Nobody lives forever! It’s a common phrase, but we at Q4 couldn’t disagree more! All of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, state plainly and often that we are eternal beings. In addition, it states that our lives on earth “are like a vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes” (James 4:14, CSB). When you look at these truths in conjunction, the resulting reality is that our eternal lives have far greater significance.
Yet the world in which we live continually bombards us with messaging that claims the opposite.
- Get it now!
- You only live once!
- Cast off restraint!
Those messages would make sense if there was no eternity. And many do choose to live this way because they truly believe that their life on earth is all there is.
In contrast, if, as believers in Jesus, we believe we are eternal beings, how should that influence our earthly lives? The Apostle Peter asked a similar question when he wrote, “what kind of people ought you to be” (2 Peter 3:11)? Being willing to wrestle with questions such as this helps ensure the choices we make adequately reflect what we believe. In short, when we believe we are eternal beings, our lives are to reflect it.
Perhaps you’re now asking, “Well, how?” If you are, I rejoice that you recognize the importance of this issue. Thankfully, Peter continues in his letter by providing an answer. “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its approaching” (2 Peter 3:11-12). So how is this done?
A good starting place is to weigh all our decisions in light of the truth of God’s Word. And doing so while maintaining an openness to God’s voice and choosing to live fully for Him. Living with wholehearted devotion to Jesus doesn’t mean we become monks and move into a monastery. But it DOES instruct us to present ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). It DOES instruct us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). And it also reminds us that we are living among multitudes who will spend eternity separated from God. As believers, we have ALL been commissioned to go into the world and preach the gospel, making disciples of all who are willing (Matthew 28:19-20).
Friends, it’s so easy to lose hold of an eternal perspective. When we’re young, our lives can be easily consumed with the busyness of our schedules. Building careers, parenting children, and handling the never-ending needs of a household. The “here and now” commands our attention, and time, as well as our physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. If we are comfortable financially, it can allow us to acquire the many things and experiences money can afford. As we’ve addressed previously, our possessions can also tie our hearts and minds to earthly matters over the eternal. The people and things that vie for our focus and attention may change as we age, but the way to develop and maintain an eternal perspective is ALWAYS the same.
God’s Word IS true, and we WILL live forever. Furthermore, how we choose to live in this life, WILL impact our eternity – and that of others. Will you allow the truths of God’s Word to continue – or perhaps even begin – to give you an eternal perspective? I promise that as you seek to know Him more through His Word, that is living and active, your perspective WILL shift to eternal things. Perhaps the old hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, written by Helen Lemmel, says it best.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Friends, the more we see and experience His glory and grace, the more our lives will be about storing up treasures in heaven. “Where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). Will you purpose today, to live with eternity in mind, and encourage others to do the same?