Is the kingdom of heaven a party? Really?!
Or is it just a long church service in the sky - endless singing of hymns, offertories that last a million years, and sermonizing about sanctimonious piety? If so, sign me up (NOT!).
I actually have good news (if you like having fun). Heaven IS going to be one massive party of epic proportions.
Here’s why I think so:
1. There’s going to be drinking in heaven.
Ya, I know. Had to start there, right? Well, it is what it is - there WILL be drinking in heaven. Funny, in our cultural context parties and something to sip go hand in hand. Apparently they do in heaven too. Jesus Himself will pop the cork (Mark 14:25) and for a few minutes (at least), our grand reunion with the Lord of our lives might look like a locker room after the Stanley Cup Final. And if Jesus has anything to say about it, there will be plenty of the finest beverages you’ve ever tasted (John 2:8-10).
But here on this mountain, God-of-the-Angel-Armies will throw a feast for all the people of the world, A feast of the finest foods, a feast with vintage wines... ~ Isaiah 25:6
And folks will be intoxicated, though not on wine (in heaven you'll be like Legolas the elf, watch LOTR). We'll be drunk on Jesus, drunk on Love, and drunk on Life. Oh give me more!
2. There will be babes.
In fact, the bride that Jesus will have at His side at the party in the sky, will be one without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). Think about it: she’ll be Eve, the unblemished tireless beauty of the feminine form. And guys, you’ll get new bod’s too - the Bible’s pretty clear that we will have bodies just like we do on earth, only better. Much better (2 Cor. 5:3).
Think about it - no aches, no wrinkles, no pains, no love handles, no blemishes, no cellulite, no foggy head, no fatigue. You, my friend, will be totally, completely, insanely WHOLE - body, soul, and spirit. No baggage. No insecurity. No timidity. No fear. No anxiety. No depression. No guilt. NO guilt. As the Holy Spirit, you'll be like the wind, unfettered and completely free. Completely holy. Utterly and effortlessly perfect in every way. And your joy will be truly complete.
For those of you that picture the kingdom of heaven looking like a Baptist Knitting Club, I’m sorry to disappoint. It won’t (positively WON’T) get any better than this.
3. There will be music
After all, God invented music. It won't be the frustrating kind where there's a good song, then a so-so song. Every song will steal your breath away. The band will be angelic warriors with 80's rocker hair and Gibson SG’s (stringed instruments, right?).
But seriously, the music of heaven will be the sum total of the best of the best that you've ever heard. There will be rhythm to move your feet, melodies to stir your soul, epic scores to inspire adventure, and for those about to rock, the finest electric guitar riffs ever heard.
4. And dancing
Remember what happens when the Father is reunited with his kids? Check it out in Luke 15:25 - the house was filled with the sound of music, and dancing. Music and dancing. Merle Haggard and Two-Stepping? Oh yes. Jesus is the Lord of the dance, He's the dancing Lord. And He'll be setting the pace. What happens when you put the happiest Person in the world in a room full of happy people with the subs cranked and the crowd roaring? Just imagine. How will God dance with us? Well, He'll be good...very good, and you and I will be out of breath.
5. There will be friendship (without fickle flakiness)
Deep reunion with Jesus ALWAYS equates to deep reunion with one another (1 John 3:14). I don’t know how we miss this. Heaven will mean we are totally gloriously present with Jesus, but also that we are totally and gloriously present to one another - as we've never been before. The depth of fellowship will be beyond anything we’ve ever experienced on earth. True camaraderie. No false fronts. Genuine and authentic relationships. Deepest joy in one another’s company. What we experience with any random person in heaven will be absolute brilliance beside the deepest experiences on earth.
6. There will be passion (and worship)
When I think of passion I think of a English soccer stadium full of insanely fervent fans cheering on their team (whether they're winning or losing). It’s over the top, and makes the Canadian sports crowd look like a chess club. That’ll be the passion of heaven. Our worship around the throne of God will sound like the roaring of the ocean (Rev. 14:2).
We will be SO full of life that it will spill out of us without ceasing, overflowing from glad hearts amongst a glad company in the presence of their glad King. And we will literally worship the very ground He walks on. Our hearts will be IN love with Him. Our eyes will glow with adoration. Our souls will soar on wings like eagles.
And the spillover will be that we are passionate lovers of everything. Each other? Yes, we will adore one another. You will have more feeling for the common person than all of your feelings on earth combined. So much love. You will love heaven itself, in all it's beauty and wonder and awesome grandeur. The simplest things will stir your heart to the point of tears and laughter.
7. There will be a lot of people.
Gotta have the crowd, or your party's hooped.
Heaven's party will be so packed with people that the noise will sound like the roar of the ocean! This is no awkward English tea party.
Once in awhile we hit this right in our house, every once in a while. There's a big crowd in our home on a Saturday night and the party just takes on a life of its own - laughter, tinkling of glasses, animated conversation, oooo’s and ahhhhh’s aplenty, chunky dripping candles, Norah Jones as a backdrop, roaring fire, good drink, a King's Board (what we call a wooden board laden with a turkey or haunch of pork, surrounded by cheeses, meats, fruit, greenery, breads, olives, pickles, etc. etc. etc.), and the heady aroma of true friendship. Sweet Bliss.
Yet this will be but a shadow of what we'll experience daily in heaven.
8. A reunion of epic proportions
Everything wrong in life will be reversed and made right.
You think the party's started yet? Not even close. What will really take the joy and intensity of heaven's celebration to the next level will be when every person you've ever lost to death - parents, grandparents, friends, stillborn babies - you'll be looking them in the eye and then lost in an embrace that doesn't have to ever end (1 Thess. 4:13-18). At that moment, if it weren't for your glorified body, you would melt into a puddle on the floor and die of sheer happiness.
Come and go with me To my fathers house
It's a big, big house with lots and lots a room
A big, big table with lots and lots of food
A big, big yard where we can play football
A big, big house it's my fathers house
~ Lyrics to "Big House" (Audio Adrenaline)
The kingdom of heaven IS a party!