“LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how transient I am. Indeed, You have made my days as a handbreadth, and my age is as nothing before You; indeed every man at his best is as a breath.” Selah. Surely every man walks in a mere shadow; surely he goes as a breath; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them. Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
– Psalm 39:4-7 MEV
Here’s a question for you: when does eternal life begin?
Is eternal life a duration of life that only begins once you die? If so, then Christianity is about dying and not much about living. Christianity is, therefore, something for old people to think about at the finish line and nothing for young people to fret about at the starting line. This may explain why churches are filled with grandparents but not their grandchildren.
On the other hand, is eternal life a quality of life that starts at the moment of your salvation, infects and effects all of your life, and culminates at your death? If so, then Christianity is about living a new life from the moment you meet Jesus and receive His Spirit that continues forever and ever. If eternal life is the Spirit-filled life of Jesus empowering your entire life, then any day lived any other way is a wasted day.
I believe in heaven. I look forward to heaven. I hope that in my resurrection body my hair will not be as thin as it is right now, venturing home to be with the Lord before the rest of me. I hope that my current two-inch vertical leap will be replaced by the ability to dunk a basketball and that when I sing it will not sound as if I was captured by al Qaeda as is currently the case. In heaven, I also look forward to skateboarding on the streets of gold and discovering what a perfect cheeseburger actually tastes like.
Even if there were no heaven, I would want to be a Christian solely for the benefits in this life. If I died and became nothing more than mulch, or if everyone went to hell including me, I would still want to know Jesus and be filled with the Spirit in this life because it is the only way to truly live.
The Spirit-filled life with Jesus is so wonderful that even one day of it makes life worth living. In the next chapter we will learn what this looks like for you and your family.