"It wasn't a potential atonement actuated by the sinner, it was an actual atonement initiated by the savior."

John MacArthur

Two older boys eating ice cream, young woman wiping hands of youngest son

What would make you happy?

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“Ice cream and cookies, lots and lots” Billy stated confidently.

Billy, a 5-year-old was responding to the question “if you could have anything you wanted when you grow up, what would make you happiest?”

Of course, Billy’s mother knew that what her child thought would make him happy – wouldn’t.  It wasn’t Billy’s fault, he really didn’t know. Great parents and supportive brothers and sisters, for example, weren’t even a remote consideration – especially since Billy didn’t even like girls at his age – yuck!

As adults, we are a lot like Billy when it comes to answering “what would make us happy”?

We have no idea!  I mean, the concept of being in heaven with our Lord and creator is seldom a consideration, even with believers.

We strain to try to relate heaven to what would make us happy here and now.  One person can’t conceive of heaven without his spouse while another believes heaven with her spouse would be anything but heavenly…  Others can’t believe they would be happy without all the pets they’ve cherished, or their favorite… well, you get the picture.

And, Hollywood doesn’t help.  Every image of heaven we see shows us floating on a cloud with harp music.  Not exactly exciting – in fact, downright monotonous.

We struggle to describe the indescribable which 1Corithians 2:9 asserts: “…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”.

As humans, we hold tightly to what we know – this world, our lives.   But –  is that all there is?

Even when we’re happy, some sorrow constantly seems to creep in.  Joy is always mixed with sadness or worse yet, calamities.  And, even the most deceived of us have to admit that our lives end – at some point we die.

So, where is our hope?  If there’s nothing beyond this world and our little piece of temporary life, what’s the point?

Yet Philippians 3:20 says of believers that “our citizenship is in heaven.”

And Psalms 16:11 describes heaven as:

“In thy presence is the fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

OK, let me get this right – pleasurable joy forever.

How can we possibly relate that to anything we know here on earth?

Every joy we have is mixed, mixed with sadness.  While many pleasures is often a result of sin. And, nothing is forever.

But heaven is joy without sadness, pleasure without sin, an eternity with God who loved us enough to send His Son, Christ Jesus, to die on the cross for all our sins so we could have, well, heaven.

Scripture also says we will recognize others and we will relate with them.

We will be reunited with loved ones, forever.

Since there will be no sin, and since we will be in God’s image, there won’t be cloud sofa’s and harp music to content with – there will be joy, forever joy.

But, we have a choice – we can ignore God’s free gift.

We can quibble, is there really a God?, or over what we think will make us happy when we die – ice cream and cookies???