(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
“My computer is taking forever!”
(It was 15 seconds.)
“This class will NEVER end.”
(It was 20 minutes.)
“I don’t think my pain will ever end.”
(It was 3 hours.)
“I wish we could stay here forever.”
(A child at Disney world)
“They lived happily ever after.”
(The ending to the latest romantic comedy.)
We have a hard time grasping eternity. Yet we use terminology in our daily language that indicates as humanity we are aware of an eternal reality. Those things we don’t like…we don’t want to last forever. Those things we enjoy…we wish they would last forever.
Did you know that the concept of eternity is a unique aspect of human beings? King Solomon inspired by God’s Spirit wrote this in Ecclesiastes 3:11-14:
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Eternity has been set on the hearts of human beings. If you read the first part of Ecclesiastes 3, it is the list of “a time for this…a time for that…” While events happen in time, there is an awareness of something beyond the bounds of time.
So where did that come from?
Could it be we were created by an eternal God for eternity? I think so. When God made mankind in his image, it certainly seems like having an eternal existence was part of his plan. How do we know?
He put the “Tree of Life” in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God’s intent was that life would be experienced in perfect harmony with him and with each other forever. God even created the human body to live a LONG time (Adam lived 930 years!) However, in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve lost the perfection with which they were created and lost access to the Tree of Life in the Garden.
Was this an act of punishment or kindness?
Genesis 3:22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
God didn’t want Adam and Eve to live forever in the sinful state of their earthly existence. Yet eternity was not lost as a concept. It was embedded on the hearts of humanity. That would not and is not going away.
We will live forever…the question is whether it will be with the Lord or apart from the Lord.
Tomorrow we’ll explore that question.
Apply: Have you ever noticed “eternity on your heart”? What do you think the experience of eternity will be like?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for putting in our awareness the reality of eternity. We ask that as you intended us to live forever in a perfect harmony with you and each other, you would allow us to experience that in heaven because of your Son Jesus. AMEN.