Cleaning in Rudd – Why are you laying on the floor? Are you OK?
A walk, a brother, a college – Are you busy for the rest of your life?
Nuke the Bahamas! – Can we end this honeymoon already?!
Canoeing with gators – Seriouly, what were we thinking?!
Penny Hardaway’s shot to beat Miami! – Did you see that?!
Miami subs – Don’t you love these gyros?
Doug’s kitchen spaghetti explosion – Remember how fast we cleaned that mess up?
Explosion of ice cream on Amber’s face – Had you ever seen such a sight?
Burning cocktail sauce – Wasn’t it funny watching Phil and Pat’s eyes water?
He couldn’t drink enough water – Waiter, please, give my Dad a pitcher of water!
She couldn’t breathe at the canyon – She could breathe, right?
Café Santa Fe in the very early morning – Want to go out and celebrate?
Guns ‘n I-HOP – Can you make sure I never order liver and onions again?
Jodi, Maria & the never-ending salad – How could two women eat so much?
The Light, Jon & Jen, JJ & Maria – Those were some good times, eh?!
Mesquite massage – I wonder how much it costs to get a massage there?
Swinging at Lone Mtn. Park – Please, Celena, can you please stop crying?
Cards with friends – Who wants to play hand and foot?
The boat house in Henderson – Would you really have purchased that house?
Nancy’s Pine Sol supper – Why does supper smell so clean?
The cabin – Don’t you just love the mountains in North Georgia?
The beach – Remember how you wanted to cry when we arrived and the kids were so excited?
This anniversary – What do you say: Want to go for twenty-four?
I watched The Maltese Falcon again recently. It’s a typical Bogart movie, full of twists and turns, and some awesome one-liners. It’s worth watching.
When I thought about the movie, I was reminded that another one is currently in the theaters entitled Heaven Is For Real. I believe it is a dramatization of an alleged account of a boy who died, visited heaven and returned to his body. My hope is that the exclusivity of the gospel is clearly portrayed in the movie. I’d bet my last dollar that a more pluralistic message is communicated, namely, that there are multiple ways to heaven rather than just one.
At the conclusion of The Maltese Falcon, the item in question was finally unveiled. However, the falcon was a cheap replica, not the priceless original. Everyone was disappointed.
How different will the response be when saints arrive in heaven!
Jesus will not disappoint. Heaven will fulfill our wildest dreams. Promises will become reality. But this glory awaits those for whom it has been prepared. Heaven is the home for the people of God; those bought by the blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 1:5).
Our Lord used the imagery of attire when discussing this subject. The message of the parable of the wedding feast is difficult to hear (Mt. 22:1-14). There is a general call of the gospel (“many are called”) and a specific call of the gospel (“few are chosen”). The invitation is broadcast, but the appropriate clothes are required.
“Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?” Matthew 22:12
What clothes are acceptable to the King? The righteousness of His son. Our righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight (Is. 64:6; Rom. 3:23). We desperately need our sin to be exchanged for the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:8). Without that exchange, we, too, will be told that we are unwelcome at the feast.
So–what are you wearing? Are you clothed in the righteousness of Christ, or are you continuing to think that your good works are sufficient to please a holy God who demands perfection?
Think on it.
As I was driving home from Chattanooga recently, Billy Joel’s song Only The Good Die Young came on the radio. Most of you are familiar with it. It’s a great song–without the lyrics. I love the music, but the words contain Joel’s rant against Roman Catholic piety. They also reveal a very warped view of regret. Notice how the song begins:
“Come out Virginia, don’t let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one
They showed you a statue and told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done…
Only the good die young”
The interpretation is easy. Virginia was going to regret (“the price that you pay”) for remaining a virgin.
Admittedly, my circle is rather small. The majority of individuals I know are Christians. But even before I became a believer I had never encountered someone who verbalized that they regretted choosing to wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. However, I have met many who genuinely felt remorse for pre-marital sex.
I know that I do.
Some “locked temple” (see the song above) would have been good for me! For that matter, a birds-and-bees conversation initiated by a parent may have helped. Yet I received no guidance, no encouragement, to view women as God’s creation rather than as objects. I was never challenged to consider young ladies as an end instead of simply a means to an end. No one ever instructed me that carefree living has consequences.
As you might imagine, my children are receiving more purposeful parenting. They are being taught that their purpose in life is to glorify God and bless people. Sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage does not fall under either category. Pre-marital sex dishonors the Creator and hurts the partner. Gratifying the flesh rather than glorifying God always produces consequences.
The concept of saving yourself for your marriage is foreign in our world of “conscious coupling.” My mom even struggled to believe that Jodi and I had waited until our wedding night. Adult virgins are ridiculed in our culture.
But Virginia, the wait is worth it! If starting “much too late” means that God is glorified and people are blessed, you won’t have any regrets. You will not look back on what you might have done and think that you paid too high a price.