The year 2004 marked the release of Your Best Life Now—a Christian bestseller written by celebrity pastor Joel Osteen. It successfully tapped into the growing fixation modern churchgoers have with securing a trouble-free life in the here and now. But as John MacArthur soberly observed, the only people who get their best life now are those who are headed for hell!
As Christians, our chief desires should involve heavenly rewards. As Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19–20).
Nonetheless, this world has plenty of allure—even for believers. It’s easy to gaze longingly at the greener pasture across our neighbor’s fence. How can unseen heavenly rewards compete with the luxurious trappings we see in our everyday lives?
John MacArthur’s sermon, “Your Best Life: Now or Later?” is a powerful and pastoral reminder for all Christians who suffer from temporal longings.
It really is of little consequence how much you have in this life or how much you don’t have. How well you are, or how sick you are, how fulfilled you are or how— humanly speaking—unfulfilled you are, how many successes you’ve had or how many failures you’ve had, how many fulfillments you’ve had or how many disappointments you have had; it really matters very little. You came into this world with nothing and you will go into the next world with nothing. You can’t take it with you, as Joe Bailey used to say, “You’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” It doesn’t go, it stays. Just don’t invest too much into it. We are not, as a church of Jesus Christ, offering people their best life now. That sets up an impossible illusion because that allows them to define what their best life is and then forces Jesus to deliver on that. And when He doesn’t, they move on.
We need to learn to live in the light of our best life, which is coming after this life is over. No matter how difficult this life is, we live in hope. So Peter calls us then in this doxology to join him in some praise.
In this message, John digs into 1 Peter 1:3–5 to point us away from all this world has to offer and reveal something infinitely superior—a detailed description of our glorious eternal inheritance. And he answers the critical questions:
Where does our eternal inheritance come from?
What motivates God to provide that inheritance?
How can we gain access to it?
What is the nature of that inheritance?
Can we ever lose it?
“Your Best Life: Now or Later?” is a call to lift our gaze heavenward where all real treasure lies. It isn’t a distant dreamland and it isn’t metaphorical. What God has in store for His people is a tangible reality worth infinitely more than anything this temporal world could possibly offer us.