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. (Eccl. 3:11).
Dear loved ones, Blessings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who is ever faithful, Amen!
I am super excited to be interacting with you once again about our Christian journey on this earth. The year is fast running out and I believe we have been blessed with the issues we have dealt with so far with the help of the Holy Spirit.
This weekend, let’s with the help of the Holy Spirit again delve into matters of Heaven, Hell and Eternity. Next month if the Lord tarries, we will also attempt to get an understanding of the important doctrine of “Eternal Security.”
Life after Death
All religions, I believe, allude to some kind of ‘rest’ after death. Questions such as: is there life after death, what happens after death, where do you go when you die, what is eternal life, how do I know for sure that when I die I will go to heaven? Mine oh mine, countless of questions that plaque the thoughts of man day in day out.
So the big issue is ‘why does the question of eternity bother us so much?’ Shouldn’t it be that when we die, that’s the end? After all who cares? Why should we be bothering ourselves with what happens or does not happen in the land of the dead? The good old Book, the Bible gives us the perfect answer in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “…He has planted eternity in the human heart…” (NLT). Beloved, what this implies is that in the soul of every human being is that God-given awareness that there is “something more” than this transient world.
Now permit me to pose a question and be honest with your answer. Are there not those moments when we deeply desire or feel that we do not have to die but rather live forever and forever? For some people it happens when they are having the best times in their lives and for others it may just be a normal feeling. You just wish this world and this life never comes to an end. You want to live and see your father, mother, brothers and sisters, children, cousins, friends and other loved ones for as long as possibly imaginable. I have felt this way several times. Sometimes, just by looking at my sisters, I sigh deeply and say to myself, how I wish we will remain like this forever with no issue of death to deal with in the future.
Dear one that is the eternity that the Lord has planted or set in your heart. Now, let’s take a closer look at the scripture. “In the heart” is an expression that represents the mind, soul or spirit of each person. “Eternity” is a state of infinity or time without end. The verse in Ecclesiastes confirms the idea that human beings operate in different ways than other forms of life. We have a sense of wanting to live forever in our lives. We possess an innate knowledge that there is something more to life than what we can see and experience in the here and now.
The seasons of the times are well documented by the Teacher in Chapter 3: 1-8 of Ecclesiastes and he aptly contrasts the seasons.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
But more importantly in verse 9, the question is posed: What do workers gain from their toil? The answer pops up in verse 10: I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race (NIV).
Dearly beloved it’s all a burden. It is all vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2). But, through all the ups and downs and the vicissitudes of life, there is a glimpse of stability— “God has planted eternity in the human heart.” James 4:14 says “Life is but a vapour”, but for us as believers, we know there is something more, something past this life. We have a divinely planted awareness that our souls will live forever in eternity.
Jim Reeves says it much better in the lyrics to his song “This World Is Not My Home”. According to him,
“we are just a-passing through,
our treasures are laid down for us somewhere beyond the blues.
The angels beckon us, from heaven’s open door
and therefore we can’t feel at home in this world anymore”.
When I analyse the lyrics of this song against what the Bible teaches in the Book of Revelation, it makes so much sense. The minute or moment you come to the knowledge of what God has in store for us in the New Jerusalem, I tell you that your deepest and foremost desire will be to escape the decay of this world and be with Jesus in Heaven. The sense of urgency will be that YOU WANT TO DIE THIS VERY MINUTE. Believe me on this one, you would not want to exist for another minute on this earth. I stand together with the Teacher in proclaiming that this world is all vanity upon vanity.
I believe that at this stage you have become more alert and ready to find out what I have to share with you. So let’s do it this way, imagine us seated in the comfort of a plane getting ready for a flight to wherever is your dream destination or better still mine. (Let me share a secret with you. I would love to spend my honeymoon – essentially the ‘beginning’ of my life in Mauritius, then the great Grand Canyon in Arizona when life is gradually drawing to a close for me.)
As we begin this all important journey of understanding the Christian Life and Eternal matters, I urge you to pray and ask The Holy Spirit to give you a deeper understanding. Ultimately, every person will live in eternity somewhere. You need to make a choice where you want to spend yours and ultimately, wisdom to ensure that you remain with the choice you have made to be with Christ.
We will begin by looking at eternal live as against eternal death; the first resurrection and the second death and end with finding out what can qualify us to enter heaven or hell.
And now a teaser: “Is there life after death?”
The existence of life after death is a universal question. Countless of people from all walks of life and religions have attempted to give an opinion on this one. Biblically, there is life after death. Indeed, death is only a transition.
Job in the Bible, states “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure… if a man dies, will he live again? (Job: 4:1-14).
Make a date with me next week and pray that the Lord himself will guide you into all truths.
The Saving Grace
…with Akpene Sabah