Brent Smith [Brent Smith is the preaching minister of the Trenton Church of Christ in Trenton, Tennessee.]
Have you ever been in that happy place where everything was good in your life, if only for a little while? Was it a graduation, a wedding, a honeymoon or the birth of your child? Maybe you finally caught a 10-pound bass. Or maybe you were at work and it struck you that for the first time in a while you weren’t angry, sad or worried about anything. Maybe you thought to yourself or even said, “This is heaven on earth” or “Pinch me!” I hope you have many moments like that.
From a distance, it may seem to the righteous that the wicked are living heaven on earth. Looks can be deceiving, though. Suicide and the common use of antidepressants give away the reality that many people who “have everything” are living an illusion. But what if it weren’t an illusion? What if an ungodly person were truly happy all the days of his or her life? Godless people don’t serve God and yet they have it all: beauty, wealth, power, fame, success. They are truly happy! They are living heaven on earth!
King David says, “Do not fret because of evil doers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Ps. 37.1). The life of a sinner isn’t just unenviable. It’s sad. If only lost people could understand that without God “heaven on earth” is the only heaven they’ll ever know! And that heaven is just a puff of smoke or a blade of grass, here for a little while and then gone.
Would you exchange $1,000,000 for one dollar? Would you trade a 2017 Lamborghini for a 1980 Ford Pinto? Then why trade an eternal home in heaven for the fleeting pleasures of sin? Jesus says, “If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, in to the fire that shall never be quenched” (Mark 9.45).
The Bible says that Abraham “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11.10).