The Hereafter

Bible Book: John  14 : 1-6
Subject: Heaven; Hereafter; Death; Eternal Life; Home with God

The Hereafter

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

John 14:1‑6

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; 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 will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (NKJV)

An older gentleman was asked by a preacher if he thought much about the hereafter. The old man rubbed his chin and said, “Oh, yes I do think about the hereafter all the time.” The young minister asked, “Well, what do you think about when you consider the hereafter?” The elderly man replied, “Well, I go into the kitchen, or the den or to the front porch and think, ‘What in the world did I come in here-after?’” Those of us who are senior Christians can identify with that elderly man. I often walk in the kitchen and stand there for a moment wondering, "What did I come in here-after?"

We are thinking about a different hereafter today. You see, there is a hereafter – a time after this life – that must be considered seriously. What will happen to us in the hereafter – in the time after our life on this earth is over? Today many people think that human life is a mere accident of nature and when life ends for us, that is all there is to it. Actually, deep down inside we know that isn’t true. This world is not all there is, and this life is not the end of us. What will happen to you and to me in the hereafter?

Jesus spoke to His disciples to help them in the here‑and‑now to be more comfortable with thoughts about the hereafter. I want us to recall what Jesus said and to be sure that we are ready for the journey from this life to the next.

Note with me that Jesus met with His disciples in the Upper Room. It was Thursday, and a few hours later Jesus would be arrested and on Friday he would die on the cross for their sins and ours. Because the disciples were confused about Lordship and what Jesus was actually going to do, the Lord sought to clear up their thinking.

So, first let’s look at what Jesus said about…

I. The Heart

Inside each of us lies a beating heart, a heart that pumps blood throughout our bodies. Yet, there is in us an altogether different heart that we each have as well. Jesus spoke to the second heart – the one that is made up of the mind, emotions and will within each human being. Jesus knew the disciples were confused about life and death – as well as eternity. The Lord knew that the next day when they saw him die, they would be swept away in confusion, fear and sadness. He sought to pull back an unseen curtain between life and death and give them a look inside - a look beyond this life, beyound the grave - a look at the great beyond. He did this to comfort their hearts and minds, and He left these words for us as well. You see, because they didn't understand what Jesus was up to while He was on earth, nor did they know the price He was going to pay for their sins, they were going to experience some sorrows after His death that he wanted to ease for them.

A. Failing Him

Jesus didn’t want His disciples to be crushed by the awful feeling a failing Him in His hour of need. You see, the disciples were a confused bunch. They thought that Jesus was going to sweep into Jerusalem, overthrown the Romans and cast out the self-righteous Pharisees. They expected Jesus to install them as co-leaders with Him in a new earthly kingdom. Jesus did not want them to be overcome with doubt and dread when they realized that His plan was totally different than that which they had falsely perceived.

Every one of us fails the Lord. The best Christian in this room, whoever that might be, is a sinner saved by grace alone. The Lord speaks to our hearts to reassure us that His grace is sufficient for all our sins. When your dying day comes, you may have some doubts, especially as you look back over your life. Listen not to your heart but the voice of Jesus saying, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me!”

Our redemption is not based on our works or deeds but on our faith in the One who died for us on the cross. Thank God for amazing grace. I promise you that you will truly appreciate that grace more and more in the hereafter.

Of course, they may be someone in this service who thinks you are going to heaven when you die because you are as good as the next fellow. You measure your life based upon some backslidden Christian and think to yourself that you are perhaps even better than some people who claim to be saved. You are not going to live with the Lord in the hereafter if you maintain that attitude. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Everyone is a failure – only Jesus is perfect. No one goes to heaven by being better than someone else or by keeping some personal record of rights and wrongs. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." No one, and I mean no one, is righteous before God unless that righteousness has been found through repentance of sin and faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Also, note that Jesus spoke to his disciples about the heart because He knew they were going to be …

B. Facing Hardship and Death

Terrible hardship was ahead of these disciples, not to mention the awful reality of Jesus' death hitting them square in the heart. He did not want them to face these difficulties and death without confidence in Him - confidence in him while they were living and faith in Him at death. Listen, my friend, the Lord came to grant you peace – in life and death.

Now, here is something important. The Christian life is not a bed of roses, for suffering is a part of life for the Christian just as it is for anyone else – in fact, being a Christian can make suffering worse in some cases. It was certainly true for those early disciples of Jesus. They were hunted down, beaten, imprisoned and often put to death. Jesus wanted them to know that they had all they needed to follow Him in their lives – after all, Jesus came to save those who believe in Him and to give them courage no matter what life throws at them.

Note next that Jesus spoke of …

II. The House

“…in my Father’s house there are many rooms (mansions)…”

As a preacher I have been asked often about my interpretation of heaven. What is heaven like and what we will do once we are there? When Jesus spoke of heaven He called it a house. What a wonderful way of describing our eternal home. After a long, tiring journey there is nothing as sweet as home. When one has been sick and leaves the hospital, there is nothing quite as comforting as one’s own bed at home. When a soldier has been in war, there is nothing some precious as coming home to a place of peace and safety.

