Eternity, Judgement, And Mission

Eternity is a mind-numbing concept to fathom or explain. How can a finite mind using finite words and finite concepts even begin to unravel the mystery of the infinite? Scripture uses synonyms like everlasting, unending, endless, forever, forevermore, ceaseless, and immortal to convey the notion of eternity. The Bible teaches about eternal life and eternal death, of a glorious heaven and tormenting hell beyond the grave, and of this present temporal age and the eternal age to come.

Eternity is one of the compelling motivations for mission.

Scripture speaks of time, as we know it, coming to an end. Two significant things will happen prior to the end of time, both of which have profound implications regarding where people will spend eternity.

First, Jesus will return to take his people to be with him forever. Every believer will then stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of their lives. On that day, we will see the true eternal impact our lives have made.

Second, there will be the final judgment for every person who does not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. The eternal consequences are extremely serious.

Therefore, how should we respond? Not only must we recapture a fresh sense of imminence and expectation of Jesus’ second coming and the final judgment, but we must recommit ourselves to a life of mission and service. In regard to mission, because we have experienced the grace of God in Jesus, we should share his love and message with others by: the example of our godly lives (2 Peter 2:12), acts of compassion and care (Luke 10:30-37), being advocates for social action (Matthew 5:16) and social justice (Psalm 146:7-9), defending the Gospel and the truth of the Scripture (2 Peter 3:15), testifying to others of our salvation (Acts 1:8), and discipling new believers (Matthew 28:19-20).   

May we also dedicate ourselves afresh to the work of global and cross-cultural mission, so that those who have never heard may hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Eternity is real; it is irreversible and inescapable. May we do what we can, when we can, to whom we can, to further the unfinished task of global mission until that day.

Amy Carmichael, Irish missionary to India, once wrote, “We shall have all eternity to celebrate the victories, but we have only the few hours before sunset in which to win them.”

2 Comments

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    Nic Birt
    10th March 2018

    Eternity is unfathomable; we simply cannot imagine infinity. However the life we presently experience is our present portion of eternity. Our eternity is defined by our would view; it is defined by what we believe. If we believe in the primacy of love we put ourselves in tune with God’s good creation. If we believe in saving our Self we become a discord in creation. When suffering comes, love will endure all things, but Self suffers torment. A focus on love builds the kingdom of God and lives in unity with God in his good creation.

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    Chris Brittain
    10th March 2018

    Great reminder Bruce I think it was Leonard Ravenhill who prayed “Lord stamp eternity on my eyeballs” in other words help me to see everything through the lens of eternity and live in light of that
    Yes indeed all eternity to enjoy the victories but only hours to win them!
    I cant help wondering if perhaps you meant 1 Peter 3.15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” instead of 2 Peter 3.15 “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him”

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