Thursday, October 19, 2017

Trusting God for Eternal Life

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you" (John 14:1–2).

When we talk with people who are suffering from deadly injuries or illnesses and who may very well die, we are tempted to offer false hope. We are tempted to say something like, “Don’t worry. You’re sure to get better.” Similarly, if someone is dying, we are tempted to withhold that information from them.

Any such response is false hope. Jesus shows us true hope in these verses. It is helpful to remember the context in which He spoke these words. He had just told the disciples that He was about to die (John 13:33) and that He was going to be leaving them. It was in the face of death that He reassured them concerning life after death. Jesus not only tells us that there is a good and happy life for believers after death, but He also tells us that part of His purpose in departing from this world was so that He might prepare a place for us. Our comfort in the face of dying is not only that we are going into a better life but also that Jesus Himself is there waiting for us.

“If it were not so, I would have told you.” Jesus adds these words to assure us that His promise is true. If there were any threat to our future happiness in heaven, He would have told us. In the original Greek this is a very strong statement. The Greek original clearly expresses a condition contrary to fact, and for that reason we translate it in the English subjunctive mood: “If it were,” not “If it is.”

There is no doubt about it. “If it were not so” means that there is not the slightest possibility that the promise is untrue. By using this strong statement, Jesus assures us that in the face of death we can have hope—if not hope for recovery, then hope for something even better.

Have you thought very much about the fact that beyond this life is a better one with Jesus in heaven? Sometimes we as Christians get so concerned with the affairs of this world, important as they are, that we forget about the world to come. Take some time today to think about the life to come, and restore your perspective on the hope that Jesus offers in these verses.