The first fact is absolutely indisputable, because we all know how fleeting time is and that the many things we have accumulated will be left behind. Our life is also impermanent. It has been set for man to die, and therefore we have no permanent home here. This gives us sufficient reason to think of eternity because it is a reality.
Just as there is life, there is also death, and just as there is time, there is also eternity. Unfortunately, very few people are concerned with eternity. Many even rebel against this thought. They consider eternity to be an invented fable. Many believe that there is nothing after death, so why even think about eternity? With this explanation, many people rest easy, but they do not find the hoped-for rest. Human opinion can never give someone real certainty, especially if it is contrary to the teaching of the Word of God. God’s Word speaks clearly about eternity, and this word “eternity” makes people uncomfortable and gives them pause for thought.
Among the travelers on a passenger ship was a courageous man of faith. He took the opportunity to distribute gospel tracts among the travelers. While doing this, he had set his sights on a particularly conspicuous scoffer. When he offered him a tract, the man hastily took it from his hand, tore it up, and threw it overboard. But the wind blew back the little scraps of paper, and one got caught on his coat. The man took it and read the words, “God and Eternity.” He could not rid himself of these words. After having to think about these words constantly for some time, he came to the conclusion that God and eternity are serious realities.
We all approach eternity willingly or unwillingly. Despite being fearful and anxious about eternity, eternity is a fact. One does not fight and argue against something that is not there. Eternity can be just as little explained away as God Himself, and therefore one should seriously deal with both.
Our time has a distinct end. Looking to this end, John states in Revelation 10:5-6: “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer.”
Where time ends, eternity begins for me and for you! Despite its millennia, time is only a small fraction of eternity. It is like a small island of sand in the sea, whose shores are washed away more and more until it is completely submerged. In this way, time also enters eternity and carries us daily towards it. How do we respond to the coming eternity?
Eternity has two realms. Just as time has day and night, so eternity has a place of light and a place of darkness. It speaks of a place of rest and delight for the godly and a place of terror and torment for the wicked.
This fact is clearly depicted in Luke 16:19-31 in the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. Faced with this reality, the question forces itself upon us: “Where will I be in eternity?” Dear reader, seriously consider this question in your heart, for you, too, are a pilgrim traveling to eternity and have no abiding home here!
Jesus said to His disciples: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Does this also comfort your heart in view of eternity?
We have to be prepared for eternity. Hebrews 13:20-21 says: “Now may the God of peace…make you complete in every good work to do His will, and working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever.” Therefore, surrender your life to God, become a disciple of Jesus, and allow yourself to be formed and prepared according to the will of God. In this way, eternity will not fill you with fear and anxiety but with hope and joy!