Have you ever counted down the days until you’ll be able to see a good friend? Have you ever felt anticipation and butterflies as the time separating you and a loved one grows smaller? I grew up knowing that I should feel this way about heaven, but if I am honest I never truly felt the same anticipation and longings for perfect communion with my Savior as I did for a dear friend.
I think the idea of an eternal worship service scared me. Having to worship God for all eternity sounded far worse than spending time hanging out with my best friends here on earth. The truth is I didn’t have a true, tangible revelation of God’s love for me. I didn’t have an understanding of the incredible, deep, overwhelming satisfaction I feel when my heart touches God’s heart in worship. I honestly didn’t know the person of Jesus enough to want to spend all of eternity with him. Jesus teaches in Matthew 25:1-13,
Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise answered, saying, “Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.” And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he answered, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.” Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The day of Jesus’ return is approaching. Matthew 24:36 says, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Our Savior, the King of kings, will return with love in his heart for all those who have come to know him. The question before us today is this: are we like the five wise virgins who have prepared ourselves? Are our lamps burning with the intimacy of unveiled relationship with our Creator while here on the earth? Are we preparing for the return of our King by cultivating a lifestyle of love for both our bridegroom and others around us?
I’ve spent most of my life declaring I knew God by going to church, going on mission trips, saying the right things, and trying to do nothing wrong. My actions represented fear and a desire for inclusion in the Christian culture more than actual love and desire for Christ himself. Take time in guided prayer to truly analyze your heart. There is abundant grace today for wherever you find yourself in relation to your Savior. Be honest with yourself and look at how you feel about heaven. Are you prepared for the return of the King or living for the earth over heaven? Is the oil of relationship with Jesus in your lamp or are your fumes running out with the cares and pursuits of the world? May the Holy Spirit draw each of us into greater depths of intimacy with Jesus until the day our bridegroom returns.