We’ve all been there, the meeting that seems to never end, the traffic jam that shows no promise of opening up, the sermon that has a hard time getting to the finish. In our own little ways, we experience moments that seem to be everlasting, and they are not usually shackled to joy.
These moments may seem to go on forever, but have you ever stopped to think about what everlasting really is? Is it even possible to grasp it? In all of our greatest imagination, can we fathom what it means to live in a place where there is no end to time?
Tied to time here on earth, we are left to our imaginings when it comes to living forever, yet that is what we, as believers in Jesus Christ, have to look forward to. One day we will stand with Christ never to die, never to be lost to history, never to wish we would have done more with our lives.
Deuteronomy 33:27 tells us that, “The eternal God is a dwelling place. And underneath are the everlasting arms.” As believers, we will dwell with God under His love and protection forever and ever. As His children, we will enjoy eternity under the watchful eye of our Heavenly Father who will guide our days forevermore. “But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children” (Psalm 103:17).
I remember as a child fearing the word everlasting. I imagined heaven as one big church service that would go on forever. I thought of angels that never stopped shouting their Hosannas and saints constantly on their knees in worship. To a ten year old, that doesn’t sound very appealing.
But as I matured in faith, I came to see the beauty in everlasting. I came to cherish John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” as a promise of everlasting peace won for us out of a love we could never imagine.
That is the promise for all believers, but for those who resist the Holy Spirit’s calling, they will find that their everlasting life only holds the promise of regret. Forever they will be separated from God in full knowledge of what could have been. They will have missed out on everlasting joy, eternal peace and endless love. As much as we can’t imagine the joy of everlasting life in the company of Christ, we resist wanting to imagine the terror of forever being without Him.
God, in His Word, makes it clear, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him” (John 3:36). It is the one requirement that we must abide in, that we believe in the only Son of God for our salvation. There is no grey area, there are no excuses. Only those who put their faith and trust in the Savior will come to understand just what everlasting love, peace and joy feels like. Only those who surrender their lives to Jesus Christ can hope to one day be with Him in everlasting glory. This certainty should lead us both to want to strengthen our relationship with God and to help others come to the truth.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:35-40).
This is a promise both to you and to all others who believe. This is what we as Christians place our hope in. This is the truth the world needs to know so that they too may pass from this valley of tears to an everlasting life where the trials of this life are no more.
Can you make that commitment today, the one that will lead you to life everlasting? God invites you to be with Him forever in a place where there is no more weeping or gnashing of teeth, where love envelopes you and where peace is so pure that it becomes you.
Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47). Come to know your Savior. Believe that He has prepared a place for you. Come to trust in His Word to never leave you or forsake you from everlasting to everlasting. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father give us the strength to trust in you in all things. Help us resist the worldly enticements all around us that only serve to separate us from you, and build us up in faith to serve you forevermore. Amen.