That which is eternal

by brother Jeff

Things which are eternal

•   God Himself (and all which pertains to personal relationship and covenant with the Lord) is everlasting

Psalm 90:1-2   
Lord, You have been our dwelling place through all generations.
2  Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

God is eternal.

Seek & pursue God and you will begin learning the heart & ways of the Lord Who is eternal.

•   God's Word (the Bible) will never pass away

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

God's Word is eternal.

The Bible and each of the Holy Spirit's communication(s) to man include a wide repertoire of many glimpses into the eternal.  Above all, this means God speaking to us commonly & beautifully through scripture. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The Holy Spirit also creatively complements & confirms the inerrant scripture through various related insights, revelations, prophecies, songs, visions, dreams, impartations of truth & experience from the Holy Spirit - all unveiling the Lord's truth, reality & eternal character and purpose.  The Lord's goal is to bring us into an eternal relationship with Him & keep us there forever through covenant.  

Also, the Word is more than the written scriptures. 

Jesus Himself (the Son of God) is the Eternal Word. 

John 1     The Deity of Jesus Christ
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  5 The Light shines in the darkness...10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him... 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name... 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The eternal Word is expressed in Jesus' life, example & teachings.  And His personal Presence in our lives.

John 5:39-40
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 but you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

Put false books aside & get deeper into God's Word (the Bible) and you will begin drinking deep of that which is eternal.

•   Love lasts forever
And God is Love. His love endures forever.

Love impacts people with the eternal.

1 Corinthians 13:8-14:1

Psalm 136

Jeremiah 31:3
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."

What we share, give & pour out to others, based on the love of God can have longlasting, even eternal, effects.
Most humans, however, including religious people & churchgoers often don't even know what love is, let alone have the capacity to extend love to anyone.  To know love you have to know God, the real God.  Jesus Himself exemplifies love.

Real love comes from God and touches eternity.  Get in the flow of Love and you will begin sowing toward that which is eternal.

•   People (and, especially, Christ-centered relationships) are eternal

Matthew 25:41, 46

Matthew 25:41
Then He will also say to those on His left, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the
eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels!"

Matthew 25:46
46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

After death every person will "wake up" in eternity.  For those who believe, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

There are only two destinations:  heaven or hell.  There never was a purgatory.   No one (in their inmost being) has ever ceased to exist.  Physical death affects only the body (the outward shell).  The soul & spirit of each person remains eternal.  Regardless of destination, all people of all nations and all ages will continually remain fully conscious and cognizant - wherever they end up. 

•   Heaven & hell are eternal places

Matthew 24:12-13;
Matthew 25:34, 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31
Salvation is a gift we best keep in sight & in our bank account by standing firm in faith & following Jesus.  Salvation is by grace and truly is a gift from God, not by works.  It can't be earned.  Nevertheless, Jesus taught clearly that we must stand firm (in faith, continuing to follow the Lord all the rest of our lives) - to the end to actually be found still holding on to this gracious gift.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Matthew 24:12-13
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the man who
stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew 25:34, 41, 46
34  Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world."

41 Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the
eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

46 Then they will go away to
eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

There is no appeal that can spring someone out of hell.  Once there always there.  There is no second chance or any end to the prison sentence.  Those who enter heaven or hell stay there forever, and also remain fully conscious, aware & alert, permanently cognizant.  Experiencing all which surrounds them.

Hell is like a lifetime
prison sentence, with no chance ever for release or pardon.  Forgiveness & salvation can only be received while here on earth.  From hell there is no exit, no relief or sentence endpoint.  Eternal means forever.   Hell is described as darkness, outer blackest  darkness, everlasting punishment, eternal fire, weeping, gnashing of teeth & many things worse!

Citizens of heaven feel & experience God's Presence, see Jesus, behold the Lamb, experience, see, hear & sense every aspect of eternal joy on the deepest & highest level.  Everything in the place is about acceptance, belonging, love, forgiveness, a restored perfection which far exceeds even the garden of Eden.  This is the place believers immigrate to.

