No Smoke in the Smokehouse by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom



Some friends and I put our heads together and made a list of all the different “houses” we could think of. We came up with 40, but I’m sure there’s a bunch more. My top picks were: jailhouse, big house, doghouse, tree house, bunkhouse, well house, smokehouse, outhouse, slaughterhouse, dollhouse, and beach house. My folks’ place had several outbuildings and one of them was a tiny two-room structure nestled behind the lower garage. The right side was the well house and the left side was the smokehouse. The room on the left could’ve been called the storehouse because we didn’t smoke meat in it, we just used it to store stuff.


The Bible states that God has storehouses. “How great is the goodness You have stored up for those who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world” (Psalm 31:19 NLT). God delights in storing up good things for His children. This makes perfect sense, because I do the same thing for my three little granddaughters. I have a drawer where I stash items I buy in advance to give to them at the appropriate time. God says, “I have been saving this, and I have it locked in My storehouses” (Deuteronomy 32:34 NCV).


The New Testament tells us that God has a house that’s beyond comprehension. John the Revelator tried to describe it, but we still can’t begin to imagine this glorious house. John Chapter 14 is a beloved text that’s often read at funerals, and rightly so. It encourages those who live in an earthly house now, and also gives hope for a beautiful heavenly home in the future. “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 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 14:2-4 NKJV).


Several vocalists have recorded the spiritual, “Come and Go With Me.” My favorite rendition is performed by Christian artist Alicia Williamson. She communicates these lyrics with a big smile — like she knows what she’s singing about: “Come and go with me to my Father’s house…there is joy, joy, joy. Peace and happiness there in my Father’s house…there is joy, joy, joy. No more dyin‘ there in my Father‘s house…there is joy, joy, joy.” The invitation to go to God’s house was sent out 2,000 years ago in the form of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Because of the Father’s unfailing mercy, there’s no expiration on the RSVP as long as the individual can think and breathe.


In 1963, when my Grandpa Hayward was dying in the arms of his grandson Dwain, he said he saw angels. Although I wasn’t there and didn‘t see these heavenly beings, I believe they were there just like he said. I have no problem believing that Grandpa was carried by angels to his Father’s house. According to the following scripture, Jesus tells us that when believers die the angels bring them into God’s presence. “One day poor Lazarus died, and the angels of God came and escorted his spirit into paradise” (Luke 16:22 TPT).


The Key: When life’s timer goes off, believers are escorted by angels straight to the Father’s House.

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