Thinking About Our Eternal Future

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Amen!

This prayer, written by the 16th century English Sea Captain Sir Francis Drake reminds us that there is a future beyond earth life. Something we call eternity.

Eternity is difficult to define. We talk about spending eternity somewhere. But you can’t spend it. You can spend a dollar. But not eternity. It is unending. A teacher once said to a little boy, “What does eternity mean to you?” He replied, “It’s like a piece of peppermint candy with only one end!”

Many in our day scoff at the idea of eternity. Sean Carroll, a cosmologist and physics professor at the California Institute of Technology, claims to have proven scientifically there is no life after death. He’s not alone in his denial of eternal life. Atheists, agnostics, infidels, humanists, and secularists all belittle belief in the eternal.

However, not even all scientists agree on this. Wernher Von Braun, the famous German-born aerospace engineer, and space architect, once said, “Everything science has taught me–and continues to teach me–strengths my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.”

But a greater authority than all these, Jesus Christ, affirmed the existence of eternity. Concluding his discussion of judging the nations, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats, he said: “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Jesus often spoke of “eternal life.” The apostle Paul wrote that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Furthermore, the Bible speak of God’s “eternal purpose,” (Eph 3:11), our “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9), and an “eternal inheritance” (Heb 9:15).

The Bible also reveals that there is an eternal judgment which can result in “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

There is a heaven. And a hell. These are the only two places where the soul will reside in eternity.

We sing about that “Home of the Soul,” and the beauty, bliss, and splendor of that land “Where we’ll never grow old.” It’s a serene and soothing thought.

Yet, there is also a place of torment. Punishment. Anguish. And Pain. It’s called Hell. Jesus also affirmed its existence. But we don’t like to think about it. There are no songs about hell. Its no one favorite sermon topic. But it’s a reality. If heaven is eternal, so is hell.

Christians claim to believe in eternity. In heaven. And in hell. But too often we fail to live like it. When we live reckless, irresponsible and worldly lives, we’re not thinking about eternity. We’re not focused on heaven. And we’re not following Jesus.

Take a few minutes today to contemplate eternity. Reflect on your life. Think about heaven and hell.

Then consider the exhortation of my friend Dee Bowman, “If you miss heaven, you’ve just missed all there is!”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

5 Comments

Filed under Heaven

5 responses to “Thinking About Our Eternal Future

  1. BT

    Without a vision His people perish in lethargy and apathy…

    A man’s reach should always be farther than his grasp.

    A good word, especially for the day we are in.

    Blessings
    BT

  2. People need a vision as BT has said. As Ken puts it. Jesus Christ affirms the existence of Eternity. Sadly, many people today cannot see or embrace this vision. Christians are having great difficulty communicating and lifting up this vision today.

    Ken you rightly say, Christians claim to believe in eternity. In heaven. And in hell. Ken you also say, if Heaven is eternal, so is hell.

    Down through the ages, people have contemplated the existence of HELL. “Plautus stated that ‘homo homini lupus’ (Man is a wolf for man). And Jean-Paul Sartre put it in an even more tragic manner: ‘L´enfer, c´est les autres’ (Hell is other people).”

    In Contrast the Dialogue of the 4th century Orthodox Saint, Abba MaKarios presents the Christian vision of HELL as being “the ABSENCE of the other, the lack of communication.” https://www.oac.gr/en/activities/face-to-face/

    The Woman at the Well is still relevant today as a vision. So is the Woman standing outside a cave, in the GARDEN facing the tombs of the fallen.

    Christians when they first encounter Jesus the Rabboni are quick to run out and lift up the Rabboni as the Messiah because of the “words” and the story of their dialogue as recorded by John.

    What the Woman failed to see that day is that Jesus the Rabboni couched his words carefully to lift up the vision and include her. The Woman said to him. “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her. “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

    So everyone rushes off proclaiming Jesus the Rabboni as the Christ. They forget the words of Isaiah 9:6 and the words of John the Baptist in John 3:29.

    And then when the Woman in tears shows up in the Rabboni’s Garden facing the tombs of the dead, she wants to know. Is it true? Is he the Christ? Is he the Everlasting Father she should cling to? Is he her Gardener? Or is he John the Baptist?

    When the Rabboni calls out to her reminding her of the words of Naomi in Ruth 1:20, the name Mara. The name Mary suddenly sends the message and the vision home. She is to go and tell his brothers all that he has said to her and to remind them that he must ascend to the Father, her Lord…the Christ.

    The Brothers and Sister are still in the dark. What is she saying to them? Who is the Christ? Isn’t the Rabboni Jesus the Christ? Then they remember what John the Baptist told them. “He that has the Bride is the Bridegroom, the Christ.” And then when the disciples see Peter and John walking together in front of the Beautiful Gate…they like the disconnected bones in Ezekiel
    come together and start walking the talk with them Acts 3:1-2.

  3. Philip North

    To quote a certain phrase, “Many do not have the Bible in their heads because the do not have their heads in the Bible.”

  4. Pingback: Thinking About Our Eternal Future — ThePreachersWord | SF ONLINE OUTREACH

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