The Hubble telescope site gives me a glimpse of eternity. That is, outer space and eternity have something in common; they never end. This is difficult to grasp, but both beg the question: if they end, then what lies beyond them?
Even though we are like blind people who cannot sense all of life around us, and we similarly struggle to understand the reality of a never-ending existence, the Bible does describe eternal matters. Some people reject it because they do not like what they read, yet those of us who know Jesus Christ are excited at God’s descriptions of what lies ahead:
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)
Today’s devotional sums up what Scripture tells us. First, we are living in a world that is temporal. Even a blind person is aware that everything is decaying and will not last forever. Yet as my father used to say, matter does not disappear; it only changes to a different form. I’m not sure that is totally true, but God’s Word says that it is true for human beings. We will die in the sense that our bodies will cease to be animate, yet the Word of God says that all who die go into a different existence. Jesus said:
“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28–29)
As the devotional writer says, our state in the unseen world of eternity depends on what we are in time. “If we are the sons of God here, relying upon the merits of Christ as our only hope of salvation, we shall be the sons of God eternally, living in the glory of Christ. If we are the children of wrath here, rejecting Christ, we shall be the children of wrath in hell forever, rejected by Christ.”
There are some who cannot fathom a loving God would create anything called hell. To me, it is logical. If what my dad used to say is true, then hell makes sense. Otherwise, those who reject Jesus Christ would be obliterated, which goes against the idea that nothing is destroyed, only changed.
Part of the problem with some of this is our interpretation of death. If we can see it as ‘separation’ rather than ‘cessation’ then the Bible’s descriptions make much more sense. This is not to say they become palatable.
For me, as for all who believe God’s Word, Jesus Christ is our Friend to whom we turn for life and help, both in our lifetime and in eternity. Jesus Christ alone can save our souls and only His blood can wash away our sin. His righteousness make us holy and His grace presents us faultless before the throne of God.
Dearest Lord Jesus, eternity is about You. You are my eternal Savior and Lord. Because of You, I do not lose heart. Sure, my body becomes older and will not last forever. Such is the way of life; we begin to die the moment we are born. However, this life and its trials are preparing for me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as I look away from what I can see to that unseen and eternal world promised by God. This is clearly illustrated by Your life, death and resurrection. You live to forever intercede for me — You are my eternal life.