When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "Mansion on a Hilltop."
When Jesus Comes?
Good Morning, from the Voices of Hope Evangelistic Team, to all who are reading this message, I welcome each of you gathering today by way of the internet. Once again, it’s a blessing to be able to share from God’s Word as we can proclaim it all over the world.
The title of my message is “When Jesus Comes” and the scripture is found in John 14:1-6, if you wish to turn there you can follow along.
As we come to chapter 14 and these six verses, we come to one of the most familiar texts in all the Bible to Christians. We all realize that Jesus is coming back. That very subject is on the lips of Christians all over the world. It always has been. But our hope in Jesus Christ is not just a pie-in-the-sky kind of thing. It is not just anticipating His return because many times we think to ourselves … Yes, maybe Jesus is coming back but in the meantime, can Jesus provide some real comfort for us in those hours of deepest tragedy and the times of severest pain? Is our faith only a faith in the future or is it a faith which gives us comfort in the present?
This whole chapter is the promise that Christ is the One who is giving us comfort. Not only that He’s returning but in the very anticipation of His return there’s comfort in the present. You might call this the comfort chapter, the whole chapter deals with comfort. How Christ presents to His disciples the promise that He’ll be back to get them, but in the meantime comforts them with words and promises to send them a comforter who is the Holy Spirit. So our faith is not just a faith in the future, but it is a faith which gives comfort in the present.
Martin Luther said of chapter 14, “It was the best and most comforting sermon that the Lord Christ delivered on earth, a treasure and a jewel, not to be purchased with the world’s goods,” end quote.
The scene is in the upper room where the disciples gathered with Jesus the night before He went to Golgotha, the night before His death. Judas has been dismissed, sent out to carry out his betrayal. Jesus has begun His address to the remaining eleven disciples. This is the last address that He gave them prior to His death. In a very short time the world of those eleven men is going to collapse into a kind of a chaos that’s unbelievable. Their whole world is going to fall in all around them.
So in this chapter Jesus anticipates their problems of losing Him so He gives them comfort, upon comfort. As we read the first six verses, we’ll find how they not only reveal comfort, but how they reveal the person of Jesus Christ, in all of His glory.
As I read this over I couldn’t help but realize the uniqueness of Jesus. Any other man placed in our Lord’s circumstances, about to bear the sins of every man who would ever live, about to be forsaken by His own Father God, about to be mocked and nailed to a cross; any other man in that situation would have been so preoccupied with his own problems, would have been in such a state of uncontrollable agitation that he would never have been able to focus his attentions on the needs of somebody else. But Jesus is different.
Here is Jesus Christ, 100 percent human while 100 percent divine, but nevertheless totally human anticipating the most horrible kind of experience, yet totally unconcerned at this point about His experience, but totally absorbed in the needs of the eleven beloved friends who were going to be shocked, ripped and torn when it happened. Instead of being occupied with what was going to happen to Him, He was occupied with them. It reminds me of what John said in chapter 13, “He loved them to the end.”
As these six verses unfold, they become the foundation for comfort, not only for these disciples but for us. If you ever get to the point in your life where you think you’ve run out of escapes, there aren’t any more places where you can rest, you’ll find a tremendously soft pillow in John 14:1–6, it’s all here, comfort in all of its great foundations.
The basis of comfort comes out of trusting. If you’re discontent and if you don’t have any comfort, and if you’re worried and anxious, bewildered, perplexed, confused, agitated, whatever it is, the reason is you don’t trust Christ. So in these verses Jesus says, “I want you to trust My presence, My promises, and My person. Trust My presence, My promises and My person.” And in trusting Christ, there’s comfort.
If you really trust Him, what do you have to worry about? What do you have to be agitated about? The reason the disciples were so stirred up is they began to focus on their problems and they didn’t seem to be able to put their trust in Christ and so in these verses He says, “Trust Me.”