Home! What a word. The word can conjure up imagines of childhood, of early married life with little children at your feet, or of meals enjoyed at the table on special occasions. When Jesus used this word, He did so with purpose.

Of course the idea of home is not comforting to everyone. A man was asked, “If you went home and a sweet voice met you at the door, with the aroma of a delicious meal wafting toward you, what would you think?” The man answered, “I would think that I was at the wrong house!” Not every thought of home may be comforting to some people, but Jesus was seeking to use a term that to most people brings back memories of love and a place of safety.

What Jesus was seeking to do for His disciples at this point was to give them an idea of what heaven will be like – it will be a special home. It will home beyond our best thoughts, ideas or explanations of it. Let me give you two thoughts.

A. It is Personal

Contrary to how many protray Heaven, it is not some place were souls float around on clouds playing harps. At your home everyone knows you and you know everyone. It is a personal place to you, like no other place on earth. That is what heaven will be like – it will be home the moment you arrive. You will not feel alone or surrounded by the unfamiliar, but will from the moment of arrival sense for the first time ever that you are actually at the home of homes specifically made for you.

I’m often asked if we will know each other in heaven. Well, certainly you will. What kind of place would it be to walk among a great family and not know anyone? Sure, you will know each other. In fact, you will know everyone and will not even need an introduction. Do you remember the account of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration? Peter saw Jesus with two other men on the mountain. He named them. He knew them. Peter had never seen those men before – he had no photographs of them. There were no statues of them on earth that might have helped Peter recognize them. How did Peter know that the two men were Moses and Elijah? He knew it instantly! He knew it in a "heavenly" sense. He did not need an introduction to these men. That is what heaven will be like. You will be at home with a great family and you will know everyone by name.

I'm one of those preachers who can't remember names. I've never been able to do so, not even since my childhood. I read recently that there is something called "facial amnesia" which causes some people not to remember people when they see again, sometimes even if they have known them for years. Well, I've got that disease - or calamity - or problem - whatever you wish to call it. For decades I've preached virtually without notes. I can remember sermon outlines and stories and illustrations I preached twenty years ago; however, if I was your pastor for 10 years and saw you a couple of years later I would likely not remember your name. It is a terrible malady to have, I promise you. I meet someone that I'm absolutley sure I know but no matter how hard I try I cannot pull a name out of my mind. Listen, I can remember poems from over 50 years ago when I was in college. I can qoute them right now, but I can't remember a person I met yesterday. For some people this issue may not matter, but it is a difficult one for a preacher. It has made me glad that we Christians can call each other "brother" or "sister." Well, I'm so glad that when I get to heaven I'll know everyone immediately! It will heaven for me! In heaven we will not only know the name of those we meet, but we will actually KNOW that person as if you have known them all your life.

Heaven is home and it is shown to us as being a personal place. But, also we see that ... 

B. It is Comfortable

Jesus said that He was going to “prepare a place for you.” That means the place will be comfortable for YOU. It is prepared with YOU in mind. Wow!

I was in a revival some years ago and I stayed in a hotel. I was invited back the next year to preach a second revival for that church. They booked me in the same hotel and this time I arrived to find some things already in my hotel room. There was a basket filled with all my favorite snack foods. The small refrigerator was stocked with my favorite soft drink. The people learned from my first visit what I liked and the next time I arrived they were incredibly thoughtful and had all those things in my room for me, along with some flowers. I was so touched and blessed. I thought to myself, “This must be what Jesus meant. He is going to prepare a place for ME. When I get there, everything I need will be there.”

All you need and all that makes you comfortable will be there in the home Christ is preparing for you. NO, I'm not making this up to create a idyllic image of heaven. I'm just tell you what Jesus said about heaven. He said, "I'm going to prepare a PLACE FOR YOU... - you see, Jesus didn't just save you to get you to heaven, He actually saved you to make a place just for you in heaven. That is absolutely wonderful.

Let me tell something else about heaven ...

C. It is Remarkable

Jesus said that it is My “Father’s House.” Now, think about that. The Father’s House! We cannot imagine what that House will be like. It is God’s House – it is divine in nature. If you think about this for a moment you will have a comforted heart. Isn’t that true? Don’t you feel it now? The saved are going to the home of the Father.

When I think of this, I think of the Prodigal Son. He came home after a wild, sinfu, evill romp in the city of sin. He arrived at home dirty, tired and ashamed. But the prodigal's father ran out to him and kissed him on his scruffy neck and placed on him the robe of honor. What a thought? A robe of honor for a rebellious son. He gave that once wayward son the signet ring of the family and killed the fattened calf for a special meal. The father also hired a band to play music for the occasion. I imagine the prodigal bathed in the sweetest perfumed water and came into the room to a meal like none he had ever known before. He was a rascal, but now he is being honored. How can that be? He was honored, not because of who he was but because of who the Father is! Heaven will be remarkable because it is the Father’s house and the father's love will be on display everywhere. Well, what do you think about that?

