“One Hundred Eighty-Eight and a Half!” (Revelation 4:8)

The mellifluous musical strains filled the theater as the familiar melodies of The Phantom of the Opera were being performed. It was a one-man show by the great stage actor and singer, Davis Gaines. Mr. Gaines has the singular distinction of playing the role of the Phantom the longest of any actor in a major production. His remarkable career spanned over forty years, garnering numerous awards for his artistry. For myself, his career was defined by his incomparable performance of the Phantom. Apparently, I am not alone.

 

Before Mr. Gaines began the final set of his performance, a tribute to the great songs of The Phantom, he addressed the audience, “How many of you have seen the Phantom?” The entire audience clapped as every hand was raised in unison. Mr. Gaines smiled broadly and began randomly asking people in the front rows, “How many times have you seen it?” Various answers were shouted, “Six…Three…Ten!”

 

“Ten? Very nice!” Mr. Gaines was beaming.

 

“One hundred eighty-eight and a half!”

 

A gentleman in the front row had shouted what seemed to be an outrageous number. “Wow! One hundred eighty-eight and a half. Why a half? Did you have to leave to go to the bathroom?”

 

The theater erupted in laughter. This gentleman was obviously obsessed with The Phantom and he proudly declared it. When we love something, it does not matter how many times we repeat the experience. It can be watching a favorite movie, participating in a favorite sporting activity, or attending a cherished musical. It never gets tired or old because we can always extract enjoyment and pleasure from the event.

 

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

Revelation 4:8 (ESV)

 

Someday in Heaven, I will be able to join the multitudes of angels and saints who stand before God, continually worshipping and praising Him. Time will be meaningless as my sole activity will be to repeat my praises and thankfulness to God. Will I be bored? Will it get old? How can it be? If God did not offer me salvation and eternal life by confessing and repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus Christ, His Son, as my Lord and Savior, I would be condemned to an eternity of torment and separation from God. I would be in hell, forever tortured by my refusal to accept the greatest offer of love and sacrifice that the Creator of the universe could ever offer me.

 

One hundred eighty-eight times!

 

In Heaven, this will only be the beginning of endless praise!

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

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