First of all, He says, “Trust in My presence,” verse 1, listen to it. “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” He’s saying, Friends, don’t worry, trust Me. “Let not your heart be troubled.” In the Greek language He’s saying, “Stop letting your hearts be troubled.” He knows they’re already troubled. He’s saying, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled any longer.” They were filled with a sense that everything seemed to be falling apart. All their dreams and desires were unraveling. The gloomy prospect of Jesus Christ dying and leaving them. You see, they had been fully convinced that this was the Messiah, but the only real concept they ever had of a Messiah was as a conqueror, a kind of a super hero, a sovereign ruling king, the thought of losing Him was unbearable.
Nothing seemed to fit, A Messiah who is going to die. Here we are stuck in this situation, hated by all men. Where are our resources going to come from? We forsook all to follow Him and He’s leaving us. Everything seemed to be coming to an unbelievably crazy kind of climax. What’s going on here? And even though they were wavering and shaking, they still loved Him and so in the mixture of all of this was the kind of undying love and they were sort of just hoping against hope.
Jesus read their hearts; He knew exactly what they were thinking. He was able to be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. He could sorrow with their sorrows and hurt with their hurts. It’s kind of an interesting thing that they couldn’t feel His pain but He could feel theirs. And all the time He’s doing this, He knows that they’re going to scatter and forsake Him. But He still offers them this comfort.
Jesus says to them, “Friends, stop being troubled Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” He’s saying, “Trust My presence.” Jesus puts Himself on equality with God. “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” Ye already believe in God, now believe in Me. That puts Him on an equal basis with God. He is asking them to trust His presence. It was historic in Israel, they believed in God. Even the Pharisees believed in God. Men believe in God. And Jesus says you believe in God, you might as well believe in Me. You already trust God, trust Me. Just because you won’t be able to see Me doesn’t mean I’m not there. Trust Me.”
The idea of believing here is not so much the idea of saving faith. He’s not saying believe in Me and you’ll be saved. They already believe in Him at that point. He is saying “Keep on trusting Me, you are trusting God so keep on trusting Me. Even though I am not visible, keep trusting Me.” The apostles already by divine illumination recognized Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Yet their faith was typically Thomas faith. They wouldn’t believe if they couldn’t see Him and put their hands right in the nail prints.” What they saw they believed, that’s the lowest level of faith. They believed in Jesus, how could they reject Him, He was standing right there. They had seen everything He did. But He was about to be removed from them and become invisible to the physical eye. So He’s saying, just because I’m leaving that shouldn’t make you fall apart. You don’t see God but you believe with all your hearts in Him.
Jesus says to them, “You believe in God and He’s invisible. You believe in His love and you’ve never seen His form. You believe in His care and you’ve never seen His hand that protects you. You have full faith in an invisible God. So believe also in Me even though I’m not here. You can have full faith in Me, just because I’m not visible doesn’t make the difference.”
So, the first comforting awareness is to know that Christ is alive and present, though invisible. You say, “Well, it sure would be nice if He was visible.” No it wouldn’t because if He was visible He wouldn’t be where I need Him. He needs to be the way He is so He can be everywhere. The Christ who was in the New Testament was not nearly so flexibly, Christ could only be in one place at a time. And now He’s able to have His presence revealed by the Holy Spirit to all believers everywhere at the same time. And so, Jesus says, “Trust Me, men, I’m here. You may not see Me, but I’m here.”
Secondly, not only trust My presence, but My promises. Oh this is good! Verse 2, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would have told you,”… If there was nothing after this life, I’d have told you that. “I go to prepare a place for you.” Can’t you imagine how that must have rung a bell? You mean, You’re just going away to get some place ready for us to get there? That’s the whole idea, that’s His promise. I’m going there just to get it ready for you guys. That makes a whole different ball game out of it. You’re not just going away to leave us. “No, I’m going to go get it ready for you.”
What a thought. He says, “I’m going to My Father’s house.” Jesus who had dwelt forever in the bosom of the Father came forth so that He could reveal the Father and what the Father had been to Him through all eternity and now His being glorified; He was going back to full glory with the Father again.
