Summary: How can we be sure to experience eternity and live now so we will enjoy that eternity beyone what has been given to us.
The Challenge of Eternity
Experiencing Eternal Life in the future, means building on an eternal foundation now
Building on Jesus Christ as our foundation is Solid and Eternal
Building on anything else as our foundation is Sandy and Temporary
Enjoying Eternal Rewards in the future, means building with eternal materials now
Building with gold, silver and costly stones
means doing things with Divine wisdom and power
Building with wood, hay or straw
means doing things with Human wisdom and power
Man has been created for an eternity and I believe that God places that knowledge and longing inside each of us.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has “set eternity in the hearts of men.”
And the author of Hebrews tells us that many are “held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:15)
There is a fear of death because many believe that life is only what we experience right now.
Humans long for life and want to avoid death
I believe it is part of our created nature to live.
This is why I believe that even as man has turned away from God, they have sought ways to live longer and even live forever.
There have been people who have had illnesses who, understanding that there is no current cure, who have sought to freeze themselves using cryonics until such a time as man can find a cure for their illness and thus continue living.
Well, I don’t know about you, but there are not too many people that seem to have escaped physical death. I only know of One in history and we celebrate His resurrection and eternal life every week. And on Easter, we are going to talk about why we should believe in and what evidence supports the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
But other than Him, physical death has been reigning since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden. But even though physical death has come into the world through sin, the Bible tells us that humans have still been created in the image of God, and that we have been created to live for an eternity.
The question that is laid out in the Bible is where will you spend that eternity.
According to God’s word, we have 2 and only 2 options.
We spend that eternity with the God of the universe conscious and eternally living or
We spend that eternity separated from God, conscious but eternally dying.
This morning we are going to face the Challenge of Eternity.
We are going to talk about what the Bible has to say about how we can
experience that life eternally living with the God of all creation
enjoy that life even beyond the incredible gift that has been given us
Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (P.808)
We are going to look at what Paul says to the Corinthians as He reminds them of the things he taught them concerning how we experience and enjoy eternal life.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
When Paul talks about being saved, in the last verse, he is talking about the eternal life that we will experience.
When he says saved, he means that you will spend that eternity with the Lord.
Those who are not saved spend eternity in hell, apart from the Lord.
It is the same thing Jesus talks about in John 3:16-17
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Being saved is being saved from being separated from God for eternity and being able to experience eternal life.
So what does Paul say how we can experience this salvation, this eternal life?
Well, he tells us that