Is "eat, drink, and be merry" a biblical concept?

The phrase eat, drink, and be merry or eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die has been used for centuries throughout literature. Usually this phrase is understood as “enjoy life as much as possible because we won’t live forever.” While the phrase’s wording is an amalgamation of several verses in the Bible (including Isaiah 22:13, Ecclesiastes 8:15, 1 Corinthians 15:32, and Luke 12:19), the underlying principle is quite opposite from biblical teaching.

To “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die”—to live life for pleasure’s sake alone—goes against the biblical mindset to “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). The Lord has called believers to live a holy life (1 Peter 1:16), but we cannot be holy without His help and guidance from the Holy Spirit. A godly life requires a choice to follow God’s will and leave our old, pleasure-seeking ways behind (Romans 12:1–2).

The concept of enjoying earthly life as much as possible because there’s nothing after death is unbiblical. The Bible is clear that there is an eternal spiritual existence after corporeal death, and that existence includes judgment for all (Hebrews 9:27). Those who have been made righteous by faith in Christ will experience eternal life in heaven, but those who reject Christ as Savior will be sent to eternal punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46).

While it may be unbiblical to live for pleasure, living a life of joy for the Lord is certainly biblical. Jesus teaches that abiding in Him and obeying Him will bring us joy in life: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9–11).

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