By the term Eternity we refer to that which is endless or immeasurable. We are not dealing with the essence of time due to the fact that in eternity there is no time.
In our text Jehovah identifies himself as the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity. He transcends his creation and is eternal in his being. God was not created–he has always existed. God will never end–he always will be. In realization of this fundamental truth one correctly concludes that the concept of eternity is that which is very real. Because of such reality we must give serious consideration to divine obligations incumbent upon all accountable individuals.
While the Biblical Doctrine of Eternity is clearly set forth within the scriptures, it can be difficult to fully grasp the total significance of such. This is especially true when considering the aspect of the element of Eternity Past. It seems that we can better understand the aspect of that which is non-ending more so than that which has always been. Even at that, living in the element of time makes it difficult to accurately ascertain the aspect of that which will never have an ending or termination.
Humanity will live again after the completion of earthly existence. The inspired writer of Ecclesiastes saw the need of making adequate preparation for eternity during life on earth that would culminate in one going to their long home (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5).
Physical death does not bring about the destruction of one’s identity, personality, reasoning capacity or even one’s existence. The essence of humanity survives death and exists in a different realm (Matthew 17:1-3). Our Lord viewed the reality of life even beyond the grave, the resurrection, and the Judgment that extends into eternity (John 14:1-6).
Paul, the apostle of Christ, viewed life as being so important, and eternity as being so real, that faithfulness to the Lord was the only real thing that counted in so far as true accomplish–ments one will attain in our earthly existence (2 Timothy 4:1-8). The rich man in Luke 16:19-31 discovered this fact after it was too late.
The journey into eternity is certain. This fundamental fact is evidenced by observation of that which is obvious. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Science has indeed benefited humanity through the years. God has permitted man to learn to fly, travel into outer space, split the atom and vastly improve our means of communication. In the field of medical research it is astounding how both the quality and quantity of human life has been extended. None the less, the greatest scientific minds cannot change that man goeth to his long home.
Physical death is the point which one begins the journey into eternity. This is affirmed in Hebrews 9:27. The writer of Ecclesiastes realized such in chapter 12 and verse 5. As we examine life, there have been and will be two attitudes demonstrated toward the reality of death. Such is seen in the attitude of the rich man in Luke 16 and in the view of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Notice the contrast and difference of the two.
When one dies faithfully as a Christian it is likened unto leaving an old house and moving into a new residence (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). When one dies outside the will of the Lord one faces the aspect of total misery (Luke 16).
Eternity is our long home. Whether it be by physical death or by the final coming of Christ we all shall leave this world. The relationships that we have on earth should be used to make preparation for eternity. Our friends can assist in either making or breaking us–let us chose them wisely. Family relationships are important. The institution of the human family is designed and ordained by God. Such is for our benefit. May we use such to make preparation for eternity.
The Judgment will be the day of sentencing. The decision as to our respective abodes within eternity will not be decided at the Judgment. It will be decided by our lives. The purpose of the Judgment is to announce the sentence of eternal life or that of eternal death (Acts 17:30-31; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15).
One’s eternal destiny is contingent upon obedience to the gospel of Christ and faithful living. So very many have a false view of Salvation as being based upon a dead, incomplete, inoperative faith. The faith that saves is the faith that obeys!
Others falsely view Salvation as being an exclusive activity of God with humanity playing no part at all. Such a view is false in that God requires all individuals to respond to his offer. Our response to God will determine our eternal destiny.
There are but two dwelling places in eternity. For the faithful of God, Christ is preparing the glories of Heaven (John 14:1-6). For those who reject God and his word, Christ is preparing eternal torment and torture in the flames of an eternal Hell (Matthew 25:41).
We have been given the power of choice to decide between the two. The ultimate choice will be made by all accountable individuals. We alone can decide.
God has provided the way to be saved. Paul depicted this way in 2 Timothy 4:6-8. There are conditions that must be obeyed. Faith changes our trust. Repentance changes our will, confession changes our allegiance, and baptism changes our state. Faithfulness will lead us safely to eternal fellowship with God.
God makes provision for the unfaithful to return to him in repentance, confession of sin and prayer. May we see the need to make adequate preparation for eternity.
Northside Anchor. Calhoun Church of Christ, Calhoun, GA. Bulletin articles for Sunday, November 11, 2018. Ron Hall, editor.