Tuesday, December 9, 2008

There's a Blowout Celebration God Has Waiting

How many Christmas parties and holiday events are you planning on attending this month? Many of us are invited to, or hear of, enough possibilities to take up every minute of our spare time!

While too much celebrating can produce undesirable effects, such as bloated stomachs and no quiet time for rejoicing in the true hope and peace of Christmas, there is certainly no Scriptural warrant for the idea that having a good time is in itself sinful. Jesus Himself likened the homecoming of God's children to a party with feasting and dancing (cf. Lk. 15:22-27). If Heaven celebrates whenever one soul is saved, there must be a party like no other planned for the time when all the saints are gathered for eternity.

Some people, who perhaps have met too many dour "Christians" and who can't picture a good time without rowdiness and drunkenness, figure they'd actually enjoy hell more than Heaven. Perhaps you've heard the story--usually circulated as an e-mail joke--about the salesman who died, was told he could choose where to go, and was shown a vision of Heaven as an "okay" but rather boring place, and then hell as a barroom where everyone was smoking and drinking and having a great time. He chose the latter place--and was promptly thrown into a pit of fire. When he protested that this was nothing like what he had been shown, he was told that "as a salesman you should have known better than to believe everything you saw in a demonstration." Satan has many people falling for that "demonstration" in real life--and it isn't funny.

In the end, a self-centered striving for maximum pleasure brings nothing but misery. We only enjoy ourselves to the fullest when we share our happiness with God and our loved ones.

That's what Heaven is all about.

There's a blowout celebration God has waiting
For the time when we will see earth's troubles end,
For the time when death and every pain will vanish
And we'll gather for a party with our Friend;
At that time all true believers will be seated
At the table of our God and Lord and Host,
And we'll feast and sing and celebrate forever,
To the praise of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

There's a banquet God's preparing for consumption:
Heavenly Manna that will make a Living Bread;
Living Water flowing from an endless fountain,
Flowing from our Lord and God, our Living Head;
Wine of cleansing, squeezed by His own hands to fill us;
And the fruit that grows upon Life's holy Tree:
There's a blowout celebration God has waiting,
For the day He sets us all completely free.

There's a blowout celebration God has waiting,
One that never will see song or music end,
That will never know the tears and ache of parting,
Where no hurt or pain will ever come again;
There's a party where we'll celebrate forever--
Nothing that this world can offer will compare--
There's a blowout celebration God has waiting,
And I hope, when I arrive, to see you there.

No comments: