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
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
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
Won’t YOU accept God’s offer of salvation
from eternal destruction so that you may enjoy eternal life in
- 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: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
* Information gleaned from “Idaho Discovers It’s Tough to Return a
Mansion” by John Miller of the Associated Press.