John 14, beginning in verse 1. Jesus is speaking and He says this, "Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places. 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'll come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there ye may be also. And where I go ye know and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto Him, 'Lord, we know not where Thou goest? And how can we know the way?' Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.'" May God bless this reading of His Word.
Turn in your Bible to the fourteenth chapter of John and we want to examine the text the Holy Spirit has brought before us this morning. The marvelous thing about expositional preaching which is the only kind, really, verse by verse, is the fact that you know where you're going every week and the Spirit of God has time to make His plan surrounding where you're going to be. Kind of exciting to just follow the flow of the text of the Word of God. And 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. This is a part of Scripture which has become so familiar to many of us. Probably at some time if you were like I was, raised in a Sunday School, I memorized this periodically. This was always a favorite text and has so much in it. As we look at these six verses this morning, I've entitled the message, "Who goes when Jesus comes?" And that really is kind of the broad idea in this text and yet there are many, many other things to see here.
Now 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 today there seems to be a new kind of anticipation that Jesus is coming. This is our great hope. And we believe that Jesus could well come in this generation. He could come this week, in fact. Nothing needs to happen prophetically prior to His coming, everything is ready. The stage is completely set for the return of Jesus Christ. 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 have to ask ourselves the question...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 in the future which gives us comfort in the present?
Well this chapter, the fourteenth chapter of John, answers that question. 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 other words and even promises to send them A comforter who is the Holy Spirit. So it's the comfort chapter. And our faith is not just a faith in the future, but it is a faith in the future which gives comfort in the present.
Now the scene is in the upper room where the disciples gathered with Jesus the night before He went to Golgotha, the cross being on that hill, this is the night before His death. Judas has been dismissed, sent out to carry out his betrayal. And Jesus has begun His valedictory address to the remaining eleven disciples. This is the last council, the last dialogue, the last address that He gave them prior to His death. And in a very short time the world of those eleven men is going to collapse. It's going to collapse into a kind of a chaos that's unbelievable. Their sun is about to set at mid-day and their whole world is going to fall in all around them.
It hasn't quite collapsed yet but the pains have already begun. And by the time we come to chapter 14, they are already hurting. They are bewildered. They are perplexed. They are confused. They are worrying. They are filled with anxiety. They have already been informed that Jesus is leaving, that their blessed and beloved Master whom they loved more than life is going away. That one that they had been willing to die for. As back in John 11 Jesus said, "I am going to Jerusalem," and Thomas says, "Well, let's all go and die with Him." The one they loved more than their own life was leaving and it would tear out their hearts to lose Him. If you've been in love, you know what it is like to be separated from the one you love permanently. You can imagine that kind of feeling when they loved One who was a perfect one, whose love for them was without flaw and the loss of such a one was an excruciating horror. And so in this chapter Jesus anticipates their troubles. Jesus anticipates their problems of losing Him. Jesus anticipates their already breaking hearts and He gives them comfort, upon comfort, upon comfort, just kind of stacking it all up. This is the comfort chapter, as I said.
In fact, Martin Luther called this chapter, he said, "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. And as we read these words in the first six verses, we'll find how blessedly they not only reveal comfort, and they do deeply, but how they reveal the person of the God/Man, Jesus Christ, in all of His glory and it's all right in the same verses.
As I read this over I couldn't help but realize the uniqueness of Jesus. I mean, any other man placed in our Lord's circumstances, about to be nailed to a cross and full well knowing it, about to bear the sins of every man who would ever live, about to be cursed with a curse of God, about to be forsaken by His own Father God, about to be on and mocked and everything else, 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, human 100 percent while divine 100 percent, but nevertheless totally human anticipating the most horrible kind of experience, 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. Completely aware of everything that awaited Him, feeling the weight of the awful load of sin that He was about to bear, realizing that He was about to taste the bitter cup of death for every man, He still took a primary interest in the sorrows and the fears of His apostles. And instead of being occupied with what was going to happen to Him, He was occupied with them and that tells you something about Jesus. And it reminds me of what John said in chapter 13, wasn't it verse 1, when he said, "He loved them to the end."
And so it is that their hearts are broken, full of sorrow. And Jesus' great loving heart is occupied with their sorrow, rather than His own. And 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, well you find a tremendously soft downy pillow in John 14:1 to 6, it's all here, comfort in all of its great foundations. Tremendous truths.
