If You Feel Lonely and Abandoned, This Piece Is for You


“Don’t be troubled, but trust me because I, myself, will be your dwelling, and I’ll get you there.” John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself.”

I think that’s probably the most important statement in the paragraph of John 14:1–7. “And where I am, you may be also. I will take you to myself.” This shifts the focus of this paragraph from place to person.

What’s the essence of heaven? I don’t mean the totality; I just mean the essence. Answer: the immediate presence of Jesus.

Or ask it the other way around. What is the immediate presence of Jesus? Heaven. “I go this night through death for you. I go on Easter Sunday, out of death for you that I might be your dwelling place. I will become your room. I am your room in your Father’s house and I am not yet prepared for that.”

“I must go prepare a place for you so that, when I come, I can take you to me — and where I am, you will be. I must go prepare one who can intercede with his blood. I must go prepare one who has no death anymore — not the slightest vulnerability any longer to any pain or any death.

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“I must become that in the next three days, or I will not be a place for you to abide forever. I must pay all your debt and remove all your wrath, so you have the safest room in the universe, in the presence of a flaming, holy God who wills to be your Daddy. So I’ve got work to do tonight and I will do it. I will become. I will prepare. I will prepare me. I will prepare me in these three days and I will come and take you to me — your place.”

Don’t use this Scripture to show that when Jesus comes back at the second coming, he will take you to heaven. It does not say that. It says, “I will come again and will take you to myself.”

And where will Jesus be? He will descend with a shout, with the archangel’s cry. We will rise to meet him in the air. He will come and establish his kingdom on the earth, and we will be with him forever in heaven. We’ll be here and eventually the earth will be transformed into a new heaven and a new earth and we, with risen bodies, will live forever in his presence. And our room will be here because he will be here.

“So Peter, Philip, Thomas, trust me. Trust the Father. You don’t need to be troubled tonight. You don’t need to have an unholy turmoil. I’m going to get ready for you and I’ll come. I will come, and I will see to it that you’re mine.”

Now, those arguments for my being free from unholy turmoil seem far away, like death or the second coming. And right now, I don’t know how to deal with my kids. I don’t know what to do with this marriage where there’s so little trust and affection. I don’t have a job. My faith is failing. My health is failing. I’m lonely. I’m not quite connecting with these arguments about the second coming and maybe death when he’s going to take me to be with him. That’s good news for that, but is there anything tonight?

So now, Jesus does something surprising, which he does over and over. John 14:8: “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’”

He didn’t say, “I hope I get to see the Father at the second coming,” but “Would you show us the Father now?” And then he says that amazing statement, “That would be enough.”

That’s the same word as in 2 Corinthians 12:9, where Christ says to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” That’s the feel of this word. “If you just show us the Father right now, we’ll make it through the night. That’s enough.”

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You’re not in the flesh, you’re in the Spirit. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him, but if Christ is in you, you’re alive. The Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and Christ are all interchangeable, which is why Jesus says in John 14:16, “We’re going to send a Helper. I’m not going to leave you as orphans. I’m going to send a Helper. You don’t have to wait until the second coming to have the Father and to have the Son. I’m going to send a Helper.”

Then he says in John 14:18, “I’m not going to leave you as orphans; I’m coming to you.” This promise is why Matthew 28:19–20 says, “Go and make disciples. Baptize them. Teach them to observe all that I’ve commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

“Yes, I went up in the clouds. That’s right, I did. And I did not leave you.” There are no orphans in his family. There are no abandoned children in his family. You’re not alone — ever.

 is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He is author of more than 50 books, including “Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist” and most recently “Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship.”

A longer version of this article was published on under the headline “Relief for Lonely Hearts.”

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