"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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." — John 14:2,3 (KJV)
The night that Jesus was to be betrayed and given over to authorities to be beaten up and eventually crucified, He spoke to His disciples telling them that he would be leaving this world to prepare a place for them and consequently all who would follow Him.
Many Christians have interpreted what Jesus said to mean that every believer would receive a mansion of their own in the life that is to come. I personally grew up in a church where I was taught to obey God's laws so as to get an extra floor, room or garden in my "heavenly mansion."
But as I came to understand God's grace, that kind of thinking just started to become more and more questionable. We know that we are saved by grace through faith, but do we truly get better "houses" in heaven when we give to the poor, follow the rules, or build the church?
When Jesus promised "mansions" for us, did He mean actual structures? Examining closely the context the Bible presents when referring to our residency in heaven, our "mansions" mean more than just a physical construct. More than just physical residency, we receive permanent membership into the household of God.
More important than knowing how many hectares our estate in heaven will be and whether it will have an indoor swimming pool, Jesus urges us to look to more important things such as our character, our relationships, and our intimacy with God.
I've come to the realisation as I walk more and more in God's path that I couldn't care less if I get a mansion or a bed space in heaven. Golden streets, pearly gates, and five-story houses are not the things that make heaven heaven. It's first and foremost the presence and glory of God available 24/7 that makes the thought of heaven an eternal paradise.
Do we receive mansions in heaven? Maybe we do, maybe we don't. I guess we'll never truly be sure when we get there. But even if we get to heaven and we have to sleep (if ever we do have to sleep in the next life) on meadows and mountains, I believe that it will still be glorious because we will now spend eternity with our God.