Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Lord Likes to Party

One of the things that repelled me from Christianity during my youth was seeing religious folk look unhappy and speak against those wanting to have fun. It’s unfortunate some God-fearing people don’t know how to enjoy life. That’s why I appreciate fellow ministers like Jesse Duplantis, Rodney Howard-Browne, and John Scotland. Their meetings are often filled with joy and laughter. 

My birthday is coming up in two weeks. That got me reflecting on how as kids most of us got excited when we turned another year older. Perhaps relatives and friends celebrated with you while you ate cake and ice cream plus opened up presents. Sadly, some children are deprived of these things. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays at all (as well as Christmas and other holidays). The Watchtower calls that a pagan practice. However, the Bible does not say anything against observing birthdays. 

The truth is the Lord likes to party. The Bible mentions various feasts and celebrations the Israelites had such as the one following the drowning of Pharaoh’s armies in the Red Sea. Exodus 15:20 says, “Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.” Unfortunately, they had a different kind of gathering seventeen chapters later. While Moses received instructions from the Lord on Mount Sinai, the children of Israel corrupted themselves during a feast in which they worshipped a golden calf (Exodus 32:7).

What makes a party good or bad is its purpose. Scripture has many warnings against gatherings that promote fornication, drunkenness, and gluttony. For example, 1 Peter 4:3-4 says, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.” 

On the other hand, Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding feast in John chapter 2 (I believe the wine used here was non-fermented but that’s another sermon). In the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, the father killed the fatted calf and threw a party to celebrate his son returning home. In this same chapter Jesus said in verse 10, “...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” So if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then a birthday party occurred for you in heaven the day you got born again. 

In recent weeks, I’ve received numerous notifications of Facebook friends having “watch parties.“ Tomorrow night many people will celebrate the arrival of a new year. I’m looking forward to a greater celebration that will take place in heaven prior to the Lord’s return on earth...the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19). That will be the ultimate party.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 10:31 

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