As people, we operate more in the realm of the short-term than the eternal, yet there is something in us that desperately wants some-how to be a part of it. We think that there has to be more than our few years on this earth. What is Eternity? No limit in time. Outside of time. From eternity past (i.e. no beginning) to eternity future (no end). Always existed, always is, always will be. We get a clue from verses like Heb 13:8. God is in fact outside of time. He sees time like we see the beginning and end of our driveway.
1. God is Eternal
1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
2 Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.
3 The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-- the LORD on high is mighty.
5 Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.
2. God's Word is Eternal
Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
Bible doesn't change. What was true thousands of years ago, still is.
Illustration: Olympic flame (kind of an eternal flame), transferred carefully between torches carried by runners so it doesn't go out. Thousands of runners carry the flame from Olympia in Greece to the final venue of the games.
Do we treat God's Word that way, i.e. with care and respect? Do we realise that we hold the truth of eternity in our hands when we get up in the morning for our Quiet time? People pay thousands of dollars to study for an MBA, improve their selling skills, Stress management, Anger management, Marriage and Relationship guidance, Stock market trading etc. picking up the latest management theories, selling styles, psychology fads etc. which change every year. but we can get every day for free the truth that has stood the test of eternity!
3. Salvation is Eternal
and, once made perfect, he (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Jesus is the source of our salvation, and we know that he can say that because he has already conquered death. (the resurrection). Salvation available to all who obey.
4. God has an eternal purpose
10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
God has had a plan for eternity for :
a. the church of Jesus to preach the word
b. us to be able to approach God with freedom and confidence (ie having had our feelings of guilt removed)
5. The Eternal is Spiritual, not Physical
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What we see : the physical world, material things etc are temporary only.
What is unseen : the spiritual world, future eternal glory etc is eternal.
We get older and our bodies waste away (hair loss, loss of fitness etc. Humour ???), but God promises that a relationship with him can renew us every day inwardly.
Illustration: Imagine that when you woke up every morning, all your possessions were brand new again. New perfectly-fitting clothes in the wardrobe - no wear or stains, that new-clothes feel. A new car in the garage, zero kms on the clock, clean, shiny, that new-car smell. All your furniture: new, no scratches, chips or dents; the house: brand new, no marks on the wall, the carpets - never touched. Every day it was like this.. Fantastic!!! Well it can be like that for us spiritually. Old wounds, old troubles, old disappointments and defeats (chips and dents of life) should be put in perspective. They are light and momentary troubles only when compared with the eternal glory that is ahead. With a spiritual perspective we can wake up every morning with a greater excitement about life than new clothes, or houses, or cars can bring! Or do we focus more on the trouble and woes and pass up the opportunity for a new start every day? What are your eyes fixed on? The seen, or the unseen?
The physical, or the eternal? That which passes away, or that which lasts forever?
Let's start thinking with the ultimate long-term view! Eternity
a. Understand that God is eternal: Be amazed!
b. God's Word is eternal: respect and value it!
c. Salvation is eternal: Be obedient!
d. God has an eternal purpose: You are a part of it!
e. The Eternal is spiritual not physical. Be renewed every day!