And He basically says, and you have an outline in your bulletin there and it needs a little editorializing. The first point should be His presence, not His power. But comfort, the basis of comfort comes by trusting, by trusting Christ. Now watch that. 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, stirred up, the reason is you don't trust Christ. That's the reason. And so in these verses Jesus says, "I want you to trust three things. 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." That's what He says and you'll hear it repeatedly, "Trust Me....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." You know what He's saying there? He's saying this, "Friends, don't worry, trust Me." Tremendous. "Let not your heart be troubled." Now in the Greek language He is not saying, "Don't begin to be troubled," no He's not saying that. 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." That's what He's saying. They're already rattling around inside. They're already perplexed. They were filled with a...with a medley of emotions. Everything seemed to be falling apart. All their dreams and desires were unraveling. And the gloomy prospect of Jesus Christ dying and leaving left them terrorized. 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 an illustrious conqueror, a kind of a super hero, a sovereign ruling king. And their hopes had risen even higher when Jesus came riding into Jerusalem and everybody threw palm branches down and cried hosanna and this is the son of David and they were really laying it on heavy. And their hopes were rising inside, it was exciting. The whole thing was at a kind of a fever pitch. And then they had heard Him gather the people around Him and then He began to talk about His dying, like as a grain of wheat buried in the ground dies and brings forth life, He was saying that's what I'm going to do. And they were shaken and they were filled with sorrow because they really loved Him and the thought of losing Him was unbearable.
And not only that, the theological implications, how in the world could they reconcile this with His messiahship? And what about them? What kind of a way is this to treat them? They had forsaken all and followed Him, and now He's going to forsake them and go away. And not only that, He was going to leave them in the midst of enemies who hated Him and them. It was all so strange, 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.
And then to add to that, the realization that they had been so proud and so selfish that they wouldn't have even shown love to each other and when it came time to wash each other's feet, they wouldn't do that. And Jesus had to finally do it Himself. And they had so wanted to show Him they loved Him and they didn't. And then they were so perplexed because Jesus had actually said that one of them was going to betray Him and they didn't know who it was and they didn't understand why Judas left. They thought he went to the store to buy some bread or something. They didn't understand, "one of us is going to betray?" And then to make things worse, they had just heard Jesus say to Peter who was on the surface the strongest of all of them that Peter was going to deny Him three times.
And everything seemed to be coming to an unbelievably crazy kind of climax. All the strong virile character of Peter was going to fall apart and somebody was going to betray them and they hadn't shown their love to Jesus and He was going away and they were alone and could this be the Messiah? And 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 hoping against hope.
Well Jesus read their hearts like a billboard, He knew exactly what they were thinking. He was well aware of their minds. He was able to be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. He could sorrow their sorrows and hurt their hurts. And it's kind of an interesting thing that they couldn't feel His pain but He could feel theirs, and He did. There was always room in His heart, as there still is, for the troubles of others. He feels their griefs just like they were His own and so He kindly moves to comfort them. And all the time He's doing this, He knows that they're going to scatter and forsake Him. He knows that. But He still offers them this comfort.
Isaiah said this, "In all their affliction He was afflicted. And the Lord who anointed Him to comfort those who mourn and to bind up the broken hearted had indeed given to Him the tongue of the learned that He might speak a word in season to them who were weary." Isaiah said when the Messiah comes, God will give Him the ability to feel the pain of others and to offer comfort to the weary.
So Jesus says to them, "Friends, stop being troubled." There's the agonizing shepherd facing the cross, comforting the sheep who are going to be scattered and forsaken. Somebody said, "Was there ever kinder shepherd half so gentle, half so sweet?" I think not. Don't be troubled.
Now He says, "Because I want to comfort you." And how does He begin to comfort? Look at the second part of verse 1, "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." Now what's He saying here? Oh there's so much in this. He's saying, "Trust My presence."
Let me show you what I mean. You'll notice that Jesus puts Himself on an equality with God there. "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." Now it can be an imperative. The Greek imperative and indicative takes the same form. He could be saying, "Believe in God," command. "Believe in Me," command. Or He could be saying, "Ye believe in God, ye believe in Me," it's the same form, but it seems as though this translation is the best, "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." That's the natural attitude that Jesus is expressing. One is a fact, the other is a command. Ye already believe in God, now believe in Me. Now that puts Him on an equal basis with God. He is asking them to trust His presence.
