“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The hero of heaven is God. Angels don’t worship mansions or glittering avenues. Neither gates nor jewels prompt the hosts to sing . . . God does. His majesty stirs the pen of heaven’s poets and the awe of her citizens. They enjoy an eternity-long answer to David’s prayer: “One thing I ask of the LORD . . . to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD” (Psalm 27:4 NIV). What else warrants a look? Inhabitants of heaven forever marvel at the sins God forgives, the promises he keeps, the plan he executes. He’s not the grand marshal of the parade; he is the parade. He’s not the main event; he’s the only event. His Broadway features a single stage and star: himself. He hosts the only production and invites every living soul to attend.
He, at this very moment, issues invitations by the millions. He whispers through the kindness of a grandparent, shouts through the tempest of a tsunami. Through the funeral he cautions, “Life is fragile.” Through a sickness he reminds, “Days are numbered.” God may speak through nature or nurture, majesty or mishap. But through all and to all he invites: “Come, enjoy me forever.”
Yet many people have no desire to do so. They don’t want anything to do with God. He speaks; they cover their ears. He commands; they scoff. They don’t want him telling them how to live. They mock what he says about marriage, money, sex, or the value of human life. They regard his son as a joke and the cross as utter folly (see 1 Corinthians 1:18). They spend their lives telling God to leave them alone. And at the moment of their final breath, he honors their request: “Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23 NCV)
—3:16: THE NUMBERS OF HOPE
Holy God, we honor you as the hero of heaven. We long to be with you and gaze on your beauty. Thank you for inviting every living soul to spend eternity with you. We pray that many will come to know you and will accept you as their Lord and master. May your kingdom increase and your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven, amen.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
[1 PETER 1:3]