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Life is Short, Eternity is Forever

This Life Is Short, Eternity Is Forever
By Mike Gendron

Our life on this earth is so fleeting and temporary compared to the endless ages of eternity. Yet very few consider their lives with an eternal perspective. Instead, there are many who foolishly pursue a life of pleasure, prestige, and power with little regard for what awaits them after death. The Lord Jesus Christ addressed this folly when He said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Mat. 16:26) Why are so many people living for the temporary and so few preparing for eternity?

Preparing for Eternity Is Vitally Important

God does not promise anyone tomorrow. Many have found this out when they were met with tragic, unexpected deaths at the office, a shopping mall, or a church. The certainty of death is unavoidable but it should not be our greatest concern. More sobering is what follows after death. God’s Word warns us “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Our appointment with death comes with an unavoidable judgment. Those whose sins were judged and forgiven at the cross of Christ will experience everlasting joy in heaven, while those who die unforgiven will experience the eternal fires of hell. This is why preparing for eternity is the most important issue to consider in this life. We can be wrong about a lot of things and still survive, but if we are wrong about eternity, we will pay for that mistake forever and ever!

Christ Is Our Only Hope in Life and Death

Man has a serious problem that cannot be dismissed! We have all sinned against our God and Creator, who cannot let the guilty go unpunished (Rom. 3:23; Ex. 34:7). He is majestic in holiness and righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Ex. 15:11; Ps. 97:2). He is also a God of love and mercy and did not leave us in our hopeless and helpless condition. In His infinite wisdom, God devised the one and only way He could save sinners while upholding His holiness, righteousness and justice. As a demonstration of His love, He sent His only Son to die as a substitute for sinners (Rom. 5:8). Jesus was crucified as the perfect sacrifice to satisfy divine justice for sinners. He bore man’s sins, suffered God’s wrath, died in man’s place and was raised on the third day to show divine justice was satisfied. God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). It is for this reason everyone who has trusted Christ alone as their sinless substitute looks to their physical death as a passage into His glorious presence (1 Cor. 15:55-57).

Terrifying News for the Unforgiven

Those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thes. 1:9). Hell is a real place of fiery torment where unforgiven sinners undergo the punishment they deserve for their sins. This eternal punishment is called the second death, where divine justice is meted out forever in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). Unrepentant sinners consciously suffer pain and thirst from an unquenchable fire, and the horror is so great they want to warn their loved ones on earth, but cannot (Luke 16:19-31; Mark 9:43). There is weeping and gnashing of teeth because the eternal state of God’s just punishment is irreversible; there is no second chance, no escape, no hope, no rest, and no relief (Luke 13:28; 2 Thes. 1:8-9).

Only Two Things Are Eternal

Soon after I finished seminary, God’s Word impressed upon me a compelling truth that gave me a new purpose for living. I realized there are only two things in this life that are eternal: the souls of men and the Word of God. Everything else will be burned up by fire (2 Pet. 3:10-12). By God’s grace, I wanted to spend my remaining years focused on the two things that will last throughout eternity. May God help us all to keep this eternal perspective firmly planted in our hearts. Soon this life will be over and only what is done for Christ will last. May God “teach us to number our days” (Ps. 90:12). Let us be mindful of the shortness of time, the nearness of death, and the pending doom of lost sinners.

Living with an Eternal Perspective

No one knows what tomorrow will bring Now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). Our life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4:14). Living with an eternal perspective will motivate Christians to faithfully share the Gospel of Christ with those who are on the broad road to destruction. One day we will all stand before our Creator and He will either be a sin-avenging judge or a merciful Savior. Therefore, the most important question we all must consider is this, “Am I ready to meet my Creator?”

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