There are two passages in the New Testament that speak about welcoming home individuals. The first comes in the form of the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. After quickly squandering away his inheritance, a younger son ends up bankrupt, working on a farm, yearning for the slop that he feeds to pigs. When this young man came to his senses, he returned home, replaying in his mind what he was going to say to his father. Upon his return, his father ran and greeted him with the words,” welcome home.”
Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me, Revelation 3:19-20.
The second account takes place in John 14 as Jesus talks about going on ahead of his disciples to prepare a place for them in heaven. One of Jesus’ disciples who was present for this conversation has a vision in the passage above. Jesus doesn’t force individuals into heaven but offers human beings free will to decide for themselves. This door to heaven only has a handle on our side. When God knocks, only we can let Him in. When we open this door God replies with a similar message, “welcome home.”
by Jay Mankus