What are we looking for?
In understanding what eternity is and its importance to us, we must “begin with the end in mind”. What do we want to know about eternity? Why does it matter? All of us have a differing view as to what eternity is and what it isn’t.
The reality is this, as human beings, we will continue our existence even after death in eternity. The question is, which of the eternal lives will we experience? Will we experience joy and peace forever more with Jesus or will our eternal life consist of judgment, fire, and flames. The choice is ours to make.
That’s why it’s so important that we begin with the end in mind. To gain a better understanding of eternity, let’s begin with some important definitions. Key to understanding the biblical meaning of these terms is the Bible’s use of the word “eternal”.
Eternity by any other name
Eternal, eternity, eternal/everlasting life. There are many variations of the word eternal used to describe eternity. We will begin with some basic definitions to help us with our study.
“Eternal or everlasting” is an adjective used to describe a state of being “without end”. It is used, for example, to describe the Trinity (Ps. 90:2; Prov. 8:23; Heb. 9:14)
Eternal can be applied to God’s attributes. For example, His power (Eccl. 12:5), His righteousness (Ps. 119:142, 144), and His love (Jer. 31:3). They endure without end! As long as God exists, so do His eternal attributes.
In the Bible, eternal is also used to describe both believers (John 3:15; Eph. 3:11) and the wicked (Mark 3:29; Matt. 25:46).
“Eternity” is “time without end”. It is the duration of God’s dealings with His people in times past, now, and always. God has always been involved in the lives of His people and reveal Himself through various means (Heb. 1:1-2).
Eternity also includes a coming age from which evil will be banished and where God will reign in glory. Quite different from the current world order.
“Eternal/everlasting life” has been defined as the divinely bestowed gift of blessedness in God’s presence that endures without end. This relates not only to the quality of life in this age, but also to both the quality and duration of life in the age to come.
We often limit eternal/everlasting life to life after death and heaven. But eternal life is much more. We will explore this aspect of eternal life later in this series.
Eternity in our hearts
To answer the question “why do we want to know about eternity”, I offer you this answer provided by King Solomon who wrote in Ecclesiastes 3: 11, “God has set eternity in the human heart”.
In every human soul is a God-given awareness that there is something more than this transient world and with that awareness of eternity comes a hope that we will one day find a fulfillment not afforded by the vanity in this world.
We possess an innate knowledge that there is something more to life than what we can see and experience in the here and now. Through all the abs and downs of life, we have a glimpse of stability—God has “set eternity in the human heart.” We have a divinely implanted awareness that the soul lives forever. This world is not our home. 
Eternity and Knowing God
Eternal, eternity, everlasting life. We have heard these words used in various contexts and in a multitude of religious venues. However, unless we intentionally focus on its importance to our spiritual welfare, eternity will remain nothing more than theological jargon we hear on Sunday morning.
Jesus prayed in John 17:1-3 (NLT):
Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
To know the true God and His Son Jesus Christ, it is important that we understand eternity. Next week we will continue our study by exploring eternal life. What is it? When does it begin?
 Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary
 Got Questions, “What does it mean that we have eternity in our hearts?”