In Revelation, chapter seven, there is a reference to those who have come through a great tribulation. Their struggle was horrific and their losses heartbreaking, but they were eventually rewarded with God’s eternal comfort. John writes: “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:15-17). Did you catch that? He will “spread his tent over them.” In other words, when we get to heaven we will be sheltered by God as His permanent household residents. Eternal life, then as now, is all about living in the presence of the Father and the Son.
Please don’t misunderstand. There will be definition in heaven. We will have bodies specifically designed for an immortal environment. We might even live in a mansion, although I prefer a large Spanish villa in the Florida Keys over a contemporary spread in Beverly Hills. I have nothing against Beverly Hills, but if there are such things in heaven I would rather be near the warm Gulf waters than the cold Pacific.
Have you ever thought of Jesus as a Bridegroom preparing His wedding shelter for the church? It changes things a bit, don’t you think? Instead of directing sub-contractors with a hard-hat on His head, Jesus is carving out a shelter for His Bride with a wooden plane and awl. He steps back to review His work, and as He thinks of us He contemplates how to make it more beautiful. He asks the Father to inspect His work, and He can’t wait to come with His angels to tell us the time has come. We often speak of how exciting it will be to see Jesus, but have you ever considered how excited Jesus will be to have His church in heaven, free from persecution and covered with His protection for all eternity?
Jesus is preparing a place for His us. We know the way to the place. What? You don’t know the way? Sure you do! He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). In Him we put our trust, and through Him we receive our eternal home. We know the way, and He is Jesus.