A few weeks at church a quote from a well-known Christian pastor and speaker was used in our sermon.
If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the
friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?
I was rather taken aback by the question posed above. This seemed about as logical as asking “if you could have all the warmth and light without the sun, would you still want the sun?” Of course you can not divorce the attributes of the sun from the sun itself. It’s a package deal – if you want the light and the warmth, you must necessarily choose the sun. If you want the sun, you must accept the light and warmth. Likewise, if the sun loses its warmth and light, it is no longer a sun. The same is true with the quote posed above. You cannot have all the pleasures listed above without God – it is He that makes them all possible. They exist because God exists. And without God, they cease to be a reality. The history of our world bears witness to this – the introduction of sin and the decision to turn away from God led to the corruption of eternal beauty, human conflict, natural disasters. As with the sun analogy, we don’t have the option of choosing God or His gifts – we must choose both or neither. Such dichotomy of God suggested by the quote above is not a choice.
In light of Resurrection Sunday tomorrow, I have found greater joy and truth in rephrasing the quote above to ask a more relevant question. Indeed, the answer to this question determines the fate of the world.
“If God could have all heaven, with no sickness, all the pleasure, beauty, and worship of eternity without the fellowship of people He created -would He be satisfied?”
The glorious message of Easter is that He answered a resounding “NO!” He would not be satisfied! He would set aside His claims of heaven and enter earth as a man, taking the full weight of sin and God’s judgement against it; and He would endure separation from the Godhead to unite us in Him. Tomorrow we will celebrate an empty cross and tomb as the living proof that not sin, not hate, not death, nothing in the past or the future, no power on earth or heaven can keep God from His people. He will stop at nothing until He wins our hearts. What a glorious God to celebrate tomorrow and every day after!
Blessings to you,