John 14:16-18 – I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,— the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.
If you have ever wondered why Jesus left us to go to Heaven, it is good to pay very close attention to passages of the Bible like we are reading today.
We learned earlier that one reason Jesus was going away was to prepare a place for us. Here we learn of another reason. Jesus was to go and ask the Father to send us a “Counselor.” Jesus refers to this Counselor as “the Spirit of truth.” After Jesus left, the Holy Spirit was given to all members of the church including those of us who believe today.
This is also a verse that makes it clear that once you are a Christian you will always be a Christian. Jesus says here that the Counselor will be with us “forever.” If we have the Holy Spirit, we are Christians, and if we have the Holy Spirit forever, then you will have to be a Christian forever. This is a very comforting thing. God does not give us the Spirit as a way to control us by taking Him away if we are bad. When we are bad we do loose our good relationship with the Holy Spirit, but God does not take Him away. Instead, when we are bad we notice it more because we know in our hearts that we have made the Holy Spirit upset. We feel the weight of our sin more now.
Notice, also, that although the disciples had the Holy Spirit with them, He was not yet in them like He would be later.
Here we also read that Jesus wanted to make sure that the disciples understood that he wasn’t leaving them behind. He was not only going to provide them with a new Counselor, but He would be returning like He had already told them.