“…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end…”
Physically speaking, there was a time when we were not, but spiritually there will never be a time when we will not – be! The ultimate remaining question is where will we be? This eternal question is often either avoided or mistakenly considered unanswerable. However, Biblically afterlife’s two promised destinations urgently call us to make the right decision. Ultimately, everyone will experience the positive or negative impact of their personal thinking about eternity. Tragically, for many that vitally needed knowledge may arrive too late to be of any redemptive benefit!
The inescapable dimension of physical death can only temporarily be ignored. Why? Because our brief earthly experience was uniquely designed to prepare us for eternity. Our physical death here and our future eternal existence, are life’s two absolute certainties!
Speaking about everyone’s future, the Bible declares, “…at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Fortunately, neither death nor our future existence throughout eternity are subject to mankind’s thinking or wishful ideas. That misconception is vividly shown in Islam’s sensual man-made teachings about heaven.
Simply stated, continually being after one’s physical death – is the result of being made in God’s image! (See Genesis 1:27) As you read today, you are still alive, therefore you have the great privilege of praising God for His blessings. He has graciously given us the amazing freedom of choosing where and with whom we will spend our tomorrows – forever!
Eternity can either joyfully be experienced within the kingdom of our loving Father or regretfully – tragically endured along with mankind’s cruel enemy. For everyone’s eternity, there is simply no middle ground! The utter waste and heartache of choosing eternal separation from God is vividly described with an urgent warning – given to protect us. God clearly describes how our enemy’s domain and everyone in it will finally be “…plunged into darkness.” (See Revelation 20:10).
To illustrate the unchangeable consequences of those who die without sincere repentance, the Bible says, “Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven…they refused to repent of what they had done.” (Revelation 16:10b-11) Each individual’s final destination is ultimately determined by life’s most important decision!
The fact that humanity will always exist has never been subject to human decision. This is why suicide is an illusion – it can only end what is physical. A close personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ alone provides the lasting freedom which is being universally sought (see John 8:36). He alone is the eternal answer that all mankind is seeking!
Eternity is as permanent as God Himself. Importantly, it is therefore infinitely more timeless than the physical universe. Earthly time has always been temporary! It was divinely designed to terminate. Eternity, in total contrast to physical matter, has always been spiritual – so it effortlessly continues without decay. It uniquely functions outside the realm of human time! Remember that, “…With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
Eternity is the dimension about which the Lord Jesus was speaking of when He amazingly declared, “…before Abraham was born, I Am!” (John 8:58) The deeply misguided Jewish leaders of His own day, nevertheless grasped what He was saying. They knew that He was referring to eternity and specifically identifying Himself as the pre-existent Creator (see John 1:3). That understanding is precisely why they immediately wanted to kill Him! (See John 8:59)
There is no question about diversity regarding salvation. Why? Because no one other than the Lord Jesus Christ ever left heaven and lived a sinless life to be our Savior. He explained, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38) The Bible further explains, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Our loving Savior arrived from eternity, entering human time so He could redeem us for eternity! To acquaint us with His Father’s kingdom He explained, “In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
No religious prophet, priest, scholar, or philosopher has ever claimed to have pre-existed except – Jesus of Nazareth! (See John 3:13) Mankind is therefore left with only one compelling “Yes” or “No” decision! We can either believe what He said about His Father’s kingdom, or we can naively choose to believe our own or someone else’s human opinion about it. If we settle for understanding eternity – as we or someone else imagines it, then we do so at our own peril. Why? Because no one has credible evidence to support their perception of heaven. Only Jesus could speak with authority about what He had seen, experienced, and more importantly – created. (Col. 1:16)
By Billie Hanks Jr.