Summary: Today we are continuing our series entitled “AfterLife”…looking at what God wants us to realize about our ultimate existence…about eternal life.
What Will Eternity Be Like? (Part 2)
Brad Bailey – May 11, 2014
Today we are continuing our series entitled “AfterLife”…looking at what God wants us to realize about our ultimate existence…about eternal life.
I want to begin sharing a gravestone epitaph. Epitaphs usually say something about the person who chose them. This one is on a grave in London, England…and I am confident was written by overworked mother. It reads:
“Weep not for me, friend
Though death do us sever
I am going to do nothing
Forever and ever.”
The idea of rest certainly sounds good to a lot of us …but if you are an activist the idea of being idle forever sounds horribly boring…a little nap yes…but eternal rest or sing-alongs…doesn’t sound like something so satisfying.
If we are honest, many of us may imagine heaven without the challenges that make us feel alive… without the attachments that make life meaningful… without the tastes of sin that make it flavorful…. and without the earthly vices that offer us comfort.
I believe that says a lot more about how deprived our nature is than what eternity holds for us.
We are so attached to our little activity and vices…and comforts….that we can’t imagine anything a whole new level of satisfaction.
Similarly many people today have become quite cavalier in regards to their eternal destiny. As they look at religious people…often uptight or self-righteous…they find consolation in their friends who try hard to have a good time and determine, “If my friends are going to be in hell…I’d rather party in hell with my friends.”
Such a cavalier approach neither understands hell, nor heaven.
There is indeed a party that awaits us, but it’s not in hell, it’s in heaven.
Jesus began one of his stories about heaven saying,
Matthew 22:2 (NIV)
"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
When God’s reign is revealed in it’s fullness… it is like a wedding feast. A wedding feast was the event a father showed all his love and blessing into.
It is the party of a lifetime… days of celebration.
Unlike modern cultures in which the son or daughter now left home…the bride would be moving in and all would live in the father’s household…in this case…the king’s household.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus loved a party…got in trouble for having too much fun with sinners…sinners who found joy of forgiveness and were willing to follow him.
> The point is that something wonderful is at hand.
Jesus spoke of “this age” and “the age to come.” In “this age” Jesus said, people marry, are given in marriage and die.” he said. In ‘that age”…the age to come… there is a whole new freedom of life. The age to come is not governed by the boundaries of this age. The possibilities for human life are not contained in the assumption of “this age.
> Eternity could best be described by Freedom…a freedom we have never known before
Last week we caught a glimpse of the freedom that awaits us - a new heaven and earth (Rev.21: 4). Let’s look further into what eternity will be like.
1 John 3:1-2 (NLT)
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! …Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.
In these words we are told that what we can understand is limited. It’s what gives me caution when we become too drawn into speculation and sentimental thinking. It’s what gives me caution about presuming that every story of someone nearly dying and visiting heaven is necessarily such an experience. But these words also remind us that we are God’s children…and that we will be like Christ…the risen Christ. And in truth God has given us some clear truth about eternity to realize.
What will eternity be like?
Romans 8:22-23 (NIV)
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Anybody groaning?…I may still have a lot of years on earth…but every year…I find myself more ready for a trade in.
The first thing to realize is that…
1. Our future eternity is one of UNRESTRICTED BODIES!
Paul says every groan is a reminder we are not home. Listen to what he tells us…