Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

ETERNITY

Our Relationship With God

ETERNITY

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”      John 3:16

If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next (world).  The Apostles themselves who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade—all left the their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.  Aim for Heaven and you will get earth thrown in.  Aim for earth and you will get neither.

                                                                            C. S. Lewis

 

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper (recounting of Don’s 90 minutes of being clinically dead and his experience in heaven):

When I first stood in heaven, they were still in front of me and came rushing toward me. They embraced me, and no matter which direction I looked, I saw someone I had loved and who had loved me. They surrounded me, moving around so that everyone had a chance to welcome me into heaven.

I felt loved—more loved than ever before in my life. They didn't say they loved me. I don’t remember what words they spoke. When they gazed at me, I knew what the Bible means by perfect love. It emanated from every person who surrounded me.

I stared at them, and as I did I felt as if I absorbed their love for me. At some point, I looked around and the sight overwhelmed me. Coming out from the gate—a short distance ahead—was a brilliance that was brighter than the light that surrounded us, utterly luminous. In trying to describe the scene, words are totally inadequate, because human words can't express the feeling of awe and wonder at what I beheld.

The best I can describe it is that we began to move toward that light. No one said it was time to do so, and yet we all started forward at the same time. As I stared ahead, everything seemed to grow taller—like a gentle hill that kept going upward and never stopped. I had expected to see some darkness behind the gate, but as far ahead as I could see, there was absolutely nothing but intense, radiant light.

By contrast, the powerful light I had encountered when I met my friends and loved ones paled into darkness as the radiance and iridescence in front of me increased. It was as if each step I took intensified the glowing luminosity. I didn't know how it could get more dazzling, but it did.

I wasn’t blinded, but I was amazed that the luster and intensity continually increased. Strange as it seems, as brilliant as everything was, each time I stepped forward, the splendor increased. The farther I walked, the brighter the light. The light engulfed me, and I had the sense that I was being ushered into the presence of God. Although our earthly eyes must gradually adjust to light or darkness, my heavenly eyes saw with absolute ease. In heaven, each of our senses is immeasurably heightened to take it all in. And what a sensory celebration!

A holy awe came over me as I stepped forward. I had no idea what lay ahead, but I sensed that with each step I took, it would grow more wondrous.

 

Surely God would not have created such a being as man to exist only for a day! No, no man was made for immortality.   

                                                                              Abraham Lincoln

 

Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us.  We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true.  On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever.

                                                                              Frederick Buechner

 

 

 

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • How does knowing your life is eternal change how you are living your life today?
  • How does a person live in a way that he or she is focused on eternal things and not things that are passing away?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

Additional Quotes

We might think that the 'virtues' were necessary only for this present life--that in the other world we could stop being just because there is nothing to quarrel about and stop being brave because there is no danger. Now it is quite true that there will probably be no occasion for just or courageous acts in the next world, but there will be every occasion for being the sort of people that we can become only as the result of doing such acts here. The point is not that God will refuse you admission to His eternal world if you have not got certain qualities of character: the point is that if people have not got at least the beginnings of those qualities inside them, then no possible external conditions could make a 'Heaven' for them--that is, could make them happy with the deep, strong, unshakable kind of happiness God intends for us.              C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The greatest thought that has ever entered my mind is that one day I will have to stand before a holy God and give an account of my life.       Daniel Webster

The key is realizing--and believing--that this world is not your home.  If you and I ever hope to free our lives from worldly desires, worldly thinking, worldly pleasures, worldly dreams, worldly ideals, worldly values, worldly ambitions, and worldly acclaim, then we must focus our lives on another world....If your life or my life is going to count on earth, we must start by concentrating on heaven.  For then, and only then, will you and I be free to take radical risk, knowing that what awaits us is radical reward.      David Platt, Radical

 

 

                                                       

verses related to this topic

  • Psalm 39:4

    Psalm 39:4

    Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am.

  • Psalm 119:19

    Psalm 119:19

    I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.

  • Ecclesiastes 3:11

    Ecclesiastes 3:11

    He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

  • Matthew 6:20

    Matthew 6:20

    But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

  • John 3:15-17

    John 3:15-17

    “so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

  • John 3:36

    John 3:36

    "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

  • John 4:35-36

    John 4:35-36

    "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together."

  • John 5:24

    John 5:24

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

  • John 12:25

    John 12:25

    "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal."

  • John 14:1-3

    John 14:1-3

    “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

  • John 17:3

    John 17:3

    "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

    1 Corinthians 15:3-6

    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

  • 2 Corinthians 4:18

    2 Corinthians 4:18

    while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  • Galatians 6:8

    Galatians 6:8

    For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

  • Philippians 1:21

    Philippians 1:21

    For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

  • Philippians 3:20-21

    Philippians 3:20-21

    For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

  • Colossians 3:1

    Colossians 3:1

    Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

  • 1 John 2:17

    1 John 2:17

    The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

  • 1 John 5:13

    1 John 5:13

    These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

books related to this topic

  • 90 Minutes in Heaven

    90 Minutes in Heaven

    The book describes the brief but sweet heavenly reunion Piper enjoyed with deceased relatives (as well as his grueling recovery, which has included 34 surgeries).—Publishers Weekly review

  • The Last Battle

    The Last Battle

    This, the final volume of the Chronicles of Narnia, brings everything to a head. This book provides the so-called meaning of life, and gives validity and value to all of the good deeds the children have been trying to do since the first book. Here, the good have their reward. The descriptions in this book (especially the end) are absolutely beautiful, and the finale is wonderfully moving, portraying a glorious picture of what heaven may be like.

  • The Great Divorce

    The Great Divorce

    In The Great Divorce the narrator takes a bus trip to Heaven. He travels with people with a variety of beliefs. When he arrives he realizes he is insubstantial; he, like the other passengers, is a Ghost. They are met by inhabitants of Heaven - Spirits, or Solids - who come to this pickup point to guide them in the new land. The passengers have the opportunity to go back, or to become more substantial here, if they make the rest of the difficult journey. The passengers confront those matters that have gotten in their way to God.

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