Most times what puts people off the Christian faith isn’t merely the cost it demands but what we imagine it offers. Sure everyone wants eternal life. But who wants to sing with the choir of angels forever. In our limited imagination we assume heaven would be one long Sunday service. It might have the best preacher but not exactly what comes to mind when you think about living life to the fullest.
We fail to imagine righteousness and fun going hand in hand. It’s like having the church in a bar. Those two places cannot coexist together. One is reserved for boundless fun and the other for the killjoys. In that case, many would prefer a lifetime in the bar to an eternity in the church.
But we have two problems here. One we assume the only way to have fun and live life to the fullest is to break loose and give in to the cravings of the flesh. Sin becomes synonymous with fun and righteousness with boredom. Unfortunately, this is a highly overrated lie and in every age people fall for this lie, die unfulfilled and miss the real party.
Second, our imagination is really limited. We don’t stop for a minute to consider who gave us the things we so easily idolize. In our minds, God made the church with all the killjoys while Satan the rest of the world and everything good in it. Our problem is we cannot imagine a God who loves righteousness and at the same time delights in the joy and fulfillment of his people. That he would delight seeing them live life to the fullest.
In truth, our imagination doesn’t even come close to life at the gates of heaven. Everything that blows our minds away now is but a small fragment of the wonders of the city of God. In Isaiah 25 we see an eternal party with well aged wine and as I love to imagine the best grilled ribs. All this while at peace with the one who made us.
6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines. Isaiah 25.
The best party we have ever been to, the most finger licking meal we had, the most memorable adventure, the most fulfilling relationship and life goals and achievements. All these will fade away into insignificance when the Lord opens his eternal party.
What’s more? God will remove what ultimately kills every good party; sin, pain and death forever. There will no more be the pain of loss and disease or uncertainty and insecurity. We will truly live life to the fullest.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isaiah 25.
The million dollar question is will you be invited to this party? Looking at vs 9 of Isaiah 25 we see those rejoicing in the party are those who waited and trusted in the Lord. They are those who saw the lies of the world for what it is and chose to wait on the Lord’s return. Those who know this is not all there is but only a taster of the life we were made for.