Now watch and I'll show you what I mean. He calls on them to trust Him even though He can't see Him when He goes. And He says, "You believe in God whom you cannot see, believe also in Me." The psalmist said this, "I had faded unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord and the land of the living." The psalmist also said, "But mine eyes are unto Thee, O God, in Thee is my trust." Listen, 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. And in the darkest hour He says, "Trust, trust, 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."
Now 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, not at all. They already believe in Him at that point. He is saying, and the word is in the linear, "Keep on trusting Me, you are trusting God so trust, 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. Well let's face it, their faith was typically Thomas faith, right? Thomas after the resurrection was told He is alive and He appeared to us and Thomas said, "Sure, right. I wouldn't believe that if I couldn't see Him and put my hands right in the nail prints." And so that's exactly the ground upon which Christ met Thomas. Thomas kind of faith. What they...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 you...you shouldn't have any problem with this, folks, 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.
Back in Deuteronomy, I think 31 is the chapter and verse 6, I'll just read it to you. It says this, and this is the word of Moses to the people of Israel. "Be strong and of good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them." Watch this, and here shows Moses' faith, typical of Israel, "For the Lord thy God, He it is who doth go with thee, He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." And, my friends, the Jewish people believed that to the soles of their feet they believed it. And 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."
Over there in John 20:29 after Jesus got done showing Thomas His nail prints, He said, "Thomas, it's a good thing you saw and believed," but watch this, "blessed is he that hath not seen...what?...let believe," see. The visible presence of Christ isn't the issue, and that's what He's trying to get across. Jesus said, "Though I am with you...how long?...always, I will never leave you nor forsake you." And there He parallels what God said about Himself in the Old Testament. The ever-present Christ, so what He says to the disciples is, "Just because I can't be seen, don't let that bother you, you have full faith in an invisible God, have full faith in Me." Look at John 16:13 for a second. He's telling them here that He's going to send the Holy Spirit to them and notice what He wants the Holy Spirit to do. You know, it would be kind of easy for these poor disciples after Jesus left to think, "Oh, He's gone and He may be, for all we know, out of existence, you know, it's all over with." But watch what He does. "But nevertheless, when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you in to all truth for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak and show you things to come." Verse 14, watch it, now the Holy Spirit didn't come to talk about Himself, 14; "He shall glorify...what?...Me." Do you know that the Holy Spirit's ministry is to point to Jesus Christ, to keep reminding us that He's there? See? "For He shall receive of Mine and show it to you." Do you see? The Spirit's ministry is to show us Christ is still there. He is the guarantee that Christ exists. All things that the Father hath are Mine, therefore said I that He shall take of Mine and show it to you. The Spirit's ministry is to show us Christ. And so Jesus says here, "Listen, fellows, you believe in the invisible God, believe in Me," and then He sticks the Holy Spirit in them, sends them the Comforter and the Holy Spirit's ministry is to remind them that Christ is there, that He's alive. The ministry of the Spirit is to testify of Christ. And that's why it's very dangerous whenever you see a ministry that is centered around the Holy Spirit where it's constantly the Holy Spirit and evidently the Holy Spirit's getting all the glory. That's not the Holy Spirit's ministry. His ministry is to point to Christ, not to Himself.
And so, the first comforting awareness is to know that Christ is alive and present, though invisible. Now Peter finally got this message because over in...let's see, it's 1 Peter 1:8, listen to what he says. Christ, Jesus Christ, verse 7, "Jesus Christ whom having not seen, ye love." Now listen to this, "In whom though now you see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." I have never seen Jesus Christ. Now that's not shocking, but it's true. But there is no one in existence in whom I believe more than I believe in Jesus Christ. He is alive. He's for real. I know Him, I've talked to Him already today. I've sensed His presence. You will never convince me that He's not alive, the Spirit of God witnesses in my heart continually that Jesus Christ lives. And although I can't see Him, I trust Him.
So He says to the disciples, "Keep on trusting Me. You believe in God, believe in Me even though you can't see Me." What a fantastic thought. And the little word "also" is so important in that verse because it gives an equality between Christ and God. "Believe also in Me," on the same level. So the first point of our comfort then is His presence. Whatever your trouble, friend, whatever your fouled up problems, whatever mess you're in, whatever anxiety or perplexity you're in, just remember this, the Lord's there, He's there.
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 marvelous, personally, of course, but the way it worked in the New Testament, 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 there. You may not see Me, but I'm there."
