Time in Light of Eternity

Time eludes us.   Our perception of time is that we never have enough of it.  On the off chance that we do have enough time, we work hard to fill every spare second with meaningless moments and endeavors — just to keep busy or perhaps to keep up the appearance of keeping busy.  We are driven and ridiculed by our culture to be incessantly active, seeking to seize each moment and creating schemes and diversions to make the most of it.  sunburst

I recently listened to a broadcast by Ravi Zacharias called “If the Foundations Be Destroyed.If you get a chance you should listen to it.  In this broadcast, Ravi speaks about understanding time in light of eternity. He asks an important and extremely relevant question — “What have we told this generation about eternity?”

Sadly, this generation has been taught (in Ravi’s words) that now is all we haveSeize the moment because there is no tomorrow. How easy is it to throw God away if your understanding of eternity is that it is in the here and now!

There has been a foundational loss of the understanding of eternity both culturally and in the contemporary church.  Time and eternity are in conflict with each other.  Time has value but today’s pragmatism has clouded the truth that eternity has greater value.  It is eternity that gives meaning to time yet the world tells us that time has more value.  How easily we succumb to such lies…….

We can blame it on our jobs, the media, movies or politics but there really is no excuse for the disappearance of our desire to see eternity.  Even the church has ignored sound teaching on eternity — teaching which should give hope for a future life with God for the saved believer.  Parents have relegated their responsibility to teach their children about a holy and sovereign God with whom we will spend eternity to surrogate teachers in the public school system.   Parents are often too busy to teach their own children the doctrines of God and I would venture to say, many of them don’t even know those doctrines in the first place.

To ignore the reality of eternity is a huge loss for Christian society.  If you ignore eternity, time has no meaning to the Christian or to the secular person for that matter.  Ignoring eternity causes you to live only for the moment instead of anticipating a forever paradise with God.  We must once again tune our minds and hearts towards spending eternity with God, pushing aside the idea that we only have this moment.  We must long for eternity with Christ.

Many people think that we are most fulfilled when we find someone to love or something of earthly value to cherish.  We think we are most fulfilled when we have a mission in this life — the communication of some earthly value to others or perhaps extending love and service to others.  While valuable, love and service do not ultimately bring meaning to life.  It is worship that brings meaning to life.  To worship means you must have something which is worthy of worship and only a holy, sovereign God can fill that job description.

We are created by an eternal God who has put eternity into our hearts.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (ESV)

I like the NET translation of this verse:

Ecclesiastes 3:11 God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.  (NET)

We crave the worship of our Creator because He alone placed that desire into our hearts.   Yet, God must know that our ignorant minds seem incapable of being faithful to the very one who is constantly faithful to us.  If we truly love our Creator, we will long to fellowship with Him — we will long for eternity with Him.  It is our destiny.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

God is the only one who can revive our spirits and our hearts.  One day, those who are called by God will worship Him in eternity and in all truth.  We will see everything as it is and not as we have created it to be.

May I encourage you today to focus on eternity?

1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Image by Fdecomite (Creative Commons Attribution License).

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