Summary: Eternity Now
Good morning church. It is a thrill for me to be here this morning – Michele and I have been out of the pulpit for three weeks now – and had the privilege of ministering in a number of different situations in South Africa – and then in the Outer Banks last weekend. But you know what – there is no place like home. It is good to be back. We missed each one of you – and thought much about you. Thank you for all the cards and the greetings we received while we were away – and thank you especially to those who took up the responsibilities in my absence. Especially I want to thank Gary for being at the helm in my absence, as well as Terry and Mark who picked up so much of the responsibility along with Gary.
So once again – good morning church. I honor you for honoring our Lord by being here this morning. How many of you know that faithfulness always looks good on God’s people – because when you are faithful you remind the world that that is what your Daddy is like. As a matter of fact, when you are faithful it makes me think that you are a bit of a Daddy’s boy or a Daddy’s girl – and I know that Daddy has a special place in His heart for children like that.
Amen! This morning please open your Bibles with me to the book of Ecclesiastes and the third chapter – God has given me something profound for us this morning that will, I believe, significantly change the way we look at and experience life – if we do it. Church – I said if we do it.
What God has given me is profound – but I am going to be speaking rather concisely – I do not want to clutter the simplicity of this truth with unnecessary words. My title is Eternity Now.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”
What is eternity?
Eternity – timelessness
Eternity – time without end
These are mutually contradictory definitions – the one definition says that eternity means no time – and the other that there is so much time it has no end.
What if in describing an airplane the dictionary gave two definitions?
An engine driven vehicle with wings that is able to fly
An engine driven vehicle with wings that is not able to fly
Then I realized this – people are actually not sure what eternity is.
Job 36:26 “God is so great that we cannot begin to know him. No one can begin to understand eternity.” (LB)
God put it in the heart – not the mind! Why in the heart? Because the human mind is not able to fathom eternity! What is sometimes unreasonable to the mind is reasonable to the heart
God put eternity in your heart – a yearning, a reaching, a compulsion.
So then – what is eternity?
Dictionary Definition – “the state of existence that characterizes the afterlife.”
Eternity is not simply the extension of time (that is immortality) – it is the absence of time.
What’s the point of living for eternity in heaven?
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.”
Eternity is the place in our lives that God desires to inhabit – now!
The deepest need that any one of us has is to experience God, love and life in the context of eternity – now!
Why? Because eternity is the only context in which life makes sense. When eternity is forgotten the temporal and transitionary things in life become a distraction that is both inappropriate and damaging, and the significance of human life suffers.
You see, eternity is not just another word for the hereafter, relegated to some theological nicety found in the sweet by and by. It is a present reality that has the undeniable power to transform who you are and what you do.
Because of the fundamental reality of eternity now, the spiritual is infinitely more significant than the natural, the immortal infinitely more significant than the temporal,
"The things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
Eternity is our source, our destiny, and the fundamental factor that adds significance to our each and every ‘now.
When you live in Eternity Now . . .
1. Your Perspective Changes
I think it changes the way we deal with our faith first- If I accept eternity now, it gives me the freedom to lean more heavily on Gods promises and reach more freely for His Provision.