I’m sure we are all extremely familiar with the concept that Jesus is preparing for us a mansion in Heaven, for when we get there. I’m sure you’ve heard the concept that there are many mansions in Heaven and Jesus went to prepare one for you. Unfortunately, none of that is true.
Trust me, this isn’t anyone’s opinion. You will see it clearly from scripture. Firstly take a look at this verse from John 14:
John 14:23 (KJV) Jesus answered… If a man love me… my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode [Monē] with him.
You can see clearly that this verse is talking about the Father and Jesus coming to make their “abode” (or home) inside of us. Agreed? Read that verse again one more time if you have any doubt.
Now, see that word “abode” in that verse? Well, that’s the Greek word “Monē.” It just means to abide, to stay. Got that? Ok, now let’s read just a few verses previous to this one (same chapter):
John 14:2 (KJV) In my Father’s house are many mansions [Monē]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
This verse is always used to say that Jesus is going into Heaven to prepare a big house for us to live in, but there’s a couple of key points we’re missing:
- The “Father’s house” is not talking about Heaven. It’s talking about all of us — the body of Christ!
- The word “mansions“ here is actually the same word “Monē” that Jesus uses when He says He would make US His “abode.“
Both the word mansion and the word abode are the same Greek word, “Monē”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t translated consistently in this chapter. The word “mansion“ is just old English for “a dwelling place.“ That word “mansion“ really should be translated “abode/dwelling place.” After all, it’s translated that way later in the chapter.
But here’s the point: when Jesus says that there are “many abodes“ in the Fathers house, He’s not talking about some apartment in the sky that He is building for us! “The Father‘s House“ is not referring to Heaven, it’s actually referring to the body of Christ. We are the Fathers house collectively! And you are one abode in the full house of God. The house of God (the body of Christ) is made up of many individual dwelling places. Each of us are a dwelling place in the full house of God.
Look at those verses again in context. But this time I will replace the word mansions with “abodes” as it should be translated because it’s the same word used in both verses:
John 14:2, 23 (KJV – brackets are mine) In my Father’s house are many [ABODES]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. V.23 If a man love me… we will come unto him, and make our ABODE with him.
You see? It’s true that there are many “abodes“ in the Fathers house, but Jesus says later that those “abodes“ are actually us — not some mansion in Heaven! Remember, the word “mansion“ and the word “abode“ are the exact same word.
God frequently talks about how we are individual elements that all make up the body of Christ. For instance, here we are referred to as individual stones that make up the full house of God:
1 Peter 2:5 (NKJV) …you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house…
Also, when Noah (as a symbol of Jesus) built the ark, he built it with “dwellings/nests.“ This is another symbol of how God’s house is made up of a bunch of individual “abode‘s” (much more could be said about that).
Genesis 6:14 (NKJV) Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms [lit. dwellings/nests] in the ark…
So Jesus is not in Heaven building us an apartment in the sky. Jesus was simply saying that His Father‘s house (the body of Christ) is made up of many individual abodes. And He was leaving to send His spirit, so that we could be made into one of those abodes — so that a spot in the body of Christ could be prepared for us.
Heaven is not God‘s house, a church building is not God’s house, we are.