The Encouragement of Eternity

Grace For The Journey

16Jan  What encourages you to live for the glory of God and the good of others?  If your answer is anything less than the encouragement of eternity, you are settling for less than God’s best for you.

C. S. Lewis rightly observed, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” 

The Bible flatly states in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”

Don’t be mistaken: the Bible is NOT implying that non-Christians enjoy a better life on this side of heaven than Christian believers.  Even a believer who is passing through the fiery furnace of affliction always has Christ walking by his or her side, no matter how hot the fire gets (see Hebrews 13:5).  That sweet presence of the Friend who sticks closer than a brother is what makes the believer’s existence on earth infinitely more rich and full than that of the unbeliever.

The Bible’s stark statement in 1 Corinthians 15:9 emphasizes the truth that the best is yet to come.  What good is life on this earth without an eternity with Christ attached to the end of it?  The Bible concisely captures the folly of living for the world instead of the Word: “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’ (1 Corinthians 15:32).  We are broken people living in a broken world; without the encouragement of eternity, we might well live in utter despair . . . for tomorrow we die and return to the dust.

Only the encouragement of eternity will empower us to keep on keeping on when we would rather not.  The Bible commends the faith of Abraham, who, though living in a tent in a land far from his home, “was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10-11)

The letter to the Hebrews exhorts us to think in the same way as our spiritual father Abraham: “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).

God has promised an eternity where there will be no more tears, no pain, or sin, or death.  Every time you recall a portion of your life with pain or regret, it is the promise of eternity that gives you hope..  When you grieve the loss of a loved one, it is the promise of eternity that gives you comfort.  When you are disgusted by your own propensity to sin, it is the promise of eternity that encourages you.  Every time you lay down your own needs for another – every time you take up your cross and follow Christ, it is the promise of eternity you are banking on.

If you have acknowledged you sin, accepted what Jesus has done on the cross and the empty tomb, and asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, even now, God is preparing a special place just for you.  Our Lord has promised it (John 14:2-3).  Lay hold of that promise!  Look forward to it . . . long for it . . . live your life in the light of it every day! When you do, the encouragement of eternity is powerful enough to reassure you and rescue you – not only from broken people, places, and things; it will rescue you from you!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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