My Father’s house, heaven. In the New Testament heaven is called a country, emphasizing its vastness. Heaven is also called a city, because of the large number of inhabitants. Heaven is called a kingdom because it’s a structured ordered thing. And heaven is also called a paradise because of its beauty. But, I like it best when heaven is called “My Father’s house.”
Remember that Jesus had called the temple His Father’s house. When He went to cleanse the temple He said, “You’ve made My Father’s house a den of thieves.” He called the temple His Father’s house, but Matthew 23:38 Jesus looked over Jerusalem and He said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate,” the Temple was no longer the Father’s House.
Then He says, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places.” Your text may say “mansions,” which has given Christianity the wrong idea for years, that heaven is full of all these big mansions. The correct wording is “dwelling places,” referring to the context in the day that it was written; the father would build a house, then one of his sons would be married and he would attach another wing to the house. Another son would be married and he would attach another wing to the same house. That’s what it’s talking about, it’s the idea of total dwelling.
When I go to heaven God is not going to live here, and I’m going to live eight blocks down there, I’m going to be in the Father’s House … we’ll have the same patio. We are going to live together. That’s the idea of “dwelling places,” not detached, but a part of the Father’s house, right in the same house with the Father.
Is there going to be room for all of us?” “In My Father’s house are … what... many …” there’s just enough for everybody.
Let me show you a little bit more about heaven in Revelation 21. Verse 1, just to give you an idea of what it’s going to be like. “I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea.” Revelation 21:2 now, “And I, John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven say, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.’ ” That means God is living with man and that is in the Father’s house, we’re all there. “And He will dwell … three blocks away? No, No, With them and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them and be their God and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away.” In the Father’s house He takes care of all the hurts and the needs of the children, He eternally drives them away.
It’s exciting, I already feel bound to heaven. I mean, my Father is there, my Savior is there, my home is there, my name is there, my life is there, my affections are there, my heart is there, my inheritance is there and my citizenship is there. The great promise that Christ gives to His disciples and to all of us is that He went up there just to get it ready for us.
Verse 3, the second part of the promise. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I’ll come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there ye may be also.” I’m not only going to get it ready I’m going to come back and take you there. The Lord doesn’t send somebody to get us, He says “If I go, I will come again.” He does it Himself. The Lord will come and get us in person to take us home. How precious we must be for Him to do that.
There’s a story about a little boy who was dropped off on a corner by his father. His father told him he’d be back and took off to do some business. His car broke down, he was gone about four or five hours while this little kid, stood on the corner by a store. The father was panicky. He had no way to phone the little boy. He couldn’t get where he had to go because his car had broken down. He finally got it fixed five hours later, it was eleven o’clock at night, came back and the little guy was standing on the corner just whistling a little tune, rocking back and forth. The father pulled up and grabbed him and hugged him and kissed him. And he said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” He was just panicked. He said, “What are you sorry about, Dad, you said you were coming.” That’s the kind of trust that we can put in God. Jesus said, “Listen, I’m coming back. It may get dark and it may look like it’s getting to be pretty much close to midnight, and it may look like I forgot, but I’ll be back. Trust Me, trust My promise, I’m getting it ready. When it’s done I’m coming to get you.”
Something else that is so exciting? Jesus is anxious to get back and get us as we are to go. In John 17:24 it says, “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory.” He says, “I want them up here with us.” And as soon as the Father pushes the green light, you better know it’s going to happen fast because Jesus wants us up there just as much as we want to be there.
Again and again Jesus had told His disciples that He wouldn’t forsake them. Now He reminds them. So the call, trust My presence, trust My promises, I’ll be back to get you. Then He says, trust My person.
Verse 4, “And where I go ye know …” He said, you know, I told you, back in John 7:33 He told them He had to go to the Father. “You know where I’m going and the way you know, you know how to get there.” Thomas, speaking for the disciples who by this time don’t think they’re sure of anything, “Lord, we know not where Thou goest. And how can we know the way, I mean, if we don’t know where we’re going, how do you know how to get there?”
