A Dutchman leaving an evangelistic meeting paused to express appreciation for the evangelist's presentation of the "Home of the Saved." The evangelist had been stressing the reality of heaven.
"I vould radder be somebody going someplace und knows ven I gets der dan to be nobody going no place und knowing nudding ven I gets der!"
Our Dutch friend with his broken English had something! He spoke words worthy of our consideration!
Heaven is indeed, a real place. Jesus declares it to be so. "In 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. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2,3.
Twice in this passage the Savior promised His disciples He would prepare a place for them. According to the dictionary a "place" has physical environment, physical surroundings, or both. The same authority declares "place" to be "a particular part of a surface or body." - Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, Seventh Edition.
So when Jesus said that He went to prepare a place - a very real place - He meant just what He said. It is not all clouds and spirits and glory. It will have "physical environment and physical surroundings with a real surface or body."
The Word of God describes real trees that will be there. "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree." Isaiah 55:13. There are real animals there. "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock." Isaiah 65:25. Real flowers will be there. "And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly." Isaiah 35:1,2. There will be real houses and real gardens there. "They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." Isaiah 65:21. Real mansions will be there. "In my father's house are many mansions." John 14:2. A beautiful river - real and crystal clear - will flow "out of the throne of God." (Revelation 22:1.) There will be real fruit from real trees for real people to eat. "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month." Revelation 22:2.
Thank God that heaven is a real place with real things and real people.