John 14:2–3—Was heaven prepared from eternity or is Jesus still preparing it?

Problem: Matthew affirms that heaven was “prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (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.

Solution: The first text speaks about the creation of heaven and the second about its preparation. The former passage speaks 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 to their particular service.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.