Vacancy

When I was young, I can remember taking weekend trips to the mountains with my family.  These were not well-planned trips.  My parents just had an urge to go and off we went.  In seeking our hotel accommodations, I can remember my parents reading the vacancy signs that used to be outside of hotels.  These light up signs would either flash vacancy, that is, there were rooms available; or no vacancy, they were all filled.  The sign saved you the trouble of having to go in and ask at the counter.  Sometimes it took a while to find a hotel will rooms available.  There were simply not rooms enough to go around.

In John’s Gospel, Jesus spends time sharing with his disciples about his approaching departure.  Jesus knew that his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven were drawing close and that he would soon be leaving his followers.  They were uncertain what this meant for them.  How would they go on without their leader?  Would they ever see him again?

In John 14: 1-3 Jesus says to his worried disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”  Jesus shared with his disciples that he would come again and take them to his Father’s house where there would be many rooms.  God’s house is expansive, and the rooms are unlimited for those who place their faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Jesus said he would come again and take them there himself.  In coming again, Jesus could have meant his second coming to earth which the Bible teaches will occur at the end of time where God will gather his followers and lead them into God’s eternal Kingdom.  Or Jesus could have meant that he comes again at the moment of our death and ushers us into God’s eternity.  Regardless, Jesus is the one who brings us to the Father’s house with many rooms.

Trusting in Jesus with our living and our dying is the pathway to this eternal home where there will never be a “no vacancy” sign.  When we place our faith in Jesus, we have the assurance that when we arrive in God’s heaven that there will be a place for us.  A place where we will dwell with God and all those who have gone before us.  In Jesus, we are destined to an eternity with God.  We need not worry about our arrival, because Jesus will already have our room ready and waiting.  There will always be a vacancy sign to greet us and welcome us home.

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Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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