The Reality of Eternity
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation 1:17-18
Is there really life after death? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the clearest evidence that eternity is real. His resurrection is the basis of our faith and the planned reward of God for our repentance and changed life. If Jesus’ priority was life on earth, he would have abolished our physical death. But eternity was his focus, and proof of living forever was what the resurrection accomplished. He was fully human and actually died. He was not just resuscitated back to life, but resurrected into eternal life. Were it not so, he would be nothing more than any other good religious teacher before or since.
Because of Christ, our physical death is not the end for us. Because he lives, we too shall live. Death is not to be feared. Through his resurrection we know that beyond physical death is a place more wonderful than we can imagine in the presence of God.
Hebrews 5:9 states that “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Jesus came from eternity, and he will bring all those who believe in him to join him in eternal life.
However, we should remember that eternity awaits everybody, but heaven is only for those who have accepted him as Lord and Savior. At the judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), they will hear Christ say, “Come, you who are blessed of my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Others who rejected Christ must face eternal judgment and will hear “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Eternity is real. That reality impacts every area of our lives. Resurrection changes everything. It sets new priorities focusing on the eternal rather than the temporal. It changes the way we raise our children, because their souls are eternal. It changes the way we use our time, for our time on earth is short, while eternity is forever. It changes our values and the importance of earthly things we work to accumulate. As the apostle Peter wrote, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12). It changes the way we value our loved ones and others. Peter also wrote that God is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God doesn’t want to see anybody sent to eternal judgment. Neither should we. His primary concern was to secure our souls for eternal life. It should be ours, too.