Matthew says that heaven was “prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34). But here in John 14:2, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you,” implying that it was not yet prepared at that time. Is it prepared or not yet prepared?
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Jesus speaks in the passage from Matthew about the kingdom "prepared" for the redeemed "from the foundation of the world". To me, that could be interpreted as applying not only to the "finished" kingdom itself, but to the process of its conception in the mind of God, its creation, and its preparation, which will be completed prior to Jesus' return, when He said that He would receive the apostles (and, by extension, all of the redeemed) to Himself. In that respect, Jesus' preparation of a place for the apostles to which he referred in John was to be part of that ongoing process, but was yet to be completed at the time that Jesus spoke.
As a lover of ALLITERATION, let me just say that the first passage refers in general about the preexistence of heaven; the latter specifically about its preadaptation to each particular soul. There is a dual preparation of heaven for each person and each person for heaven. Since individual believers will have different rewards (1 Cor. 3:11–15; 2 Cor. 5:10), then their reward in heaven, which already exists, will have to be suited or adapted to their particular service. NG & TH Our investment in God’s Kingdom is spoken about in 1 Corinthians 3: 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). In 1 Corinthians 3:10, Paul says that each of us is building something with our lives. He reminds us to do it with care. All labor in the Kingdom of God is constructed on the foundation of an intimate relationship with Christ. All other good works are just wood, hay, and stubble. The quality of the building materials depends on the motives and attitudes of the deeds done in the building. Keith Thomas. See Keith T., too, and his excellent exposition of 2 Corinthians 5:9-10.
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