Can you comprehend never ending? Believing that life after death is never ending, it is wise to press forward in faith writing love stories and preparing for eternity. Seasons of living on earth - with pleasures, problems, and promise beyond understanding - will one day end. Then, eternity begins!
Throughout life, we make choices that determine where we will spend eternity for a never ending life of happiness in heaven or torment in hell! So, how many seasons of preparation do you have under your belt? My 260 seasons scroll through my mind, taking me on a sentimental journey of precious memories. Knowing our seasons on earth are waning like the moon shining through my window, fleeting thoughts of when and how I will leave this world surface.
My grandson and I enjoy playing a game of questions and answers and making up songs when I drive him to drum lessons. Connor enjoys games on his phone traveling to Dunn; he turns it off during our meal together and ride home. Our songs and questions bring laughter and a good time together without our cell phones causing us to ride in silence. On a recent trip home, Connor asked if I was trapped in a room, would I rather die with the walls closing in on me vertically or horizontally.
Thoughts of such an agonizing death made me cringe while crying out, “oh my gosh - neither one”!
When I talked to Jesus (yes, we can talk to Jesus and contrary to what naysayers announce on daytime television - Jesus does talk to His children) that night, he knew my thoughts about death. With a peaceful assurance that only comes when Jesus lives inside hearts that trust and obey, dreadful thoughts the enemy could easily magnify were cast away. I chose to concentrate on living and trusting my life in God’s Hands for when my time on earth ends and my forever more begins.
However, we cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything will be just fine when our hearts are not in tune with Jesus. We must believe with hearts pruned and prepared for eternity in heaven where God is.
Connor’s question caused me to reread a book, Driven by Eternity, given to me by Doris McArthur years ago when her church used it for a Bible Study. She walked in Tim’s Gift with book in hand and told me God told her to give it to me! We prayed, she left, and I stood holding her gift - a book filled with perplexing questions and powerful answers that would change my life and cause me to ponder life everlasting with reverent fear and renewed faith!
Connor’s poignant question and the perplexed times in which we live led me to reread the book. In Driven by Eternity, John uses Scripture to explain how critical it is for people to have a mindset focused on eternity. After months of heart stirrings to write this story, I do so in faith that those who read it will be convicted of sinful, passive, lukewarm living, come closer to Christ, slow down, prune packed schedules, stand up for Jesus, let lights shine, and make more time to communicate clearly and cherish a close relationship with the Lord and loved ones.
In closing, sharing passages from Driven by Eternity will hopefully convict readers’ hearts as mine has been. Being cleansed by the blood of the lamb and sanctified by the Holy Spirit gives peace, 'for such a time as this'!
“Jesus is coming for a church without spot” (Ephesians 5:27)
James stated that if a Christian wanders from the truth and remains in that state, his soul shall die. John says there is a sin unto death for believers. Jude states, ‘for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.’
Jesus said this about His coming and the judgment. “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching…but if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming, ‘ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.” (Luke 12:37, 45-48)
This is a servant who knew his master's will yet did something contrary to it. Bitterness can open the door to defilement when harbored in hearts. For this reason, we read of God’s people “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)
The greatest trap for pulling people away from their walk with God is unforgiveness. In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the parable of a great king who forgave a servant whose debt was ten thousand talents (ten thousand talents of gold would be worth roughly fourteen billion dollars. Jesus made the point that the servant owed a debt he could never pay. Yet, when his huge debt was forgiven, he later refused to forgive one of his servant’s smaller debts. In Matthew 18, the Master called the man a wicked servant who had been forgiven his debt but refused to show compassion on his fellow servant as God had shown to him…”And his master was angry and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Bitterness almost always leads to anger and offense toward God. The person’s faith becomes defiled, and if there is no repentance and forgiveness, their end will be fatal. The unforgiving servant now has to pay the unpayable debt he is required to, which is impossible. This is the debt Jesus paid at Calvary.
Jesus said in another account: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25
Jesus says, “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:26)
The writer of Hebrews emphatically tells us to carefully examine ourselves and let go of any form of bitterness, for by it many are defiled. Now, we can understand Jesus’ words concerning the latter days of the church.
He says, ‘Many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another… And because lawlessness will abound, the LOVE of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:10, 12-13)
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way… (2Timothy 3:16 NLT)”
Comprehending eternity in a place - where God is not - would be an eternal nightmare. ‘For such a time as this’, may we all make things right in our hearts, release bitterness, forgive and go forth with the calling on our lives, enjoy a close relationship with our Father and family, and be prepared to leave this world and head to heaven at any given moment. When our time here is done and we stand before the Master, may we hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”!
Then, we can celebrate never ending life in a place called heaven...where God is!