Monday, May 28, 2012

No Bucket Lists Here

Neither Ricky nor I have "bucket lists" (you know, a list of things you want to do before you die).

But, I used to have one. So, what happened to it?

Well, the shortest, simplest answer is: I read Randy Alcorn's book Heaven. {Here is a neat,compact review of the book.}

You see, I finally grasped one, really big thing that really impacted this decision -- "we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13).

Simply, this is not only a promise of God, but Alcorn led me to believe that this new earth did not necessarily mean a brand-spanking new earth (created ex nihilo, out of nothing, like our present earth). Most likely, this new earth will be our present earth, redeemed. Our present earth will burn (see 2 Peter 3) but not disappear. Sin, decay, death, and all of their effects will burn and be destroyed. Yet, the earth, which He created, will remain and be restored and redeemed to become a new earth! [Is this not exactly what He does with us?!]

Okay, so what does this have to do with bucket lists? Time for new glasses...

There is a really good possibility that the new earth will have the same (but redeemed) structures and landmarks and sites as our present earth. Hawai'i? Check. Niagara Falls? Check. African safari? Check.

Bucket lists are usually composed of those things you want to do or see that you don't think you will get to do or see after you die. Once you (those trusting in Jesus) get a better grasp of Heaven (what is most likely being referred to here is the new earth) however, you will understand that there is no need whatsoever to pursue bucket list dreams. I always tell Ricky, "Oh, I can do that later (on the new earth)." We seriously and literally have forever to do bucket lists. What we do not have forever to do is missions. Evangelism. Telling those who have never heard or do not yet know about the Good News (salvation and eternal life by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ). Instead of saving up large amounts of money to cross off number four on your bucket list, give it all away to spread the Word!

Note: I am not implying that traveling or going on vacations is wrong or bad. I am saying check your motives, pray (ask God for direction, which could very well be to go somewhere or do something), and question yourself (Why am I going? Who is this for? Have I asked the LORD about this? Can this trip or action wait?).

So, my bucket list? It's waiting for me in Heaven.