I recently watched the acclaimed Chinatown, a 1974 American mystery film directed by Roman Polanski, which boasts some stunning screenplay and rather beautiful photography in general. It seldom behoves one to offer spoilers for a film, so of its plot I shall say little. Yet one of its defining characteristics I will declare: it does not have a happy ending. In our films, we have come to expect every princess to marry a prince, every orphan to be adopted, every villain punished or reformed, every ne’er-do-well improved. The reality is very different. Lives do not always end well, cancers are not always cured, damaged friendships are not always mended. We expect our films and dramas to make us feel good precisely because of life’s cruel reality. Yet the Christian will always have a better life waiting for him than he currently possesses. Being a doorkeeper in heaven will be a superior station to dwelling in any of this world’s wicked tents. And, yes, the opposite is also true. The horrors of a Christless eternity will always outweigh the temporal and ephemeral pleasures of this life. Boozing and carousing might appeal for now, but they shall be regretted later. For those who reject Christ, Chinatown. To those who accept His salvation, New Jerusalem.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10