When a person's sin, lack of repentance & faith leads to a judging sentence, they receive what their sin deserves.  There will never be an appeal or any hearing or second chance.

Hebrews 9:27
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.  

King James Version

"It is appointed unto men once to die, then to face judgment."
NIV classic (v1980-2010)

There never was a purgatory. That is an extra-Biblical religious fabrication.

The truth is:  "Where the tree falls, there it will lay (immoveable & unchangeable forever)."   There are only two places for the tree to fall: either heaven or hell. 

Both heaven & hell are permanent assignments, eternal, never ending, eternal.

In eternal places, each person experiences all that surrounds them in that place.  This will remain forever their eternal destination.

Eternity is unendingly long, and leads to a permanent, unchangeable reside for each person in one of two places. Heaven or hell.  Matthew 25:34, 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31 describe in detail.

Luke 16:19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ "

Jesus was describing the fate of those who refuse to believe in the resurrection of Christ.  One forever place (being with Jesus in paradise) is called heaven. Heaven is characterized by indescribable joy and blessing such as men have never known on earth.

Psalm 16:11
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore!

The other, equally permanent, reside is full of (deserved and) indescribable judgment: horrible torments, an eternal myriad of unending agonies. Bearing the brunt of deserved punishment for the sin, pride & rejection of God's offer of salvation.  This is what it's like to be cut off forever from the Lord, separated from His offered love and grace, suffering the deadly result of our sin & unbelieving choice.  Hell is about suffering because of being forever separated from God, without Him, the One we shunned, forever.

Jesus told us of these eternal places in Matthew 25. Christ also revealed that hell was originally meant only for the devil and his (fallen) angels.

To the blessed contrary, he who stands firm (loving and holding to Jesus), to the end, shall be saved (will inherit an eternal reward).

Matthew 24:12-13
Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love
(for God, for the truth & for righteousness) will grow cold.
13 But he
(the man) who endures (stands firm) to the end, he will be saved.

It is time to take
hell seriously & pursue the God of Heaven.  To realize that heaven & hell are real places.  Hell is a real & present danger.  "It is appointed unto men once to die.  And then to face judgment."  Our priorities must change and we must realize it is time to begin seeking that which is eternal.

Relationships. These form the very heart of God's kingdom. And His kingdom (where He rules and bears fruit) is within us (within the hearts and lives of His people, those who believe). He (the eternal God) reigns in the midst of our relationships, lives and the assemblies of people He calls His own. And His Word and love will never pass away.

Likewise, the Bible reveals that when people step into eternity each person will experience either eternal rewards or eternal judgment.

•   Eternal rewards (which are for those who believe and faithfully serve & follow Jesus)

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

•   Eternal judgment (which begins with permanent, eternal separation from God) 
Eternal judgment is the ultimate consequence only reserved
for rebels, proud mockers of Christianity, blasphemers who oppose the Bible, unrepentant sinners and Christ-rejecting unbelievers.

Isaiah 59:1-2
Hell is eternal separation from God

1  Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.
2  But your iniquities
(sins, transgressions) have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear
(even if you vainly wished after death to fix that problem).

Eternal judgment leads men, women & children to experience never-ending (non-appeal-able) consequences.  Wherein they receive (very) deserved penalties, including both everlasting punishment & eternal damnation, shut out from God's presence forever, in a place of torment, darkness, punishment more than can be described.

Look forward to heavenly reward.  Let that motivate you to give your utmost for His highest.  And pursue God's priorities as your own.  Do what Jesus says in His Word.  Obey the Lord's commandments.  Make ministry to others a higher priority.  Your investment of time will redirect in heavenly directions.  You will begin to do more the things that Jesus did.  And someday you will reap an eternal reward.

