Eyes on Eternity
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” - Jim Elliot
Jim Elliot always wanted to be a missionary. While growing up, his family read the Bible daily and lived a Christian lifestyle. He went to Wheaton College and focused on activities that would help him become a missionary.
After he graduated, in 1955 Elliot and four other men traveled to Ecuador to extend a hand of friendship to the mysterious Auca Indian tribe. The Auca Indians were uncivilized, dangerous, and hated all strangers. They lived only to hunt, fight and kill.
The missionaries were dropped off one-by-one by plane on the Auca beach. After four days, an Auca man and two women appeared. It was not easy for the missionaries to understand them; they only knew a few Auca phrases. The missionaries tried to show sincere friendship and asked them to bring their families and friends to meet them.
Jim and his friends waited for the other Aucas to return for two days. Finally, on the sixth day, two Auca women emerged from the jungle. As they came closer, the women did not appear friendly. Jim and Pete heard a terrifying cry behind them. As they turned around, they saw a group of Auca warriors with their spears raised, ready to throw. Jim reached for the gun in his pocket. He had to quickly decide if he would use it. But he knew he couldn’t. Each missionary promised he would not save himself by killing an Auca who did not know Jesus. Within seconds, the Auca warriors threw their spears. All five men, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming and Jim Elliot, died on January 8, 1956. Jim was only 28 years old.
Jim Elliot knew that his life and our lives have two phases: earth and eternity. Imagine our present life on earth is represented by a dot. It begins. It ends. It’s brief. Now imagine a line starting at the dot and continuing across the room, out the door, and on through infinite outer space. The line represents your eternal life, going on forever. The line is eternity. Christians will spend forever in heaven.
Right now, we’re living in the dot. The shortsighted person lives only for the dot. The person with an eternal perspective lives for the line. Life is short, eternity is long. What are you living for?
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