The return of Christ

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. — John 14: 2–3

Message

Jesus makes it possible for us to have fellowship with God.

The statement of Jesus that there are many mansions in the house of His Father indicates that there is a great deal of room with the Father: God wants all human beings to be saved. He has room for each and every one!

When Jesus told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them, He did so in direct reference to His immediate future. Through His sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension, He created the opportunity for us to enter into eternal fellowship with God.

Fellowship with God today

On several occasions, Jesus explained how human beings can enter into this fellowship, namely through

  • faith. The nature of God will reveal itself—in the person and love of Jesus—to those who believe in Jesus Christ (John 14: 9).
  • active love. Jesus promises to reveal Himself to, and make His abode with, those who love Him (verses 21–23). This love goes beyond feelings and emotions. It reveals itself specifically in obedience. God helps those who obey Him. He fills their heart with peace, joy, and cheerful equanimity.
  • collective prayer. The Lord is in the midst of those who become one in His name in prayer (Matthew 18: 19–20). This promise applies to each collective prayer uttered in the name of Jesus—both during and outside of the divine service. Let us also remember that the prayers of Jesus were always simple, albeit intensive!

Preparing ourselves for the return of Christ

In our Bible text, Jesus speaks of our eternal fellowship with God. He announces that He will come again in order to take His own unto Himself. He grants us the opportunity to prepare ourselves for His return by

sending His Apostles. When we accept the messengers of the Lord, we accept the Lord (John 13: 20).

sealing us with His Spirit. Through Him, God makes His permanent abode within us, and we are thus in close fellowship with Him (Catechism 8.3.9).

instituting Holy Communion. This guarantees us fellowship with Him (John 6: 56). Let us celebrate it worthily, with the firm resolution to follow the Lord and become like Him.

Eternal fellowship with God

The rapture of the bride does not mark the end of the plan of salvation! Even after the marriage of the Lamb, there will still be a great deal of room in the Father’s house! Jesus Christ will come once again, this time in power and great glory. He will see to it that all human beings of all time periods have access to salvation: all those who believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him will be permitted to live with God in eternal fellowship in the new creation.

* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for divine service held on Sunday, 08 November 2015 at Midrand Congregation.

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