I’m going to the Father’s House when I die. Poor soul that I am, with the smell of the world on me, I'm going to the Father's House. I belong to the Father because the Son has redeemed me! How remarkable it will be and how remarkable that home must be. Think of it, Christian soul, think of it! The Father’s House.

What are you troubles today? Turn from them and think on the Father’s House for a few minutes. No wonder Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

So heaven is a personal place, a comfortable place and a remarkable place. But, think of one more thing.

D. It is Dependable

“Let not your heart be troubled…”

So much of what the world promises is a lie. Promoters study to know exactly what to say to entice us to buy their product or visit their location, but in the end it always seems to be less than advertised. But, let me tell you something you really need to know - you can depend on what Jesus tells you about this place called The Father's House - Heaven.

You see, Jesus died – He rose – He lives, and He did that to offer you a place in The Father's House. He said He would come and take us to be where He is. He didn't over-advertise, in fact there are no words to adequately tell you how wonderful heaven will be.

I'm often asked as a pastor where I think heaven is located. I have a simple and absolutely foolproof answer to that question. When I am asked where heaven is, I simply answer, “Wherever Jesus is, that is where heaven is!” I’m not depending on the place; I’m depending on the Savior. He said He would come to take us where HE IS! That will be heaven to me.

You can have a home here and it can be wiped out in a moment. A fire, earthquake, tornado, or hurricane can reduce your dwelling place to rubble before your eyes. How many times have we seen it on television? I was recently watching some videos of the horrible tsunami that hit Japan back in 2011, and I must tell you it was hard to watch. Great homes, buildings, offices and multi-story structures were floating down the rivers like sticks on the water. Great bridges that had stood for decades where crushed like a toy under an adults foot. The devastation was horrific. In some ways it was beyond belief, but it happened. You home on this earth can literally be swept away before your eyes in an instant. In an audience like this there may be someone who has actually lost a home to one of these disasters. I've had church members who homes were terribly damaged in storms and one whose home burned completely to ground - everything in that house was lost.

I want you to know that the home God has prepared for us is indestructible. Fire cannot burn it. Wind cannot destory it. Water cannot sweep it away. A bomb cannot blast it to bits. Peter called it “imperishable” in the first chapter of his first letter found in our Bible. It is a home that does not fade away. It this world, very little abides, but God has a home unlike anything in this world. There is nothing here to which we can compare it.

You cannot depend on anything in this world, but you can depend on the home God has prepared for you. After all, it is HIS home.

Now, let me hasten to one other thought. We’ve considered the heart and the house, but let’s think for a moment about …

III. The Highway

Where is the road to be found that can take us to this house? Where is the path that leads us there? You can go to Google Earth and look down on any home in the world, and you can use GPS to get you there. But, how in the world do you get to the home that is out of this world?

A. A Simple Way

You don’t need a GPS to get you there. The way to heaven – to the home God desires you to enter – is a simple way. The way is JESUS. Jesus said, “I am the way.”

You cannot buy a ticket or an entry pass into the Father’s House. Jesus paid the way for you at the cross. He took your sins and died in your place. When you place your faith in Him, and pledge that He is Lord of your life, you have the promise that you cannot become LOST on the way home. He will be with you.

The Psalmist prophesied many years before Jesus was on the earth saying, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, YOU are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Do you see it? Jesus will take you through the valley of death. He will not leave you to find your way through the shadowy confines of the region of death. He is the Good Shepherd and He will guide you.

Note that Jesus said, “If I leave you, I will come again and take you to be where I am.” He will not leave us to find our way. He leads us.

The great hymn write Fanny Crosby wrote,

“All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.”

Simply trust Jesus, turn from self and sin, and you will never be alone along the way to heaven – along the way to the hereafter! Jesus will lead you ALL the way.

B. A Single Way

Please know that there is only ONE WAY. Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father but by me." I know that sounds narrow – and, well,  it is a narrow way! He is the ONLY way.

It was said of Rome that all roads led there, but that is not so of heaven. Jesus is not A way to heaven – Jesus is THE way to heaven. There is only ONE WAY - JESUS!

Yes, even the disciples were concerned about the way to heaven. When Jesus spoke of the Father's House, Thomas asked, "How can we know the way?" That is a great question. How can we know the way to get to the beautiful house of God in the hereafter? Jesus clearly said to doubting Thomas and to all of us, "I am the way." He wasn't lying. He didn't just say, "I am the way," He said I am, "...the Truth... ." He assured them that death is not the end, for he added, "...I am the life... ."

What a Promise

What a Peace

What a Place

What a Path - What a Person - Jesus


Let me very clear, not everyong will be in heaven in the hereafter. Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except through me." You see, you must come to Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior to arrive at home with Christ in the hereafter. Are you ready for the hereafter? Oh, how wonderful to have everything settled with God through Christ. How peaceful to face the hereafter with Jesus in your heart in the here and now. It is the only way to be ready for the hereafter - and be sure the hereafter is right around the corner for everyone of us. Let us make sure we settle the matter today by receiving Jesus as The WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.