Country Estate

w ill we be satisfied with the home Jesus is getting ready for us? He said, "I go to prepare a place for you." I go to prepare a place for whom? For you! You may put your own name in there if you would like, because it is true. He went to get a place ready for you, and your name will be on it. I like that, because the Lord is a builder who knows just exactly what I would like the most.

I believe the Lord will meet each one of us and show us through the Holy City. He will escort us down those golden streets to show us all the different places of interest in the New Jerusalem. We will walk along the river of life, and He will tell us all about the tree of life, which grows over the river and bears a different manner of fruit each month. He will take us down one street after another, and finally, as we move along, we are going to see a certain mansion. As soon as we see it, there will be a responsive chord in our heart and we will think, "My, that's just what I've always wanted. That's the kind of mansion I'd like to have!" And Jesus will interrupt our thoughts and say, "This is yours. I've prepared it exactly as I knew you'd want it. This one is especially for you."

In addition, we will be able to build ourselves a country home. Remember that Isaiah promised we shall build houses and inhabit them? And we can pick our own location. There is the whole beautiful new world before us, and we can find the choicest place that will fit our own personality and put up our house right there. I close my eyes sometimes and try to think of a place that would please me, and I can think of a lot of them that would make me happy. It will be without any spot of sin, for there will be no more curse upon the land. We will never be bothered by thieves or lose the house by fire. I have talked to poor people whose home had burned, destroying their every possession. Others have lost their life's savings to embezzlers and thieves.

Somebody says, "Well, I don't know how to build. I don't think I want to build houses." Listen, don't think it will be the kind of laborious work you see the poor carpenters in this world doing. No, it is not going to be like that at all. As for your knowledge of how to build, don't worry about it for a moment. There will be no limit to what you can learn. You will have a whole eternity before you to learn and understand. If you don't know anything about music, take a music course. loin the heavenly choir. You can go into the bass section one day and learn to sing bass, and then you can go into the tenor section and sing tenor. You can sing all the parts and learn just as much about music as you want to learn.

You can learn architecture. You can learn to build. You can learn about nature. Or maybe you want to study astronomy. Sometimes, when we look up into the heavens and see a little yellow star glimmering in the southwest sky, we say, "My, I wonder what that little star is away up there?" Listen, someday we won't need to wonder; we can just say, "I think I will go and find out." Then we can visit that star. That is what the new earth will be like. We can travel with the speed of light. Angels can do it now. Daniel started praying one day, and before he ended his prayer an angel had come all the way from heaven to his side. The angel said, "Daniel, when you began to pray, God sent me from His throne, and now I'm here in answer to your prayer." We will be able to travel like that. We can go out to visit the great, expansive universe of God and understand things that no human mind has been able to comprehend before.

Oftentimes people ask me if there will be animals in heaven. The Bible has a surprising number of references to this question. Pet lovers will have a field day there! "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fading together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isaiah 11:6-9).

Sometimes we have heard of lions that have been domesticated and will allow children to play on their backs. Too often, though, we have read stories of family pets which suddenly turned upon children, attacking them like wild animals.

The ravages of sin have made animal nature unpredictable at best. But in the restored Eden of God there will be absolutely no danger of violence from lions, leopards, bears, or snakes—much less from the beloved animal pets of earth.

In this world, all of created life has to be on guard against attack at any time. The reign of tooth and claw has created an atmosphere of constant fear in the animal kingdom. Birds seem never relaxed as their heads dart from side-to-side, watching for potential attackers.

Tragically, it is only in that restored paradise that we will be able to relax our own guard against criminal violence from fellow human beings. For the first time since Eden men will be able to trust other men. No one will be there who could inflict harm or unhappiness on any creature.

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