Thought For Today - January 13 - Eternity - What Is It ? Where Will We Spend It ?
Thought For Today - January 13 - Eternity-What Does It Mean ?
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Thought For Today -January 13 Eternity-What does it mean? Where will we spend it?
I want to share some thoughts with you this morning with a thought provoking question. Where will we spend eternity? The bible warns us to seriously consider eternity and what it may hold for each of us. "Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and my age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah" Psalm 39: 4,5.
We can have a good forever in eternity if we will, God gives us a choice as to where we will spend eternity, by God's grace, it is up to us. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Deut: 30:19 The bible teaches that God has promised to all who have truly accepted Christ and have been born again - eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
The bible also teaches that God has promised to all unbelievers and Christ rejecters - eternal damnation: "He that believeth on the son hath everlasting life and he that believeth not the son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36
Eternity - what does it mean? I searched several dictionaries to see how they define it. The answer: "endless or limitless time, where time as we know it does not exist.” "Having no beginning or ending of existence" "Lasting forever - continuing on without interruption -unchangeable" To be eternal means to be deathless - cannot die - fadeless - never grows old - unending, cannot be destroyed.
The word "eternal" is used in two senses in the bible:
1. Figuratively - denoting existence which may have a beginning but will have no end. For example: angels are created beings - having a beginning but will have no end. The human soul having been created but will have no end.
2 The literal sense :denoting an existence which has neither beginning nor ending like that of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
That which we call time has past, present, and future - eternity does not. Eternity is of infinite duration - without any beginning, or limit - an ever abiding present. Eternity is always NOW, no past, no future, always TODAY.
Things change, clock hands move, our bodies change, all these changes occur IN eternity. In the light of eternity, it is today that we are born, and for all practical purposes, as far as we are concerned, it will be today when we die.
What is eternal? What has no beginning or end, what is deathless, fadeless, and unending? The bible says:":While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal (only temporary - lasting only a little while): but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
When you look around, what do you see? You see earth, sky, sun, moon, stars, trees, birds, fish, animals, buildings, automobiles, planes, people, etc. These are all temporary - will be all gone some day.
When you look at me what do you see? When you look at me you see a body, you see the house, or the space suit, if you will, that God has given me to live in while I am here on earth. It will be gone back to dust someday. You cannot see the REAL ME because the REAL ME which you cannot see is soul and spirit which is eternal.
When I look at you, I can see the body or house which God has given you to live in on earth, but I cannot see the real you who lives in that house. No one but God has ever seen the real spirit and soul of another human being, and the bible says: THAT WHICH CANNOT BE SEEN IS ETERNAL.
Therefore, all human beings must be eternal creatures, which means that once we are created or born, our spirit and our soul which is the real us will continue on endlessly forever.
To think about eternity - just imagine that eternity is a long line of time stretching out forever and never ending. Let us suppose that you live a very long time on earth - say perhaps as long as Methuselah who lived nine hundred and sixty years according to Genesis 5:27, or even longer: compared to the long line of eternity, this would take up a very small space. Then, after the nine hundred sixty or more year have come to an end and you die, or leave this body or house in which you live while here on earth, there is an endless eternity where you will live forever.
There are only two places where we can spend eternity. One of those places is where Jesus is - a place of peace and joy and happiness in the presence of God in heaven, or a place of suffering, pain, misery, and torment called hell, with the devil and his angels. Where we spend eternity is determined by what we do with the Lord Jesus Christ who has offered himself to be our savior, by the shedding of his blood, and by taking the blame and punishment of all our sins upon himself. He is willing to forgive us and cleanse us from all our sins if we will ask him to do so.
God is eternal - God is spirit - cannot be seen with human eyes, but can be spoken to, and can and does hear our prayers and is aware of us and cares for us and meets our needs each and every day.
"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, destroy them." Deut 33:27 God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is one God, and God has his existence in eternity. "For thus saith the high and holy one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15
Jesus, our Lord and savior who inhabited eternity and who came from his high and holy place in heaven to seek and to save the lost, created for himself a human body to live in so he could be just like us while he was here on earth. Not only did Jesus come to die for us, but he is also the greatest teacher who ever lived, and he came to teach us about God and our life hereafter in eternity.
