? What are the conditions of the approach and runway? What else do I need to know before I take off?
When I hear people who speak negatively about the Rapture, or share that they have anxiety about it, I think it’s often because they don’t know what to expect on the other side of the trip. They’ve listened to voices in the culture talking about heaven or the afterlife—a boring-sounding place where we lounge around on clouds playing harps—but that’s not what the Bible says.
If you understand what Scripture says about the place Jesus is preparing for us, you would have no hesitation in going there. God has wonderful things in store for us at the end of the journey.
Here are three key facts about the Father’s House—our real home.
1. It is a real, physical place.
Heaven is an actual, physical place and the ultimate paradise. We will be able to touch and feel it. When we arrive, our senses will be heightened in our new bodies, and we will experience this new destination with the fullness of our human senses. Even so, this real, physical place will be beyond description and far outside our current ability to comprehend.
The apostle John records this description:
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.—Revelation 21:10-13
There are a lot of different explanations of what these characteristics might mean, but what I want you to understand is that regardless of where you live in this city, it will be beautiful, beyond human description, and eternal. You will move in but never have to move out.
Most people hate moving, but did you know the average American moves every four years? In the heavenly city, you will never have to move again. You won’t be choosing from a bunch of new, cookie-cutter mansions like you find in new developments. You won’t have to worry that your house looks just like your neighbor’s house.
The mansion Jesus is preparing for you is going to be a house that is designed just for you. I believe you are going to walk into your house in heaven, and your jaw will drop. You will look around and think, This is me! It won’t just be your “dream home.” It will be your “beyond your wildest dreams home.” This mansion is only part of the reward for giving yourself to Jesus and living for Him. Every believer will have one.
Even better, you won’t struggle with payments, upkeep, insurance, taxes, security system or utilities. Everything in your house will be composed of precious stones, gold, and pearls. It will be stunningly gorgeous, with colors and textures no one on earth has ever seen before. Your power source is Jesus Himself because “the Lamb is its light” (Revelation 21:23).
2. It is where we marry Jesus.
The second thing I want to tell you about the Father’s house is this is where we become the wife of Jesus. John writes:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”—Revelation 21:9
In Revelation 19, John describes the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. I have written about this before. There are many parallels between what John describes in these passages and a traditional Jewish wedding, which Jesus uses to picture our relationship with Him.
A traditional Jewish wedding began as the groom left his house and traveled to the bride’s house. He then paid a bride price or dowry to her family. Then the bride and groom were considered husband and wife, sealed by drinking wine from the same cup. After this ceremony, the groom would leave the bride at her house and return to his father’s house to prepare a place for her. While he was preparing, the couple was separated for about a year, but they were “betrothed” in marriage.
When the time of preparation drew to a close, the groom still needed to wait for his father’s permission to bring the bride home. When his father consented, he would usually return to the bride at night. She knew the groom was coming at some point in the near future, but she did not know the exact hour to expect him. To announce his arrival, the groom would shout for her. The bride would leave her family home and return with the groom to his house. Once there, a celebration began that would last for the next seven days.
Can you see how this is a picture of our marriage to Jesus? The events of the wedding have already begun. More than 2,000 years ago, the Son of God left His Father’s house and came to our home. He paid the most generous price for us. Over a cup of wine at the Last Supper, Jesus said He would not drink wine again until He drinks it together with us in His Father’s Kingdom. Over that same cup, He declared the eternal covenant we have with Him in His blood (the final covenant). At that moment, all of us who are believers were legally betrothed to Jesus.
We are now His betrothed bride. Jesus then returned to His Father’s house to prepare a dwelling place for us. He will not return until the Father is ready. Jesus told us that only the Father knows the hour of His return. He is waiting for the instruction from His Father to come to us and take us to our new home, and the apostle Paul says the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
I wish I could give you more details about the actual Marriage Supper, but the Bible doesn’t provide very many. However, I can say with confidence that it will be the greatest party any of us have ever attended.
Jesus is the best groom in the world and will be the best husband in all the universe. Many people don’t feel completely loved, even in marriage. In fact, some people feel very unloved. You may feel your needs aren’t being met. You may not be treated very well. The good news is that from the day Jesus comes, you will never have another unloved second for the rest of eternity. He will love you and care for you forever.
3. It is home!
The third important fact about the Father’s House, the New Jerusalem, is that it is home. Jesus will return one day, and He will take home those who have made Him Lord of their lives. This world is not our permanent home. We are just passing through. Heaven is our home!
If you’re a believer, then right now is the time to focus your attention on God and prepare for heaven. Jesus is going to return, and your final redemption will happen on that day. You are going to go home to the Father’s house. There we will marry Jesus and experience something we can’t even put into words.
After this happens, our sin natures will be gone, and Satan and all his demons will finally be consigned to hell forever. In the meantime, Satan is still at work, and we have the choice of death or life:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.—1 John 2:15–17
Don’t set your affections on the lusts and pleasures of this life. Focus on your relationship with God. The Rapture is for those who love God and have not fallen in love with the world.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasures of earth, like good food and good friends. However, there is something very wrong with exchanging our dependence on God for wealth, ego satisfaction, and the physical pleasures of this world.
Remember, our choices have eternal consequences. Jesus, our groom, can return at any moment. He is preparing a place for us, and our responsibility is to be ready to meet Him when He comes.