“Are you allowed to party after you become a Christian?”
One time I heard that question on the Christian radio. I realized that the person was asking the wrong question. Now that we have a new heart and a new spirit living in us thanks to the grace of our Lord, our question ought not be, “How far is too far?” it ought to be, “What can I do to bring glory to God today?”
Sometimes Christians have an unbiblical idea that God will forgive them if they don’t say they’re sorry, since they already accepted Jesus in their heart. But the Bible says we have to confess our sins. And what an amazing promise God gives us for when we do!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
Truly confessing is feeling sorrow over our sins and turning away from them, making an effort to not sin in those ways again. We still slip and fall sometimes, but rather than it being a lifestyle, our new lifestyle is chasing after Jesus, as his devoted disciples.
God has given us the most precious gift of not only His Son’s death, but also His life. And His life is the fullest life, rich in goodness and love, completely different from the world’s, set-apart, and more lovely in God’s sight than jewels. We are to proclaim the truth with exhilaration, and love others deeply, and pray for them consistently. God has given us the honor as Christians to deliver the greatest news of all (the angels actually envy us for this honor): Christ came to free everyone from all unrighteousness. We can be free of sin’s shame, guilt, and ultimately it fierce separation of us from God. We now can live day-to-day conversing with our King, in a glorious relationship with Him.
Many people either say we must do things for God in order to go to heaven, or they say Jesus has paid it all so we now can party for the rest of our lives. Neither of these views even come close to the triumphant existence our Lord desires for us to have.
God and the world have been in a battle with one another for a long time. It’s our choice which side we’re on, and if we don’t fight, we’re just letting both sides confuse us, and ultimately we stumble onto the world’s side albeit unknowingly. God has given us weapons to fight the temptations, the evil, and the confusion of the world. If we don’t use them, the world will ensnare us. The amazing thing about God is that even though He doesn’t need us, He uses us anyway. If we follow His lead, He gives us the sword to fight in the battles, but He gives us the strength to wield it. God sends us like little toddlers on daddy’s mission, and we our delighted to obey.
I sometimes get caught in the doing things for God, thinking of how I can honor God today, but not realizing that I can’t honor Him on my own, in my own strength. I have to rely on His strength. As Oswald Chambers wrote, “We are not sent to do battles for God, but to be used by God in His battles.”
We are nothing, but God in His loving-kindness makes us useful for His eternal glory. If we do God’s will grudgingly, we are not exactly doing His will, for part of His will is that we should delight to obey Him.
So no, Christians shouldn’t party, that is, if it’s getting you drunk and causing you to sin. We have a light and we’ve got to let it shine, instead of acting like there’s no hope like everybody else. Let us stand up and fight on the Lord’s side, delighting in His will with all our hearts. For though we are nothing, our Lord Jesus satisfies us in the morning with His love and strengthens us for every battle we face the rest of the day.
“Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:27-31(NIV)