On the first day of eternity, what will you do?
Try to picture in your mind the kingdom of God. Most folks who do, will go through a number of permutations. First, we’ll change “kingdom” to “heaven.” Then, change “heaven” to an eternity of reunions with dead relatives and childhood pets, fishing, hiking, motocross, sweets with no weight gain, endless sports. If none of those do it for you, then fill in the blank.
The Kingdom, then, is nothing without our favorite things. It may as well be earth, part two.
But even if that sounds good, at the same time you have to admit something about it sounds, well…off. The Bible says that since Jesus died on the cross, God the Father “has delivered us out of the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).
Was I put into a Kingdom filled with model railroading? Beaches? James Bond flicks? Handmade Italian shoes?
We gravitate to this kind of thinking, because we don’t know what else to think. Eternity is a long time to be doing nothing. “Boring” is a word that comes to mind. It seems reasonable that we’d pack our hobbies to take with us.
But after mentioning the kingdom in verse 13, Paul does not commence with a vivid description of some celestial paradise filled with our favorite things. Instead, he launches into a detailed description of Christ, because “The kingdom of His beloved Son” is about God’s Son and is God’s Son.
These verses in Colossians chapter one are a theological jaunt meant to rattle your bones, stun you, transfix you. Read them. (No fair skipping).
“…The kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:13b-20).
There, that’s the kingdom—wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling Son of God.
Didn’t understand it? That’s okay. You can gasp, instead.
But, you also might ask, what do we do in such a forever kingdom of only one great attraction? I get it. I remember seeing dozens of cheesy Grand Canyon postcard pictures, so when we finally scheduled a trip there, I was sort of indifferent. I mean, it’s a giant hole in the ground. My biggest question was “What will we do?” Somebody mentioned a mule ride (but I preferred my Toyota), or a helicopter fly-over (Same hole in the ground, except from ten thousand feet).
But that first step up to the ledge, stopped me, took my breath away. There was an awesome silence. It was as if God were saying, Shhhh. Just look.
Eternity will probably begin this way—with a first glimpse of the One we’ve been singing about, studying, and worshiping for centuries.
Even if through faith you’ve already been tasting this kingdom for a while, day in and day out, I have a feeling you’ll hardly be prepared.