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I grew up in an Evangelical youth group in the 90s, which meant there was a song that was unavoidable. No, not Jesus Freak (that came later). I’m talking about 1993’s “Big House” by Audio Adrenaline.

It was an evangelism song about coming to Heaven with the band, so we could all live in God’s house together. God’s house, apparently, has a ‘big, big yard’ where we can play football, among other things.

“Big House” was a smash hit in large part because it turned an old Evangelical idea into pop rock music. That idea? That Jesus came and died for your sins so you can go to Heaven when you die. 

And what is Heaven? Well, it’s God’s house. It’s got golden streets and crystal seas and pearly gates. Everyone gets wings and you spend all your time singing – there may or may not be harps involved. And even if you don’t like singing, you get a mansion – Jesus said so himself!  

Heaven will be amazing – so great that you don’t want to miss out. That’s why you should ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus. So that one day you can go to Heaven.

How many songs do we have about it? Take “My Jesus I Love Thee,” a hymn that’s over 150 years old. Here’re the last two verses: 

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Or gospel song, “A Mansion Over the Hilltop”, recorded by no less than the King himself, Elvis Presley:

I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one that’s silver lined

I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold

Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely
I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound
I’m but a pilgrim in search of the city
I want a mansion, a harp and a crown

This is the familiar, beloved image of Heaven. But, apologies to the King, I want to suggest we’ve got it wrong. God is concerned more with what today looks like than what you do tomorrow. And so too, we ought to understand that our destiny is not a place we go. It’s a person we become.

Jesus didn’t build us mansions; he was working on something better.

Join us Sunday as we learn to see Jesus’ vision for us and why it’s so liberating!

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