Last Saturday, I was at a funeral for the burial of my neighbor’s grandmother, who died at the age of 88. As the time for burial drew near, a Bible preacher from Presbyterian Church stood up and invited all of us to read John 14:1-3, where she then encouraged the mourners to have hope even amid death. Interpreting the verses, she said, “here Jesus was encouraging his disciples not to lose hope when faced with the death of their loved ones, because He was going to prepare them a place to which He would take one by one at death”. Look, I’m just quoting her. That’s what she said about the verses. But, let’s be honest! Was Jesus talking about death? If yes, whose death was it? Did Jesus say that He would come to take one by one at death? And what do you say about this? I invite you to look at the verses again:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. There’s more than enough room in my Father’s house. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am”. John 14:1-3 NLT
What is Jesus saying here? The truth is that time had come for Jesus to depart from the Earth. Here, we get the idea of death, but notice that it’s His death on the Cross, not that of our beloved ones. At best, the preacher missed the point of the message of Christ; at worst, she deceived the mourners. To begin with, Jesus was talking about His departure (not His disciples’); he was both promising to come back for us who believe and to take us all to heaven (not to take one by one); His return and taking us to heaven is not happening at death.
Until now, Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven by interceding for us before the Father (see Hebrews 4:14), and, as promised, when everything is ready, He will come back to take us all home. Please, don’t be deceived into believing death as both synonymous with the Second Coming of Jesus and the ascension to Heaven, because that’s not true. Jesus has not yet returned to the Earth, but He definitely will.
Want to know what happens at death? Click here.