Ask Pastor Alex, Ep. 36
This is the Ask Pastor Alex podcast with your host, Pastor Alex.All right, welcome back to the podcast, everyone.We’re here with another episode and another question.And the question for this episode is, will we receive mansions in heaven?And that’s a good question.And this is actually a really special question because it was submitted by a special group of people.Our church here has a child development center, and the after-schoolers were asking their teacher a lot of questions about heaven.And they asked some really good questions, questions that are beyond their years.And so I’d agree to go and address the class and answer all the questions they have aboutheaven.And this was one of the questions that they asked.Will we all receive mansions in heaven?And this is a common idea, right? When people, especially Christians, think about heaven, they think about a crystal or glass sea.They think about streets of gold.And oftentimes, they’ll think about mansions and how each and every Christian is going to receive a mansion.But the question is, is that true?And where does that idea come from?And in order to answer it, of course, we have to go to the Bible, as we always do.And specifically, this idea that we all receive mansions in heaven, it doesn’t actually come from the book of Revelation, like you would expect, but rather it comes from the book of John.In John chapter 14, verses 1 through 2, this is what Jesus says,”‘Let not your hearts be troubled.Believe in God, believe also in me.In my Father’s house are many rooms.If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you.'”Now, after I’ve read that, you might be wondering, well, where did the idea of mansions come from?Why are there no mansions mentioned at all?And that’s because I’m reading from the English Standard Version, the ESV.In fact, the only translation that I know of that uses the word mansions is the KingJames Version.In the King James Version, the Bible says, in my Father’s house, there are many mansions,not rooms.So the ESV in other translations will say rooms.The KJV, the King James Version, will say mansions.And this has caused a lot of confusion for Christians throughout the years, because you have to keep in mind that the King James Version of the Bible was the predominant version of the Bible for many, many years.I mean, hundreds of years.It was the main translation that people were using.And so it influenced a lot of Christian thoughts and beliefs.And so this idea rose to popularity that we would all receive mansions in heaven.But here’s the thing that I want you to understand.That word that is translated as mansions in the KJV, it’s not a good translation of the Greek word there.The Greek word that’s actually used there is manae.And it comes from another word, mene, which actually stems from another Greek word, the verb mino.And the Greek verb mino means to abide.And the word that’s used here, so it derives from mino, meaning to abide.But what’s interesting about this word is that it’s not actually a noun in the Greek.I know our English translations try to translate it as a noun, which is why you’ll have either mansions or rooms.But the word there is actually an adjective, meaning it’s describing something.It’s not a person, place, or thing like a noun.It’s a description of what the Father’s house is like.And the adjective that’s used there is manae.And that means a dwelling place, a staying.You can kind of think of it as an abiding, a continuance.It’s actually where they get the word monastery.A monastery, you can hear the similarities there.A monastery is where people would go to stay.It was an abode for monks, and it comes from this word, manae, or manae, as used here.And so this is very interesting for us to consider that it’s not actually a noun.It is an adjective that is being used to describe what the Father’s house is actually like.And so we have to ask ourselves a couple of questions.Well, one, what is the Father’s house?And in the context, it’s very clear that Jesus is saying the Father’s house, His abode, isheaven.That is where the Father dwells.And when you think about His house in that way, His house is an abode.It is a place where the Father abides.It is where His family is.And so this word house, it’s referring to a place where a family dwells.And Jesus is saying, in My Father’s house, there is much abiding.There is much staying.What is He saying?He’s saying, there is plenty of room for all of God’s children in God’s house.It’s another way that Jesus is saying that you don’t have to worry about being separated from the Father or from Jesus Himself.That’s why He says, don’t let your heart be troubled because I’m going to My Father’s house and you are coming with Me, and We will not be separated.There is plenty of room in My Father’s house for all of us.There is much abiding that takes place in there.And here’s what’s really interesting.If you want to think about it even further, remember we’ve said in previous episodes,context is king.Context helps us to determine the meaning of a passage.And so here’s what’s really interesting.Jesus says all this about His Father’s house in John 14.And we’re saying that it refers not to mansions, but to an abiding, to a dwelling, to getting to be with Jesus and the Father forever.Well here’s what’s really interesting.Immediately after this chapter, it’s no surprise, we get John chapter 15.And what does Jesus say in John chapter 15?Well here’s starting in verse 1.He says, I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away.And every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you.So Jesus is saying, hey, if you are bearing fruit, you’re going to get to be with God.But if you’re not bearing fruit, He’s going to take that away.So there’s already this idea of who gets to be with God and who is removed from the presence of God.And this is what Jesus says in verse 4, abide in Me, and I in you.Now the reason that this is important is because Jesus, when He says abide in Me, He’s using that word minnow, which you’ll remember we said is related to money, which He uses in John 14.So He says, abide in Me, and I in you.As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me.So this is yet another way that Jesus is emphasizing the importance of what it means to be a Christ follower and what it means to be in relationship with God Himself.Jesus is saying, if you abide in Me, I abide in you.And all those who abide in Me will abide with God forever in His house.And so what Jesus is getting at here is not saying that every believer is going to be rewarded with a mansion in heaven, but rather He is stressing the importance of abiding,remaining steadfast, continuing in the faith, abiding in Jesus, now producing fruit and bearing fruit so that when you die, you will get to abide with God forever in His house.So this idea, let’s just recap very quickly.Jesus is saying, in My Father’s house, He’s referring to heaven, and the King James says there are many mansions.Other translations say there are many rooms, but the idea behind it is that there is plenty of room for all of God’s children to dwell with Him.In My Father’s house, heaven, there is much room for abiding, that none of God’s children are going to be excluded, that no one will be separated from Jesus.We don’t have to worry if we’re going to be distant from Jesus or from the Father.The Bible is saying here there is plenty of room for all of God’s children, so abide in Him now so that you will abide with Him later.That’s the whole idea of this.So that’s a good question to the after-schoolers who asked that very important question because it does address a very common misconception today.Very good question.I know we do not all receive mansions in heaven.That is a very common misunderstanding and misconception, but rather the idea is that we must abide in Jesus now and rely on Him and have the Holy Spirit work in us so that we produce fruit, because if we abide in Him now, we will abide with Him later.And the good news for every believer is there is plenty of room in the Father’s house for all of God’s children.We will never have to be separated from Him.We will never be apart from Him.We will dwell with God forever.So I appreciate the question.I look forward to answering more in the future.