2002-07-08 - Eternity and Beyond
1 Corinthians 2:9 Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.
It is common for us to plod on day by day, week after week, and as life passes us by to be unaware that we are in the midst of eternity. The cares of the world can easily choke out the realities, both positive and negative realities, of eternity. Considering that even the oldest of us has lived very few years, it is hard for us to grasp the concept of life forever. We could compare eternity to draining the ocean one drop at a time, but that would not do it justice, because the ocean would eventually be drained and eternity will never end.
It is a halting thought to think that we will all soon be in eternity. We all have the struggles that each day brings, but one day those struggles will be no more. There is nothing, really, to stop us from procrastinating after righteousness, but maybe thoughts of the closeness of eternity will help us seek to live in the light of reality. For the Christian eternity is much as it is described to us in Psalm 16:11, "You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fulness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." As we go about our day to day activities it is good to remember that with the Lord there are pleasures forever.
It is easy to lose sight of eternity and get caught up in today. But God is gracious even now. He knows our needs today and provides for us. We could develop an understanding of eternity and wait for God to care for us at that time, but that is not His way. He cares for us now. Sometimes it might not seem so when circumstances go haywire in our lives, but the Lord provides for us today.
If you have never read John Bunyan's "Pilgrims' Progress," you should. If you have you might remember when Christian spent a couple of weeks in a dungeon. All of a sudden he realizes that he has had the master key to all the doors in his pocket the entire time. Some of the doors did not unlock easily, but the key did unlock them all. In some respects, that is us. We have the key to the doors right now, not sometime down the road when time is no more for us, but now. Eternity will, indeed, be the end to these struggles, but until then, struggle we must. God's provisions, grace, and mercy are for all who truly seek them. They are not "pie in the sky." They are ours today.
The promise, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest," Matthew 11:28, is primarily a verse for today although it applies to eternity also. It is both. So, as we saw in Psalm 16:11, there are pleasures forever with the Lord, and as we see here, there is even rest today with the Lord. In many respects faith is simply believing what God says and what God promises. If God says it we must believe it and if God promises it, we must trust it. This is true for today and will be true throughout eternity.
"Eternity is an everlasting Now." Christopher Nesse
Soli Deo Gloria,