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Let’s take a moment to think about eternity. Right away, an obstacle lies in our path. Taking a “moment” and the immediacy of “right away” in a discussion about eternity inform us of the challenge. We are bound by time. We can’t comprehend eternity, and thoughts about it elusively descend into to a haze.

But why should we think about eternity at all?

Good question.

Difficult question.

To start with, some may say that we have enough to occupy our thoughts with the stuff going on right now. True enough. Sicknesses. Jobs. Families. They all require our careful attention.

At least let me throw out one thought, although it is a little disquieting: In seventy years or so, everyone reading this article will probably be dead. Almost no one will know or remember you even existed. Any money you saved will be in the possession of others. Any deeds you did, unless you’re famous, will be forgotten, remembered, perhaps, by your grandchildren. As for their children remembering—don’t kid yourself.

So, who will remember you?

The Lord God, your Creator. The one who loves you with—yes, I should state it—an eternal love.

He will always love you.

Can you imagine a trillion years? No, of course you can’t. But if you’re a Christian, you’ll be alive a trillion years from now.

Doing what?

Well, Scripture doesn’t offer a lot of details. We get a few hints, though. Before we look at those things, let’s be unambiguous. What we know of reality now is not what reality will be for us then. There’s a time coming when all that we know and see and understand about the present earth, solar system, and universe won’t exist anymore. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more” (Revelation 21:1).1 The Lord God Almighty is going to create everything new. “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’” (Revelation 21:5). What will that be like? Will there be boars and bears and butterflies? No one knows but Him. But if you have ever been dazzled by this present creation—if you haven’t, you haven’t been thinking properly—then it isn’t hard to imagine that whatever is to come will be better. Better, because there will be no sin there and thorns will not “infest the ground,” as the Christmas song says.

Despite the lack of detail, however, we have a few scriptural truths about eternity that should cause us to pause and ponder.

Believers will judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:2–3). How long will this judging take? Well, there are probably tens of thousands of these fallen angels, but the notion of “how long” does not exist in the Lord’s heavenly kingdom. We don’t know how to answer this question.

Believers—meek ones, apparently—will inherit the earth—forever (Matthew 5:5).

Believers who overcome, who “conquer,” will rule over nations—forever (Revelation 2:26—27).

I should note here that we Christians will be judged, as well, by Jesus Himself. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (2 Corinthians 5:10–11a).

It should be noted that this judgment is final. So, that will last for eternity, as well.

So, it seems a fruitful thing, a worthy thing, doesn’t it, to take a time-bound moment or two and think about eternity in the light of these truths.

All glory to Him who sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.

 

1All Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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