MANSIONS IN THE SKY or HEAVENLY HARPING
John 14:2-3 KJV (2) 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.
(3) 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.
I recently inadvertently lost a friend by telling them their deceased relative was not currently in heaven because no one is in heaven at this time. Regardless of someone’s personal doctrine people do not go to heaven when they die. Rather, the Scripture speaks of two resurrections – one occurs at the return of Jesus Christ just prior to the millennium and the other occurs at the end of the millennium. One of the favorite scriptures of the “Christians go to heaven when they die” group is John 14:2-3 which is written above at the beginning of this post.
The Word Study Dictionary
monḗ; gen. monḗs, fem. noun from ménō (G3306), to remain, dwell. A mansion, habitation, abode (Joh_14:2, Joh_14:23 [cf. Rev_21:3]). Also related to mónos (G3441), alone, only, single.
Syn.: oikētḗrion (G3613), a habitation; katoikētḗrion (G2732), a place where one dwells permanently;
Other translations of mone include: Abodes; dwelling places; rooms; and places.
Mansions and abodes are the leading translations with dwelling places running a close second. It is my belief these mansions, abodes, and dwelling places, even rooms, are actually referring to a glorified body which the Saints will receive as a place to dwell permanently as in the last synonym written in the Word Study Dictionary above.
For the sake of a good discussion and explanation, let’s pretend that people actually do go to heaven when they die. Some semi-popular Christian mythos will be added for interest quality.
A saintly Christian dies and appears at the Pearly Gate where he is met by St. Peter. The kindly Saint tells the man “welcome to heaven, let me show you to your mansion”. Suddenly they appear in front of a great palace. They open the door and go in and the recently deceased man notices that the inside of the palace is one big room with nothing in it but a chair, a music stand, and a harp.
The man asked Peter, “why does this mansion only have one large room?” Peter gives a detailed answer. “Since we don’t eat or drink in heaven, you will not need a kitchen, dishes, pots and pans, or a dining room. We also don’t sleep in heaven so you won’t need a bedroom. There is no dirt in heaven and therefore you won’t get dirty and your clothes won’t get soiled so you will not need a bathroom, a shower, a toilet, or a laundry room with a washer and dryer. However you have been provided a place to sit if you prefer and practice your harp skills. By the way, at the sound of a loud trumpet, you will know that choir practice will begin around the throne room. Oh, you don’t sing? Well, remedial classes are available.”
As one can readily see, there will be no need for a mansion in heaven even if someone was in heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Scripture clearly says, when the Lord descends from heaven the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them. When the Lord descends from heaven He is no longer in heaven. Wherever the dead souls happen to be they will rise first somewhere in the proximity of the earthly ground
The remains of the dead, if they still exist, could be in the ground, in the bottom of an ocean or a lake, frozen in ice, or possibly as ashes in a jar on someone’s mantle. They are not currently, or of the future, in heaven awaiting to be hurled back to the planet so they can be raised from the dead.
It has been said by a commentator that being in the air, even one centimeter, means not being in the ground. It does not mean being in the stratosphere or outer space. The 1000 year Millennium, which is God’s Sabbath rest, will take place on the earth as it was meant to be at the creation of Adam and Eve. It will not take place around the throne of God in heaven with the saints playing harps and singing songs.
The first resurrection will not include every person who considers themselves a Christian because they went to church on Easter or Mother’s Day. The first group will consist only of the true Saints, who follow the laws and teachings of Christ, throughout the past ages. These people are scripturally called the overcomers or the elect. They will serve as administrators and priests for the Kingdom of God under the rule of Jesus Christ on planet Earth.
The second resurrection at the end of the thousand year millennium will include the rest of the dead who were not resurrected at the first resurrection. As told by Jesus this will include the ones who have done good and the ones who have done evil.
John 5:28-29 KJV Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
NOTE: People who temporarily die for a few seconds and claim to see heaven are full of boloney (actually bologna – just keeping the mythos alive).