What have we learned about eternity? Eternity is generally not a topic of discussion within most social circles, although it should be. Why? Because it represents not only where we will spend “forever and ever” but also will influence how we CHOOSE TO LIVE our life today. Eternity begins the moment we are born and continues until our demise. Everybody gets eternity!
However, believers also receive eternal/everlasting life. Everlasting life is the blessedness in God’s presence. 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. Everlasting life begins when individuals accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Everybody may not get everlasting life!
Because eternity is so important, it is imperative that we have a clear and accurate understanding about it. What’s the threat? The sway of myths, lies, and misunderstandings. That is why we believers depend on the authority and inerrancy of the Bible to guide us.
The blessedness in God’s presence
The biggest learning, for me, is that eternal life begins NOW. Scripture teaches that to experience the fullness of God’s glory we need to separate from our flesh—the part that temporarily houses our spirit. Our spirit—our essence, the part that never dies—will ultimately enter the “spiritual place” prepared for us in heaven. (John 14:1-2)
That is why it is important to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (2 Cor. 5:16-17). Spiritual conversion (redemption and renewal) is needed to prepare us to enter God’s presence—on earth and in the future, in heaven. While I am yet alive, the blessedness of God’s presence is possible through the gift of His Holy Spirit—a foretaste of glory divine.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
What does blessedness look like?
How does the blessedness of God’s presence manifest itself? What does eternal/everlasting life look like in my everyday life? Here are several scriptures to begin answering those questions?
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5: 22-24, RSV)
His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence. Thus, he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust and may become participants of the divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:3-4)
The greatest witness to God’s presence in our lives are the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14). God’s blessedness is shown in His love, His provision, and His protection.
God’s presence, the reality of eternity now, gives us a “living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3-7)—boldness, perseverance, and tenacity–to live out God’s purpose for our life (Eph. 2:10). His presence guarantees it!
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit. (Ephesian 3:16)
Where do we go from here?
Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, author of Eternity: Reclaiming a Passion for What Endures writes:
Many Christians become disillusioned as their quest for peace and pleasure on this earth feel them with despair. If you are one of these believers who senses you’re missing something—who have hoped for more—it may be that your perspective is distorted by your focus on this world. With heaven as our point of reference, we can learn to live a satisfying, balance, and victorious life even in a fallen world.
We MUST “reclaim our passion for what endures”—eternity. We best serve The King and His Kingdom, by:
- FOCUSING our attention on eternity and things of God.
- DEMOSTRATING to others what eternal life looks like in everyday life.
- SHARING the reality of eternity with both believers and nonbelievers.