Let’s read John 14:1-3, “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 also be” (NKJV). At the time the Lord Jesus spoke these words He was in the Upper Room with His eleven disciples (Judas had already left) and was preparing them for His departure back to heaven. In verse 1 He gave them words of much-needed comfort and instruction. He wanted them to know that even though He was leaving them they need not be troubled, for just as they had walked by faith with God, whom they had never seen, they could continue to have fellowship with Him by faith. He then goes on to promise them that someday He will come again to take them (and all believers in Him) home to heaven to be with Him. Believers refer to this wonderful promise as the “Rapture,” for that word means “caught up” and that’s exactly what will happen when the Savior summons us to glory. We shall see this as we take a closer look at verses 2-3 and compare them with other scripture passages that speak of the Rapture. Now let’s break these precious verses down and may the Lord comfort each believer’s heart as we muse on them.

Verse 2: “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.”  The “Father’s house” is obviously in heaven and the Lord is assuring them that in His house there is enough room for all the redeemed and thus the “Father house” will be the “believer’s home” (or “dwelling place”).  But in order for believers to enter the Father’s house Jesus needed to “prepare a place for you.” Contrary to popular belief, this does NOT refer to Jesus going back to heaven and building individual mansions for each believer, for He had already said “In my Father’s house ARE many mansions.” The mansions are ALREADY THERE, so there was no need to build them. Rather, it refers to Jesus “going to the cross to prepare a place for us in heaven.” No one would have the right to enter “the Holiest in heaven” if Jesus had not taken our place on the cross in order to bear the judgment our sins deserved (see Isaiah 53:5-6; 1st Peter 2:24 & 3:18) and then to shed His precious blood to open the way to God’s very presence in heaven (John 19:33-34 with Matthew 27:50-51 and Hebrews 10:19-20).

Verse 3: “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.” Here is the “Blessed Hope” of every blood-bought child of God, to be with the Savior “where He is,” which is in heaven. He is coming again to take us Home! We have His word for it and thus we “eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). The Apostle Paul was inspired to add some details to this promise in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” When you compare this with the Lord’s words in John 14:3 it becomes crystal-clear that the Lord’s coming to take us home to glory is to be taken LITERALLY. This is NOT speaking of when we die; it is speaking of the Lord’s personal return to “receive us to Himself” so we can join Him in heaven forever! We learn here that He will summon us with a SHOUT and this will only be heard by “the dead in Christ” (all who had died believing in Christ) and by “we who are alive and remain: (all believers who are still alive at His coming). Together we will be CAUGHT UP to the clouds to meet the Lord and then He will conduct us safely to the “Father’s house,” our “eternal home” where we will enjoy uninterrupted communion with Him forever and ever. It is no wonder then that Paul goes on to say in verse 18, “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

In closing, this precious truth (of the Lord’s coming to take believers out of this world and home to heaven) is under constant attack today. The most popular argument is that the Lord never intended for us to take these words LITERALLY and then they go on to SPIRITUALIZE them in some way, the most popular view being that the Lord comes to take us home when we die. But we just saw that “the dead in Christ” AND “we who are alive and remain” will both be taken home at the same time. This is borne out in 1st Corinthians 15:51-53 which reads, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and THE DEAD WILL BE RAISED INCORRUPTIBLE and WE SHALL BE CHANGED. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Let us hold fast to this “blessed hope” dear fellow-believer, as the Lord has exhorted us to do in Revelation 3:11, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”  This truth is so important that our Bibles end on that glorious note: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus”! (Revelation 22:20).  (456.5)  (DO)