And I appoint unto you a ; kingdom, as My Father hath' appointed unto Me;
That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour.
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 unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One:
Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a
building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
-II Corinthians 5:1
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.
Mark is a sailor in the U.S. Navy. He has been on a ship for six months on the Pacific Ocean. Today he is returning to his home. The closer he comes, the more excited he feels. When the taxi reaches his home, he bounds up the driveway, shouting, "I'm home! I'm home!"
Mark's loving parents, brothers and sisters, freedom from the stresses of his work, his own room, and the security of his living there, all combine to make this his home and fill him with joy to finally be there.
How does this example illustrate various aspects of a saint's joy when reaching his "home"? Why would the joy of a saint reaching his heavenly home transcend the joy of a sailor reaching his earthly home?
Rev. John Bunyan describes Christian's and Hopeful's approach to heaven, their spiritual homecoming, in the following beautiful way in his book, The Pilgrim's Progress.
Now, you must note, that the City stood upon a mighty hill: but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two men to lead them up by the arms: they had likewise left their mortal garments behind them in the river; for though they went in with them, they came out without them. They therefore went up here with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which the City was framed was higher than the clouds: they therefore went up through the region of the air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted, because they safely got over the river, and had such glorious companions to attend them.
The talk that they had with the shining ones was about the glory of the place; who told them, that the beauty and glory of it was inexpressible. There, said they, is "Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect." You are going now, said they, to the paradise of God, wherein you shall see the tree of life, and eat of the never-fading fruits thereof: and when you come there, you shall have white robes given you, and your walk and talk shall be every day with the King, even all the days of eternity. There you shall not see again such things as you saw when you were in the lower region upon the earth; to wit, sorrow, sickness, affliction, and death; "for the former things are passed away." You are going now to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob, and to the prophets, men that God hath taken away from the evil to come, and that are now "resting upon their beds, each one walking in his righteousness." The men then asked, What must we do in the holy place? To whom it was answered, You must there receive the comfort of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your prayers, and tears, and sufferings for the King by the way. In that place you must wear crowns of gold, and enjoy the perpetual sight and vision of the Holy One; for "there you shall see Him as He is."