Picture yourself at a party. You’re surrounded by lots of seemingly successful and attractive people. You’re dressed in style and you’re thinking “tonight’s going to be a good night.” People around you smile through glazed-over eyes. They tell you how amazing you are, even though they don’t know you. You’re feeling great about yourself. You’re comfortable here.
Next, you have a few drinks and get some other things in your system. Now you’re the one with glazed-over eyes, hitting on strangers. The mantra of the partygoer is: “Live for the weekends young one.” “Enjoy the freedom.” “Eat, drink, and party. Live for the moment.” No one is preaching here. People who are too preachy always spoil a good party.
U2 once sang about a relationship between two men named Judas and Jesus. Judas says, “We ate the food. We drank the wine. Everybody was having a good time. Except you. You were talking about the end of the world.”
If you ask me, “who is Jesus?” I would have to say that U2 got it right on this one. As the Son of God come to earth as a carpenter and Rabbi, Jesus debated with law-makers, ate and drank with roughians, awed the crowds with His miracles, and He really did talk about the end of the world a lot. He was the ultimate “kill-joy” for many people. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Jesus also said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire…’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
We are just full of parties here in Canada. House parties, work parties, church parties, and political parties’ parties. Everyone seems to be about being carefree and easy-breezy. Even as a church we can make it all about the now, but Jesus’ words keep ringing on in the back ground, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Jesus does not want to make your life easy, or to just show you the way of love, or to be your friend. He is the King of Heaven. He is ultimate downer for anyone with too much ambition for this life because He speaks of future things like death and a coming day of judgment and the eternal state.
Are you ready for your own death? Are you ready for the end of the world? Are you ready if it comes tomorrow, seriously, without giving some lame-I’m-still-14-and-want-to-impress-the-popular-kids response? We think we are rich and that we don’t need anything, but our abundance has fixed our gaze on the wrong path – the one that leads to hell. But Jesus encourages us to think about heaven. He speaks about feasts that are greater than any earthly party and He makes it clear that some will be included and others will choose to be excluded. Where will you go? What will you choose?
Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are made right before God (justified), and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”