Greetings brethren of the Lord. Hope this discussion all finds us well in the Lord Jesus. Just a thought that came to mind some time ago:
We have heard it said and possibly at some point we ourselves have taught/preached that when Abraham said to Isaac that the Lord will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering that Abraham indirectly was actually foretelling the time in which the Lord Himself will be the lamb slain for the sins of the world.
In the Book of John, we see the Lord telling His Disciples in chapter 14 "I go to prepare a place for you" (KJV). Many have seen this as indicating the heavenly abode. Others have also seen that it directly points to the new bodies we'll receive at the resurrection. Brother Dave has aptly shown that it can also be construed as a spiritual place God has prepared for us currently.
Can this passage be interpreted the same way that we interpret Abraham's words? Can we say that God is preparing us (to be) a place, and not primarily preparing a place for us?
Is this place still being prepared or has it been prepared and just waiting for the right time? and what or who determines whether it is prepared or not? Are we (the Church) the place that God is talking about?
I bring this up because in a sense our perspective on this passage will determine whether we appreciate this promise as something we will receive actively or passively. Thus If God is preparing a place for us, then in His own time this place will come to us, and there's nothing we're responsible for. But if this promise is hinged on us also making preparations, then the Coming of the Lord (I will come again) is based directly on the Church being the prepared place, and He will not come UNTIL the place is prepared, that is until the knowledge of God's glory covers this earth.
God took 6 days to create the world. The promise of the place was made over 2000 years ago. Is God still preparing a place for us? Or are we being prepared to be the place for God?
This is an interesting perspective albeit a speculative one in my opinion. Yes, the story of Abraham and Isaac is a type and a shadow of the Lord's sacrifice. However I believe that this not a type or shadow but is to be taken literally.
I think that I'll continue to take tho old literal view, that indeed the Lord was going to prepare a place for His Church that will be made ready when He comes for His Bride.
Unless there is other scripture indicating otherwise, I think we may be reading into it what is just not there.
Bro. Laronne, I think you are making a very important point but may be using the wrong scripture verse to make it. Clearly there are many who perceive Christianity as a relatively passive lifestyle. And perhaps in one sense it is. After all, we cannot save, heal, deliver, or transform ourselves. But this does not mean me are not to be actively involved in the process of being saved, healed, delivered, and transformed. We cannot sit passively by and expect God to prepare us by magic. Revelation 19:7 says, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
Thanks for indulging my speculations Bros. Stan and Dave. I'm aware it may be a bit reaching. I guess at the core of bringing this up is essentially what does it mean for the Church, the Bride of the Lord to be ready? I like the point that His wife has made herself ready, suggesting Her making necessary preparations as opposed to simply biding time waiting for Her Groom. I've heard it said that the Lord will not come back until the Church is perfect, thus seemingly putting the onus on us (pardon the unintentional word play). I think many in Christianity are of the view that the Coming of the Lord is hinged solely on whenever the Lord decides to come back, which may be at a time when many aren't ready. This is evidenced by the notion of an any moment rapture. And yet.. we see the purpose of God is not affected by time. We should be involved in doing our part to ensure this earth be filled with the knowledge of God's glory not by building with a view that time is our enemy but with the knowledge that it is God's purpose as well as His desire.
2 issues readily come to mind: one is perhaps more basic to answer than the other. Is the perfection/ maturity of the Church a pre-requisite to the Coming of the Lord or is it that at His coming the Church will be perfect? Who is waiting on whom?
Secondly, when the Lord does return, we see Him coming to join with His bride, and not us going to Him. 2 Thess 1 says When Christ comes He is glorified in His saints, and the proclamation that the Tabernacle of God is with men, makes me wonder if the emphasis of the heavenly city is on His people rather than on the actual place. If He's coming back for us and ends up being and staying with us, how does that relate to the place He's gone to prepare for us? While I do believe the vivid descriptions of the city in Revelation 21 are literal, in my mind the fact that we shall be changed suggests that what is needed is in us but just awaiting transformation at the Coming of the Lord.
Jesus is only coming for a Church that is without spot and blameless!
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14
So those caught up to meet him must be like him.
So at least one aspect of your question is that he is waiting on such a people.