All right, secondly, not only trust My presence, but My promises. Oh this is good! Trust My promises. Now watch the promises He's going to give them. Verse 2, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would have told you, I wouldn't woof you guys, I'm not going to tell you a lie. I mean, if it wasn't true 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." Boy, can't you imagine how that must have rung a bell? "Ah, 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 up there just to get it ready for you guys. Terrific, 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. And He says, "I'm going...I love this...to My Father's house." That's good, that's so good. The grandest name of all, God is My Father. 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 eternities and now His glory was done, He was going...His being glorified was to be done and He was going back to full glory with the Father again.
Now what is "My Father's house" mean? My Father's house, friends, is heaven. Did you know that? That's just another name for heaven. My Father's house is 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. It's called a country, a city, a kingdom, and a paradise. But you know what I like best, I like it best when heaven is called "My Father's house."
You know, when I was a kid raised and I'd go away somewhere, the best thing I could possibly do was go back to my father's house, be home. I was flying home from San Diego last night, late about eleven o'clock on American Airlines and I sat down next to a guy who was returning from the service. And he was just excited. He said...I said, "Where are you going?"
He said, "We're going to Los Angeles, this is the last leg."
I said, "Where are you coming from?"
"Way out in the Philippines somewhere, hip-hopped all over." He said, "I've been on five planes, helicopters, all kinds of things."
I said, "It's good to get home, isn't it? Good to go home."
He said...he said, "Man it was great to see things, but home...I just want to go home." See.
There's something about the comfort and...it's not like...when we go to heaven it's not like going into some giant palace where the....you just go right in and just flop, see. Throw your coat off, kick your shoes and whew...that's it. I mean, that's home, that's My Father's house. See. Tremendous realization. And you remember that Jesus had called the temple His Father's house, same way. 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...what?..desolate," and from there on heaven became the Father's house. That's home, that's not some weird place where you're uncomfortable, that's home. Home like home has never been.
Then He says this, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places." Now your text may say "mansions," which is given to Christianity the wrong idea for years, that heaven is full of all these big mansions. And when you get up there it's like going to a new development when the real estate guy gives you the little map and says, "Well, let's see, you go two blocks down and four to the left and that's your mansion. You know that Peter will be at the gate with real estate maps pointing out on a little golf cart to take you to your mansion." It's not, you know, eight blocks and to the left. When you go, it's dwelling places and what it means is this, the word "dwelling places" referring, of course, to the context in the day that it was written, can be explained thus: 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. Pretty soon they would marry and they would close it in almost so that the patio was in the middle and everyone lived around the patio...the father, the sons all the way around and the relatives. Now that's what it's talking about and it's not talking about tenement rooms, it's the idea of total dwelling, like a very full and complete apartment but all surrounding the same patio.
When I go to heaven God is not going to live there, and I'm going to live eight blocks down here, I'm going to be in the Father's...we'll have the same patio. We are going to live right together. And that's the idea of "dwelling places," not detached, but attached to the Father's house, right in the same house with the Father.
You say, "Oh, is there going to be room for all of us?" Well look at this, "In My Father's house are...what, what's the next word?...many..." Listen, there's just enough for everybody. Remember the old spiritual, "Plenty good room in my Father's house?" No overcrowding in heaven, no weary traveler will be turned away, no "no vacancy" signs. It's as wide as God's love, there's plenty of room. I can...in fact, I can show you how much room there is if you want to look at Revelation 21:16.
Verse 16 of Revelation 21, "And the city lieth foursquare and the length is as large as the breadth and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." Now that's 1500 miles approximately, 1500 miles in every direction of a cube. An Australian engineer named Thomas calculated that would be two million, two hundred and fifty thousand square miles. To give you a reference point, London is 140 square miles. That city is two million, two hundred and fifty-thousand square miles. And at the ratio of population in London, it could hold a hundred thousand million people unglorified. Glorified, who know? It could hold thirty times the population of our world right now and still have plenty of room to spare. Now that's many dwelling places.
Now let me show you a little bit more about heaven while you're over there 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," and I told you in Revelation the reason he throws "I, John," in there is because he gets so excited, you know. It's like, "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.'" You know what that means? God is living with man and that is in the Father's house, we're all there. "And He will dwell...what are the next two words?...three blocks away? 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.
Listen, I already feel bound to heaven, don't you? I mean, I...I just...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...I don't know what I'm doing here, in fact. And 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.