That’s a pretty good question. Jesus said, “I’m going to the Father, where’s the Father?” What’s Thomas saying? “Our knowledge of anything stops at death. You’re going to die and go somewhere? Listen, we don’t know what’s going on after death. We don’t have any maps on how to get the Father after you die.” Thomas says we don’t understand anything. They’re a blank after death. If Jesus said, “Look, after you die, just come on up.” I mean, they drew a blank after death and they didn’t know what to do. And it was a good point.
Then Jesus says to them in verse 6, “Jesus saith unto them, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ ” He says, “Guys, you don’t need to know how to get there, I’m coming to get you.” I don’t need to worry about how to get up there. He says, “Trust Me, I am the way. When the moment comes, I’ll take your hand, you don’t even need to know the directions, I’ll just take you right up to the Father’s house.” That is so beautiful.
If you went into a town, you’ve probably had this happen, and you didn’t know where you were and you wanted directions. It would be one thing for a guy to stand there and give you all kinds of directions and you don’t know where you’re going anyway. It would be something else for the guy to say, “Look, come on and follow me, I’ll take you there.” That ‘s what Jesus is going to do. He’s not going to show you the directions, He’s going to get your hand and take you. You don’t even need to know, all you have to do is die, that’s all. Christ will take you the rest of the way. That’s death for the Christian, I trust You, Jesus, I don’t know where You are and I don’t have any idea how to get there. I’m just going to die and You can just take me.
Do you trust Him in death? Do you trust Him? What if you die, do you trust Him? Are you ready to just die and He’ll just take you? Do you believe Him for that? He says to those disciples, “Trust Me, I’ll come and get you.”
Augustus Toplady, died in London at the age of 38. He was the author of these immortal words, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood from Thy wounded side which flowed be of sin that double cure, saved from wrath and make me pure.” He wrote those words. When death drew near he rejoiced. He said. “It is my dying vow that these great and glorious truths which the Lord in rich mercy has given me to believe and enabled me to preach are now brought into practical and heart-felt experience. They are the very joy and support of my soul. The comfort flowing from them carry me far above the things of time and sense.” Then he said, “Had I wings like a dove, I would fly away to the bosom of God and be at rest.” About an hour before he died, he seemed to awaken with from a gentle slumber and said, “Oh, what delights, who can fathom the joys of heaven? I know it cannot be long now till my Savior will come for me.” And then bursting into a flood of tears, he said, “All is light, light, light. The brightness of His own glory, O come, Lord Jesus, come, come quickly.” And he closed his eyes.
Trust Me, Jesus says, you don’t need a map, I’m the way, the truth and the life. I am the way to the Father; I am the truth whether in this world or the world to come. I am the life that is eternal. It’s all in Christ. He’s everything a man needs. Everything Adam lost, you regain in Jesus Christ. Trust Me, trust My presence, trust My promises, trust My person, I’m the way.
No matter how bad it looks, there’s comfort because you can trust Him.
Father, we thank You for teaching us trust. We thank You that Jesus Christ is so worthy of our trust. And, Lord, we just want to tell You we trust You. Thank You for comforting us with these words. Thank You for saying You’d always be with us, Your presence. Thank You for the promise that You’re up there getting it ready for us. Thank You for the wonderful fact of Your person that You are the way that after we die and leave this world You’re our personal escort. We don’t need to have a chart or a map, You’re the way, You’re the truth and You’re the life. We thank You for that. Amen!
I purposely didn’t read the last part of verse 6 because I want to quote it for you right now. Jesus then finished off this statement by saying, “And no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Maybe you listened this morning and you heard about heaven and about the comfort that comes by trusting Christ, but you will never be there, you will never go there because the only way to get there is through faith in Jesus Christ and you’ve never put your faith in Jesus Christ, disaster of all disasters. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me. Don’t go out of this building this morning until you’ve invited Jesus Christ to come into your life to be your Savior and your escort into the presence of the Father.