Jesus taught in parables. A parable is an earthly story with a spiritual meaning. Jesus taught about two possible places where a person might spend eternity. Where we spend eternity is decided by what we do with our life here on earth, and what we do with Jesus Christ who came to save us. Jesus told a story of two men, one was a very rich man, who had the best of everything that money could buy. He had the most expensive clothes to wear, and the biggest house to live in. His table was filled with their most delicious food to eat, and he had a banquet feast every day. He had all the money he could ever spend in his entire lifetime. He thought that he would never have need of anything or anyone. He was, in fact, very rich in material or temporary things. Because of his great riches, he probably did not pay much attention to the condition of his soul. “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day....."Luke 16:19 He was so concerned with the temporary things of the world, that he gave little thought to the fact that all these riches could not buy his way into heaven. He thought he was rich in spiritual things as well as in material things.
At the same time there was another man whose name was Lazarus, who was very poor, and very sick, he had very few material things to get along with on earth. Every day he sat by the rich man's door begging, and hoping that someone would drop him a crumb or two of bread. ".......And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores." Luke 16: 20,21 He knew that he was poor concerning the things of the world, but he also knew that he was poor in his spirit. He knew that to be poor spiritually was far worse than being poor materially. He knew that he was a sinner and needed Jesus to forgive his sins and save him, and even though every day he had to beg for his living, his mind was on the things of God, and he thought of how good God was, and he was thankful to God when one little crumbs of bread fell his way.
Jesus said that after a while, Lazarus became sick and weak and died, and when he died, the angels came from heaven and carried his invisible soul and spirit into the presence of God in Heaven.
"And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried." Luke 16:22 Now, there in heaven, Lazarus was no longer a beggar - no longer sick. In Heaven he was now enjoying all the riches and glory of his father in heaven. He was now in eternity. He had eternal life.
Jesus said that after a while the rich man died also and was buried. No angels came to carry him into the presence of God - he went to hell. Jesus said: "and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment, and seeing Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, son remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good thing, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented" Luke 16: 23,24,25 God was saying: you thought only of yourself, you only wanted to enjoy all the things in the world that you thought would make you happy. You never admitted that you were a sinner and needed a savior. You were too busy with your riches and toys to pray and seek after God. You never thought of the needs of others, and you were selfish with all that you had on earth. You thought that you would never need anything or anyone. Lazarus had all the bad things happening to him, but even in his poverty and suffering on earth, he thought of God, and took time to pray, and he admitted that he was a sinner and asked Jesus to save him. So now, Lazarus is enjoying all the joys and blessings of heaven, and you are being tormented. "And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." Luke 16: 26 God was telling him that between heaven and hell there is a great ocean of space so that no one can pass from heaven to you, and you can never get out of hell to come to heaven.
"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren: that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. "Luke 16:27,28 God the father said unto him, they have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.
What do you think God meant when he said they have Moses and the prophets? He meant that they have his word, the bible to read and study. There is no excuse for anyone being lost and going to hell if they have the word of God to study and believe.
The rich man said no, father, but if one went to them from the dead they will repent. And God said if they will not listen to what the bible says, they will not be persuaded though one rose from the dead.
Jesus has risen from the dead and yet, there are many who will not believe.
The rich man, the unsaved sinner was now in eternity - in an eternal hell full of flames and suffering and torments and pain, separated from all that was good, and separated from God forever,. He was not there because he was rich on earth, but he was there because he had never been sorry for his sins and asked Jesus to save him. Those who would hate you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you for preaching to them and trying to get them saved, will, once they go to hell, beg and plead with you to go and preach to their brothers and sisters and loved ones. Both the rich man and Lazarus were now in eternity. Lazarus enjoying himself in the presence of God and the rich man suffering all the torments of eternal hell.
How about it folks, where will we spend eternity after we die and leave this body of clay ?Do you realize that by yourself you are poor in spirit and need Jesus to come into your heart and save you? Are you like Lazarus - poor in spirit and hungry and long for God to fill you ? Or, are you like the rich man and would rather have all your fun in this present sinful world now? Whatever you decide will determine where you will spend eternity.
Remember, I am simply the deliverer of this message from God's word, I cannot judge you, but God's word is true and all that he says will come to pass.