Summary: Each of God's children will spend eternity in either Heaven or in Hell.
Text: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned” (John 5:24).
The word “eternal” means everlasting, never-ending, timeless, or ceaseless. How many of you would like to live in these earthly bodies forever? You might say “no” because of the present shape, but you might say “yes” if they were in better shape and were not susceptible to aches, pains, breaks, and so on.
Of course, we know it is not possible for us to live in these bodies because God intended them to be temporary housing for the Holy Spirit.
Scripture tells us “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
Our life comes from God’s Spirit. After the act of disobedience, God said to Adam “…for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). This is evidence from God that these earthly bodies will not last forever.
In the Old Testament, we read about people who lived hundreds of years. For example, Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5); Seth lived 912 years (Genesis 5:8); Methuselah lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), and Noah 950 years (Genesis 9:29).
The human life span declined after the flood. I am talking about the great flood in the days of Noah. Many events happened during the flood that caused havoc upon the face of the earth.
For example, the water vapor above the earth kept the earth warm, but filtered out the harmful radiation of the sun. After the flood, the water vapor shield ceased to exist exposing the earth and all its’ inhabitants to dangerous radiation.
I found a few figures that are interesting. In the year 1850, the average white male could expect to live to be about 38. Then as time moved on to 1900, the life expectancy was 48. As you can see things were getting better.
Jumping right up to 2003, the average white male could live to be the ripe old age of 75. The average life expectancy for a white male now is almost 80 years (77.9 years to be more exact). Female life expectancy is about 5 years longer than men.
There are many factors to take into consideration along these lines. If an individual has a habit of smoking, drinking, taking drugs and so on, of course health issues become involved and life could be cut short.
The point I am getting at is that no one is going to live in their present state eternally. Our own George is 102 years of age. Many of you have passed 85 and 90 years. What is your secret? I would say your secret is you have managed your health relatively well and lived according to God’s Word. What would you say?
I will ask you again this question: Would you want to continue for another 80 or 90 years with the body that you now have or would you rather have it return to dust and go in spirit and live with the Lord? Maybe the Lord will return soon and we won’t have to make a decision.
As Christians, we believe that there is life beyond this present life. Is that true? Jesus spoke of eternity in two different places. Remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus. “The beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). At the time of the beggar’s death, angels came and carried him into Paradise or into Heaven.
God said, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool” (Isaiah 66:1). Heaven is where Jesus resides with all the good angels and all those who have repented of their sins and have invited Him to come and live within their heart. Heaven is where Christians will spend eternity with their Savior.
When Jesus was talking about His return, He said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). Heaven is one place in which we have the opportunity to spend eternity.
In Heaven, we will spend eternity with our Christian family and friends. All of us will be an integral part of God’s family. We will have a deep understanding love for one another.
There will be no more death. There will be no sickness, pain, or agony. There will be no greed, jealously, selfishness, adultery, uncleanness, hatred, or bitterness.
We will be with our immediate family, but more importantly, we will be one big heavenly family. We will be in the family of Christ and we will all have the same Father.
The beggar died and was carried into Paradise or Heaven by the angels. Every Christian who dies will be carried into Heaven by the angels. Those who reject Jesus will spend eternity in another place and that place is called Hell or Hades.