By Randy Alcorn, March 27, 2015 Blog: www.epm.org
Imagine someone takes you to a party. You see a few friends there, enjoy a couple of good conversations, a little laughter, and some decent appetizers. The party’s all right, but you keep hoping it will get better. Give it another hour, and maybe it will. Suddenly, your friend says, “I need to take you home.”
You’re disappointed– nobody wants to leave a party early– but you leave, and your friend drops you off at your house. As you approach the door, you’re feeling all alone and sorry for yourself. As you open the door and reach for the light switch, you sense someone’s there. Your heart’s in your throat. You flip on the light.
“Surprise!” Your house is full of smiling people, familiar faces.
It’s a party– for you. You smell your favorites– barbecued ribs and pecan pie right out of the oven. The tables are full. It’s a feast. You recognize the guests, people you haven’t seen for a long time. Then, one by one, the people you most enjoyed at the other party show up at your house, grinning. This turns out to be the real party. You realize that if you’d stayed longer at the other party, as you’d wanted, you wouldn’t be at the real party– you’d be away from it.
Christians faced with terminal illness or imminent death often feel they’re leaving the party before it’s over. They have to go home early. They’re disappointed, thinking of all they’ll miss when they leave. But the truth is, the real party is underway at home– precisely where they’re going. They’re not the ones missing the party; those of us left behind are. (Fortunately, if we know Jesus, we’ll get there eventually.)
One by one, occasionally a few of us at a time, we’ll disappear from this world. Those we leave behind will grieve that their loved ones have left home. In reality, however, their believing loved ones aren’t leaving home, they’re going home. They’ll be home before us. We’ll be arriving at the party a little later.
Remember, Jesus said, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21). He said, “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Laughter and rejoicing– a party awaits us. Don’t you want to join it?…
To be in resurrected bodies in resurrected friendships, enjoying a resurrected culture with the resurrected Jesus– now that will be the ultimate party! Everybody will be who God made them to be– and none of us will ever suffer or die again. As a Christian, the day I die will be the best day I’ve ever lived…
A friend told me about the last conversation he had with his mother. She knew she was quite ill, and she told her son she did not want to die yet because she just purchased some new blue carpet for her brand new apartment. She had the same beige carpet in the same old apartment for twenty years, and she was sick of it. But now she had something new– new carpet in a new apartment. And her new apartment had a beautiful view of a wooded area with a creek. What a time to get sick! She said, “I don’t want to die. I really like the new carpet. I have a nice apartment now, and I was so looking forward to enjoying the view.” But then she did die. Her son said, “Though she believed in Jesus, she did not really know what was ahead for her. None of us do. But God’s Word tells us that it will be far better than anything we could ever imagine. I know that my mother was surprised to wake up on the other side of death to things far more wonderful than new blue carpet.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 — As it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”– the things God has prepared for those who love him; these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”
Matthew 22:2 — (Jesus said), “ “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.”
Revelation 21:3-4 — I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Matthew 13:44-46 — (Jesus said), “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
PRAYER OF OLD SIMEON in Luke 2:29-32, when he held in his arms the baby Jesus:
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.