I’ve heard today that a Christian friend I greatly admired has died, although that’s not a word Christians often use. As I’ve mentioned in one of these blogs previously we prefer the phrase ‘called home’, because we believe that when a Christian dies they go home to be with Jesus.

 

When I was 19 I spent a week with strangers who, through the intervention of a friend, had invited me into their home. They lived in Scotland, he was Scottish, she was from the North of England. They had a young son and a younger daughter. It was the first time I had been immersed in a Christian home and it was one of those life changing experiences. The love they showed me had a strengthening effect on my faith, and gave me the courage to leave my job and step out on the road that led to me becoming a teacher. It’s the husband who has died and I mourn his loss, but with the assurance that he is home.

 

Home is meant to be a wonderful place and the home with Jesus most certainly is, but we don’t all have nice homes or even a home at all. While out walking the dogs I saw a makeshift tent next to a river bank, which almost certainly belonged to a homeless person. I’ve also been in homes that I’ve been glad to leave, homes of school children whose parents’ troubled lives made it almost impossible for them to raise their children in a clean and positive environment.

 

Other people love their homes, buy all the house and home magazines and constantly update their homes to get the latest Scandi look or whatever. In their case it’s true that home is where the heart is, and they won’t be happy until they install a wood burner and have a hot tub in the garden; you must have a wood burner and a hot tub, they’re  modern essentials.

 

Jesus promised his disciples a home with him. I’ve mentioned it before. He said to them, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (1) Some versions of the Bible use the word mansion instead of room but I’ll settle for room. In fact, I’ll settle for box as long as I’m with the Lord Jesus. He is all I want, a room in his Father’s house is a wonderful bonus. If this is a room Jesus prepared it must be wonderful, everything will be just right. There won’t be a disappointed deep intake of breath when I see mine. I’m bound to love whatever he gives me because this is the person who gave his life for me, the most precious life in the universe.

 

While Jesus was on earth, when he began his teaching and preaching work he was homeless, depending on others to look after him. He once said about himself, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (2) Isn’t that amazing? Jesus has guaranteed me a home with him for ever, but to secure it he had to be homeless. He had to be poor. He had to be despised and rejected by men and he had to be crucified. It was necessary for him to die to take the punishment for my sins if I was to be made fit for heaven. As I came to faith in Jesus I was born again, a new person who could go to my new home, I was forgiven all my sins and enabled to live the best life possible, a life serving the Lord who died for me.

 

There’s an age old saying, “There’s no place like home.” Was it Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz who first said it? I would almost agree with the saying but I would extend it to say “There’s no place like home with the Lord Jesus.” Every one who comes to faith will have a home with Jesus, the most wonderful home imaginable. If you want such a home it’s yours as you trust in Jesus and acknowledge that he died for you. Live for him and look forward to spending eternity with him in a home beyond imagination.

 

Bible References:

  • John 14:2,3
  • Matthew 8:20