Do you have a bucket list? One of those lists of things you must do before you die? I was given a book of 50 places in Wales to see before I die, I don’t think I’ve seen any of them yet. There are people who make these lists though and they work steadily through them, making sure they enjoy each exhilarating experience, whether it be bungee jumping, wing walking, sky diving, visiting the Grand Canyon, renewing marriage vows, or whatever. The best bucket list I’ve ever seen was the gentleman who had made a list of buckets he could buy in the shops or online. The humour appealed to me. Why do people make bucket lists? That’s what fascinates me. Why the great need to fit in all these experiences before you die. I can only think of two reasons, a dissatisfaction with their current life or a belief that when they die that’s it and they will never experience anything as good again. As a Christian I find that sad.

 

I’ve had some wonderful experiences, things that appeal to me. I’ve flown in a helicopter across the Grand Canyon, I’ve watched La Bohème at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, I’ve stood on top of Mount Vesuvius, the famous volcano that destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii, I watched the great Paul Simon perform at his one and only concert in Wales, and more experiences besides. I’ve enjoyed each of them but I didn’t need them. Enjoyable as they were my life isn’t dependent upon experiences of this kind. I don’t feel as if I’m missing out. All I need for my life to be satisfying and fulfilling is Jesus. For about 50 years I have known Jesus as my Saviour, and for that exact amount of time I’ve been satisfied. There’s an old hymn which says, “All that thrills my soul is Jesus, he is more than life to me”, and that’s exactly how I feel. Speaking about himself as a shepherd and his followers as sheep, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (1) I have eternal life. He also said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (2) Knowing Jesus as my Saviour I’m at rest. I have peace. I’m not scared of the future or what will happen to me when I die. I know where I’m going. There’s also a Bible verse that says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (3) There’s nothing I need that can’t be provided through Jesus. I don’t need a bucket list when I have Jesus.

 

What about when we die? Should I fit as much as I can into this short life because when I die there’s nothing more? That would be very sad if it were true, and I know many people believe it to be so, but I say it respectfully, they’re wrong. I’ve quoted this Bible verse previously in other blogs, “He has also set eternity in the human heart.” (4) That’s a clever decision by God. With his perfect knowledge and foresight he knew that mankind would rebel against him and act as if he didn’t exist, including a denial of the truth of eternity. It’s best not to have an eternity than worry that you might be wrong and there actually is a God who will judge you. Well, deny it as much as we like, eternity is set in our hearts and we can’t shift it. Stop trying, and accept that there is more to life. There is an eternity which can be enjoyed if we know Jesus now, not as a character in a book but as a personal Saviour, someone who died for us, taking away the punishment for our sins. Believe that, and commit to living for him, and you have a glorious eternity ahead of you. Reject Jesus and God’s offer of salvation, then I’m afraid eternity is bleak and God’s righteous judgement severe.

 

What do we know about the eternal future promised to those who know Jesus personally? How about this; “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (5) Or this; “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” (6) You probably think that sounds a bit fanciful, but it doesn’t make it less true. The reality for followers of Jesus is an incredibly happy eternity which just gets better and better and better. You don’t need to fill your life with amazing experiences now, eternity offers so much more to those who know Jesus.

 

Bible References:

  • John 10:27,28
  • Matthew 11:28
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • Revelation 21:3,4
  • Revelation 22:5