Now there never was an interior or exterior decorator like Jesus. And you read the twenty-first chapter of Revelation and read what that place is going to be like, it's absolutely unbelievable. Let me just read a little bit of it. Revelation 21:18, "And the building of the wall of heaven was of jasper and the city was pure gold like clear glass." Have you ever seen pure gold that's as clear as glass? It doesn't exist but He's going to make it. "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation...and it's listed...sapphire, jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls." Each one of the gates was one pearl, giant pearls. In verse 22, "I saw no temple in it for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." We're going to be with them there. That's the temple...the whole of the city is the temple. "I had no need of the sun, neither the moon to shine in it for the glory of God did light it." Can't you just imagine the glory of God lighting that city and flashing out through all the jewels that stud the walls of that city, fabulous city. Just unbelievable. "And the gates are never shut," verse 25. And verse 27, "There shall in no way enter into it anything that defileth nor he that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." What a city, a golden, transparent, diamond city with diamond walls and light from the Lamb's glory flashing through the colored jewels and forming a spectacle of dazzling beauty and no defile and glory all over the place.
And you know what? Jesus is just getting it ready for us. And I love this, He says, "If it were not so I would have told you." That's so good. "Trust Me, I've always told you the truth. I'm not just saying this to try to make you feel good." Over in 18:37 of John it says, this is good, "Pilate said unto Him, 'Are You a King?' Jesus answered, 'Thou sayest that I am King, to this end was I born, for this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness unto...what?...the truth.'" Jesus always speaks truth, always. "I go to prepare a place for you, I'm just getting it ready, trust Me."
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." Listen, I'm not only going to get it ready, this is great, I'm going to come back and get you to take you there. It's a beautiful thought. But He says this, the Lord doesn't send somebody to get us, what does He say? "If I go, I will...what?...come again." Listen, He does it Himself. The Lord will not send somebody, He will come and get us in person to take us home. How precious we must be for Him to do that.
My Dad used to tell the 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, he was only supposed to be gone about twenty minutes...four or five hours while this little fella stood on the corner by a store. The father was panicky. He had no way to phone the little boy. And so he just panicked. He couldn't get where he had to go because his car had broken down. He got some help and gotten it fixed and 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 to the curb and said, "Get in," and grabbed him and hugged him and kissed him. And he said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Oh gee, I'm so sorry." He was just panicked. He said, "What are you sorry about, Dad, you said you were coming." You see, 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 night, 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."
You want to know something that I think is so exciting? Jesus is just as anxious to get back and get you as you are to go. In John 17:24 it says this, "Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory." See, 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 you up there just as much as you want to be there.
Again and again Jesus had told His disciples that He wouldn't forsake them. And now He reminds them. So the call, trust My presence, trust My promises, I'll be back to get you. Then He says this, trust My person, and we'll close with this thought.
Verse 4, "And where I go ye know..." He said, you know, I've 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. He said, "I'm going to the Father, where's the Father?" What's Thomas saying? He's saying this. "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, and so am I. Listen, if Jesus said, "Look, after you die, just come on up," see? So he says, "You know the way," and Thomas says, "We don't even know where You are, how do you know how to get there if you don't know where you're going?" I mean, they drew a blank after death and they didn't know what to do. And it was a good point.
And then Jesus says to them in verse 6, it's so good. Trust Me, listen to what He says, "Jesus saith unto them, 'I am the way, the truth and the life.'" Stop right there. That's so good. He says, "Guys, you don't need to know how to get there, I'm coming to get you." Isn't that good? 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.
You know, if you went into a town, and you've had this happen probably, 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, just...all you have to do is die, that's all, to begin the process, spiritually. 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 up there and I don't have any idea how to get there. I'm just going to die and You can just take me. And you fall asleep in death or when you're changed in the Rapture, He'll take you, don't worry. He's coming back for you.
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 bring 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 this. "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 this, "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 this is what he 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.
About to die, Clement Brown pointed his finger and said this, "I see one, two, three, four, five angels waiting their commission. I see them plainly as I see you, Hester. How I wish you could see them." Then he beckoned, "And my Jesus bids me come."
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.
Listen, friends, no matter how bad it looks, there's comfort because you can trust Him.
Father, we thank You, this morning, for teaching us trust. We thank You that Jesus Christ is so worthy of our trust. And, Lord, we just...we 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 or are taken in the Rapture, whatever it is, 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.
While your heads are bowed for just a quick second. 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 this, "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.
Father, as we sing, we pray that Your Spirit will have freedom to move in Christ's name. Amen.