My roommate at the time had graciously invited me to accompany him to see James Taylor in concert at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Looking back on this opportunity now, I see that this was an awesome invitation, however, at the time, I somewhat blew it off. “James who?” I replied. Somehow, I had spent 20 years on this planet without ever really listening to James Taylor’s music.
My roommate went on to explain to me with increasing volume what a fool I was for not knowing the music of this American legend. Sure I had heard “Shower the People” before, but I did not know who sang it. I grew up on a steady diet of 80’s hair bands like Cinderella and Def Leppard. James Taylor had two things these bands never had: a bald head and musical talent. Therefore, JT’s greatest hits album never graced my tape player.
As a nearly 35 year old man, I still mentally kick myself for missing out on that opportunity to see a musical legend in concert. My iPod frequently kicks with James Taylor songs, and seeing Sweet Baby James in concert is on my “bucket list.” After turning down my roommate’s 1994 invitation, I began listening to Taylor’s music, to see what I was missing, and my musical taste has never been the same since.
I believe that many times in life we miss things because of our ignorance. If we only knew all the information, I believe that many people’s lives would be greatly different. In Revelation 20-22, in the final 3 chapters of the Bible, the end of the world is described, as well as the creation of the “new heaven” and “new earth.”
This new heaven and earth is better in every way than the world in which we currently live. It is better physically, as the streets are paved with gold and the gardens are better than Eden. It is better spiritually, as God Himself is with His people in a physical and tangible way. It is better emotionally, as every tear is wiped away from our eyes. The future that God has for His people is unrivaled and awesome. At the same time, Revelation 20-22 indicates that just as the future is awesomely great for believers in Jesus Christ, it is catastrophically terrible for all who do not know Christ as Savior and Lord. To the believer in Christ, paradise awaits, but for the unbeliever, hell is place of eternal torment.
This information about the future, should fill our understanding today. It is possible that people can live out their lives right now, having received an invitation by Christ to an eternity in His presence, however, people still turn down the offer because (I believe), they do not know what they are giving up. Satan and sin have blinded their eyes (just as it once did ours) and obscured the future promises of God to mankind.
Knowing what I know now about James Taylor, I cannot believe I turned down the chance to see him in concert. Knowing what I know about Jesus Christ and the future He has planned for us, I cannot believe anyone would turn down His ticket to eternity.
If you do not personally know Christ as Savior, please take a moment to read Revelation 20-22 and see what you will be missing if you enter eternity without Christ. I cannot go back in time and see JT in person at Lloyd Noble . . . that date is now past. However, if you are reading this, then it is not too late to educate yourself on the future and accept His ticket of salvation by faith before your date to enter eternity comes.
If you do know Christ as Savior, take a moment to read Revelation 20-22 and see what we have to look forward to in our future. Praise God for our future and remember His greatness so we never turn down His riches because of our ignorance of His good plans for tomorrow even if today seems difficult.