Summary: Everyone has times when they think "it can't get any better than this" and "it can't get any worse". Several examples of good things and bad things are examined, plus there's a word of encouragement at the end.
Edited from a sermon preached at First Baptist Church, Chamois, MO
Not an exact transcription.
Introduction: How many of us can remember a time when we thought, “It doesn’t get any better than this?” I can think of a couple. One such instance happened back in the early 90’s when I was in the military, stationed in southern California. On one Friday evening, my family and I headed to the nearest town for a night out. Arriving, we found a lot—a LOT—of traffic, both on foot and on pavement! We found out this was something like a renaissance fair, where several people dressed in period costume. One young lady had braided her hair so that it fit inside a crocheted holder (I later found out it’s called a “snood”). We spoke with a few of the participants and, for a moment, just about everybody was getting along! I truly thought, it didn’t and couldn’t get any better than that.
A number of years later, I was working in a different state. A local community had an operating railroad that gave excursions on weekends and certain holidays. On the Fourth of July that year, this railroad had an operating steam locomotive—yes, steam!—hauling the train that day. When we got to the end of the line, anybody who wanted to could climb up into the cab. I wasn’t in there for long, but you better believe I thought “it doesn’t get any better than this!”
The Scriptures have any number of instances where the people observing that event could also say “it doesn’t get any better than this”. We’ll look at a few of these. To be sure, there are also any number of times when it could be said, “It can’t get any worse” We’ll skim over a few of those as well. And certainly, there are times when any situation can become the best ever.
Let’s take a look at some of these.
1 Times when it couldn’t have been any better
How long is eternity? How far back can you or I go into the past? Sure, we hear about events in the recent and not so recent past; even historical events, but there’s only so far and so much any of us can fathom. We can think of dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of years, maybe even “billions and billions” of years—like a certain speaker or thinker used to say—but, even then, we have to stop.
We can’t go back except only so far. Our minds just can’t comprehend forever.
Even so, there was a time when God said “Let there be light”—and there was! God made the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and spent the next six days developing His handiwork on this earth. Moses summed it up by saying, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Gen. 1:31).”
It didn’t get any better than that!
And something we’ll never have on this earth is the privilege Adam and Eve enjoyed absolute innocence, being made perfect and even better, they had unbroken fellowship with God. We only have a hint of this, in Genesis 3, when God came to meet with them as He came walking in “the cool of the day”. Sure, we can have fellowship with God—and I hope we do! There’s nothing like it!—but it’s nothing like they enjoyed, There’s an old Gospel song with the words “Nothing between my soul and the Savior” and they could certainly sing that in every bit of truth.
Fellowship with God? It couldn’t be any better than this!
Now, another person who enjoyed fellowship with God lived many years after this. His name was Abram, later Abraham, and this man’s story is still being told thousands of years after the fact. He grew up in “Ur of the Chaldees”, today part of southern Iraq, and how much Abram knew about the True God is anybody’s guess. Something that we do know is that one day God called or spoke to Abram—and Abram listened! When Abram actually became a believer in the One True God, we may never know, but believe he did, and Genesis 15:6 states clearly, “6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness (KJV).”
May I share something about this “transaction”? First, all of us have sinned or missed the mark of God’s perfection. I remember during basic military training, we spent part of one day at the rifle range. Each of us shot about 40 rounds of ammo from various positions (kneeling, standing, and so on) and we were expected to get around 30 “hits” on the targets. As the story went, one trainee had a score of over 50. The person next to him? One. Yeah, you could say somebody really did miss the mark! Now multiply every “miss” by every day of the year and it becomes very clear, very quickly, that we have a lot of sins to answer for! How can we get rid of these?