•   Not much of anything on earth is eternal

1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God
lives forever.

Part 2
A focus on eternity - a transformed life full of love for God & love for our neighbor

Focusing our lives on the eternal multiplies fruitfulness.  We consecrate each moment to God, seeking Him in prayer.  We then experience more of Jesus, become filled with the love of God and grow in supernatural gifts to share the Word of God. 

The eternal Word and the eternal God are to be chief cornerstones in each relationship we have

God is calling us to segue from the temporal to the eternal.

Jesus taught we need to carry out two levels of love relationship: with God and one another

Mark 12 explains keeping God's top two commandments focuses our lives upon: 
A.  Love for God
B. Love for our neighbor

Mark 12:28-31
One of the scribes
(religious teachers) came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  

We should realize how important this two tier love focus is. 

Love for God motivates us to worship, draw near to God, walk with Christ, follow His Word.  We love God more & yearn to honor God with every aspect of our lives. 

Love for our neighbor empowers us to unselfishly serve, help, minister to others.  We share the word of God with compassion. 

God's greatest commandments lead to more loving relationships & the pursuit of closeness to God.

Romans 5:5
The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.

God's love builds churches, marriages & families, empowers discipleship and evangelism. 

Faith works amazing things in our lives through love. 

We build relationships, with Jesus at the center.  Mark 12 lights our way.

I believe Jesus will truly lead us toward that which is eternal, as we listen to His Spirit, imitate His life and follow His ways.

Much of the eternal comes down simply to seeking & knowing God, living the teachings of the Bible, building Christ-centered relationships with people.  In these we invest: love, prayer, heavenly communications (like: witnessing/evangelism, testimony, encouragement, exhortation, prophecy, teaching & more).

 Try to center each day, each relationship, each conversation you have toward expressing the love of God, sharing the Word of God.  Talk about heaven, keep in mind the importance of eternal reward.

Our relationships (following the Lord's design) can connect to the eternal, store up heavenly treasure, build a road toward eternity. Lead people to salvation.  Each relationship in life should come sit at Jesus' feet & feed upon the bounty of His banqueting table.

All eternity can be affected by how we invest and live our lives today.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I
(the Shepherd, Christ) came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly (experience life to the full).

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The eternal God wishes to snatch us from our earthbound temporal focus and turn our eyes toward the joyous realm of the eternal. To lead us to eternal reward where everlasting joy crowns our heads. To help us know & become betrothed to Jesus, the heavenly Bridegroom.  Where life becomes more filled with laughter and joy runs deep. We are called to bear fruit, to reflect the image of Jesus through all that we do.  Christ can bear in us fruit that will last.

Galatians 5:22-23

John 15:1-8
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 
Remain (abide) in Me, as I also remain (abide) in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain (abide) in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain (abide) in Me.

5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up,
thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain (abide) in Me and my words remain (abide) in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


"Oh, Lord, teach us to number our days aright" and help us to walk in the light of eternity.  We truly want to live our lives so as to sow toward that which is eternal.

God is eternal.  "From everlasting to everlasting the Lord is God!" Psalm 90

Walking in the light of eternity!

One key to deepening our lives in eternal things is first realize what little time we have!

Psalm 39:4-7
"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath.  7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You."

Lord, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am."

"Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."

"Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more."

“Teach me, O Yahweh, about the end of my life. Teach me about the number of days I have left so that I may know how temporary my life is."

“O Lord, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!"

Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and
lead me in the way everlasting.

I've enjoyed writing this for you. This message shares a focus of life I personally have sought to live with great determination for many years.  It's not always easy.  This focus is very different than the ways of the world.  The Lord's ways are higher than ours.  His truth is worth living.  God's ways are best.  And the reward of eternal life validates every sacrifice we make.

It is time for us to refocus our schedule, rearrange our priorities, abandon earth's shallow pursuits.
And seek God and those things which are eternal.

- brother Jeff


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