27 Tevet 5773
“Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in G-d and trust in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also. 4 Furthermore, you know where I’m going; and you know the way there.” Yochanan 14: 1-4
Back in the 1990's the Christian singing group "Audio Adrenaline" had a popular song called "Big House." The chorus said, "Its a big, big house - with lots and lots of rooms; a big, big table - with lots and lots of food; a big, big yard - where we can play football; its my Father's house." It may not be exactly theologically accurate, but it was very upbeat and had a catchy tune. For the most part, I think people enjoyed that it was a fun song and sang about G-d. And while it was not an exact representation, it certainly carries the message here from Yochanan. Yeshua told his talmidim (his disciples, or followers) that he was going there to prepare a place for us. Revelation gives us different pictures of what the city of New Yerushalayim looks like. This is a very brief snapshot of what heaven might be like. And regardless of all else, it will be an exciting place to be. In the concern and discussion about who will or will not be there, we often lose sight of the place itself.
In our efforts to understand all of these things, I am not sure if we stop and think about how many people will be there. Right now, the world's population is approaching 7 billion people. Of course there is no way of knowing how many are true believers, but for arguments sake lets say it is 1/10. 700,000,000 people. Then we can add in about another 300,000,000 for rest of history. So that means heaven will hold around 1 billion people. It sounds like a lot, (and may be completely wrong) but remember, recently we talked about the idea that the Throne Room has an entire sea in front of the Throne of G-d. The idea of the size of the Throne Room, along with the promise from Yeshua here, and we know there will be plenty of room. I cannot begin to imagine it, but it will be enough. So with all these people and with all that room, why does Yeshua have to promise us that he is going to get it ready for us? Why does he have to tell us not to be troubled by this world?
We are often so temporal in our thinking. We are so ready to hold onto this world and all that it offers us. But our vision is often limited by our sight. We can only see the things in front of us, but we rarely step out on faith like Avraham avinu or other great people of faith who are name in Hebrews 11. We listen to talk radio or the worlds news sources, and we get fearful of what is happening or what might happen. But when we slow down from the rush of all that swirls around us, and think about all the encouraging things Yeshua taught us, and the promises in G-d's word, we realize that Franklin Roosevelt was right. He was quoted as saying "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself." I do not know the context of that quote, but it definitely applies to us. As Rabbi Sha'ul taught us in his book to Timothy - "For G-d gave us a Spirit who produces not timidity, but power, love and self-discipline." When we fail to see any of these three at work in our lives, we can easily walk in fear.
Fear of the future is definitely not one of the things we need to own. The L-rd has made it clear that he will provide for his people in eternity, and that he will be with us in the present. He has also told us that nothing in all of creation can separate us from his love. So what do we have left to fear? He even promises us that he will return and take us with him, so we have that assurance as well. None of this presupposes that all people will be saved. Many who call themselves believers will not be saved. It is those who do the Father's will who will be saved. And the first step in following his will is to believe him, then to walk it out in obedience. As you walk through this current age, I encourage you to lift your eyes above the things right in front of you. Disregard the mountains that may seem immovable and look to the great mountain-mover who is the Lover of your soul. Look to him for daily wisdom and guidance. Look to him to show you his ways through each situation you encounter. Pray continually. Walk in faith. Trust that he will do everything for you that he has said he will do. When we get to the other side, we will all join together in praise for our G-d and all that he has brought us through. Praise him now for all he does and all he promises to do! He will never let you down.
This Is My Father's World