Monday, October 28, 2013

An Unwanted Mansion

By David A. Sargent

     The state of Idaho has discovered that it is easier to take a mansion than it is to give it back, reports John Miller.
     The hilltop mansion was built by J.R. Simplot, potato magnate who became a billionaire by building a corporation that supplied McDonald’s with its golden French-fries. Simplot, who died in 2008 at age 99, gave the mansion to the state of Idaho back in 2004. The mansion was given to the state to serve as a residence for the governor of Idaho. But the current governor doesn’t want to live in it!
     A public hearing began this week to discuss what to do with the mansion.  Thus far, the majority of people who have spoken recommend either selling the place or returning it to the Simplot family.
     But the family doesn’t want it...
     "The family's position hasn't changed," said David Cuoio, a Simplot spokesman, on Wednesday, referring to an earlier statement. "J.R.'s home was given to the state with the understanding that it would be used as the governor's house." Meanwhile, the state of Idaho is spending thousands of dollars to maintain the empty mansion.
     Imagine that: an unwanted mansion!
     But there IS a “mansion” that is infinitely better than the Simplot mansion that everyone should want to inherit, not only because of its beauty, but also because of the One who has made it possible for EACH of us to inherit it.
     Jesus Christ, God’s Son, once comforted his troubled disciples with these words:
     “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:1-3
     The word “mansions” in this text literally means dwellings or abiding places.  In other words, Jesus was declaring that He was preparing a “room” in His Father’s house (Heaven) for each of them!
     Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
     Sin will keep us out of heaven (cf. Revelation 21:8).  In fact, sin places us on the road to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). But God loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life in heaven (John 3:16).
     When Jesus told His disciples about their “mansion” in heaven, He said, “And where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:4).  Thomas, one of His disciples, said: “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:5-6).
     Jesus IS the Way to heaven.  We “access” the Way by placing our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ so that our sins can be washed away (Acts 2:38).
     Won’t YOU accept God’s offer of salvation from eternal destruction so that you may enjoy eternal life in heaven?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

* Information gleaned from “Idaho Discovers It’s Tough to Return a Mansion” by John Miller of the Associated Press.

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