Are You Waiting for Eternity to Begin?
When I was a teen, my youth pastor asked a very important question on a regular basis: “If you were to die today, do you know if you would have eternal life?”
This single question and the students’ responses served as a great springboard for conversations about Jesus. It was years later that I discovered that my definition of eternity was incomplete.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, there are several definitions for eternity. During my youth group days, I understood this definition of eternity very well: “the state after death.” I thought that eternity began when this life ends. As a 15-year-old, eternity seemed very far away.
If we stop with this understanding of eternity, we miss out on the following additional definitions:
- “Infinite time”
- “A seemingly endless or immeasurable time”
- “The quality or state of being eternal”
These definitions of eternity give us a much better picture of what it means to experience eternal life.
Eternity has already begun
Eternity is not just the endless amount of time beyond the point that our physical lives end. Eternity is all of time—stretching to infinity both backwards and forwards. This is the timeline that God’s story stretches out upon.
Eternal life does not begin when this life ends
It’s important to realize that Christ didn’t come to just give us a safety net at the end of this life. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NASB). Christ desires that we experience full life in Him here and now, as well as in the future.
Eternal life begins when Christ comes in
Without Christ, we have no real, lasting life either here or in the future. Christ didn’t come to make us better as if we were sick and needed a doctor. Christ miraculously raises us from death to life. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2: 4-5, NIV).
When we live with this understanding, we experience eternal life on a daily basis. In addition, we have the opportunity to share eternal life with others.
We haven’t truly lived until we meet Jesus and experience eternal life in the here and now. Living in the light of eternity changes everything both now and forever. How are you experiencing eternal life today?
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