Sunday, December 09, 2007

Empty Mansions Theology

Jesus said:

John 14:1-3
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In 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. 3And 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.

Some folks would suggest that unless Jesus died for each and every person, then our gospel call to each and every person is somehow improper. One wonders if this can validly be extended to the full package of heaven.

If it is bad to offer salvation to those for whom Christ did not die, then it would also seem odd to offer salvation to those for whom no heavenly mansion is prepared.

So then, is heaven going to be a ghost town?

Has Jesus gone to prepare mansions for everyone absolutely?

This would certainly seem odd. God is omniscient. There is no particular reason to build mansions for those who are not going to come. God knows who will come. Therefore, it would make more sense to suppose that every mansion in heaven will be occupied.

Heaven will not be ghost town, a tribute to a failed attempt to convert each and every man.

Surely this is not particularly objectionable, even to Arminians and Amyraldians.

But then, again, if the mansions can built only for those who actually will come, then what need was there for Christ even to die in the place of those who will not come, in order for the offer to be sincere? After all, the same logic applies:

God is omniscient. There is no particular reason to die in the place of those who will not come. God knows who will come. Therefore, it would make more sense to suppose that every one for whom Christ died will be saved.

Crucifixion day was not mostly in vain, and Judgment Day will not be a tribute to a failed attempt to convert each and every man.

Instead, Christ died in the place of a particular people. Those for whom Christ died will be raised to glory. For each of them, there is a mansion prepared with their name on it. It is for them that Christ came.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Yet they are saved through the gospel, through faith in the author and finisher of their salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Praise be to the Lord!

-Turretinfan

4 comments:

Hidden One said...

A Gentle Correction:

"Therefore, it would make more sense to suppose that every one for whom Christ died will be saved."

and

"Instead, Christ died in the place of a particular people."

I can only presume that you have not read (or have forgotten) 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

"For the love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (emphasis added.)

Christ "indeed died for all", and not for only some.

Turretinfan said...

Hidden One,

Thanks for the gentleness of your reply.

I had not, however, forgotten about that passage.

The passage itself is worth digging into. "All" can be consistent with "a particular people." Specifically, it could refer to all the particular people.

But the phrase "particular people" is not in that verse. So we must ask ourselves "All of what"?

After all, "All" just means "all." It's sense depends on context.

As Paul emphasizes, if Christ died for "all" then the "all" were dead. But because Christ died, the "all" are not dead, but live.

Indeed, that's exactly what I've been trying to tell you, namely that all for whom Christ died were dead, but will live.

Paul goes on to make the point "that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."

And indeed, that is how we should henceforth live, for him who died for us.

But I hope you don't expect heaven to be a ghost town! Because that would be odd, to say the least.

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

Well, seeing I have a place there, it won't be a Ghost Town and as one brother, Dr. J Sidlow Baxter, said, he doesn't much care for the Lord's return!

Huh?

Yes he said, because, if he is still alive when the Lord returns and he doesn't singularly die before then, the Lord won't have much time for him alone. And he further said, he loves the Lord so, he couldn't bear to think about all the others who will want a particular audience with Him when He returns and everyone left is caught up in the air meeting Him there.

He wanted to die singularly, which he did, several years ago, so that when he passes he gets to just be with his Beloved Pastor Jesus, all to himself for awhile!

I kinda love the Lord as much as Sid and when I go, I hope no one is soon to follow, let's say, for a week or two, which I kinda doubt, but I have a thriving imagination and think, just maybe, I will die and no one else will pass until about a week or two later. That being the case then, I get Him all for myself!!!

Ghost town, huh, ghost town you say?

WOW, :)
Michael

Turretinfan said...

It's an interesting thought, but of course it would speculation to suppose that we might have some form of "alone time" with Jesus in heaven. Nevertheless, if we do not receive it, we know that it will be because God has something better in mind.

-Turretinfan