Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Let’s Think about Eternity!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:3 that the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables (myths or fanciful stories).  Have we come to that day?

We have a lot of evangelical preaching available to us today, but because I spend most of my time studying the Bible using dictionaries, many versions of the Bible as well as background material involving customs and language of the day when the passage was written, I don’t have time to listen to a lot of this preaching.  When I do, I find myself concerned.  I am not concerned about what is said because much of it is good.  I am concerned about what is not said.  In order to keep from being offensive, we have changed Biblical terminology.  We very seldom use the Biblical term "saved" for a believer in Christ.  Sometimes I hear the word “repent” but it is often used to mean something other than the Biblical concept of repentance.  We hear a lot about specific sins that we consider to be very immoral and we fail to preach the Biblical concept of “sin” which is personal problem of each one of us.  “Hell” or eternal damnation is something the Lord dealt with in depth but which current preaching avoids.  The word that I think has generally been lost in our preaching today is the word “eternity”.  We may speak of eternal life although generally our preaching has to do with having a personal relationship with the Lord now (which is good) rather than preparing for eternity.  But ETERNITY is a concept we should be emphasizing in our preaching today.

The Lord is described as the One Who is, Who was and Who is to come (Revelation 1:8).  His name Jehovah means the ever existing One.  The Lord is eternal and in trusting Him we are preparing for eternity.  Much of what we are hearing today, tries to prepare us to live in the here and now.  We call that practical ministry.  We need ministry that helps us live now, but we aren’t ready to live until we are ready to die.  We aren’t ready to die until we have prepared for eternity.  That is practical ministry.  The blessing is that when we "believe on or in" the Lord Jesus, His gift to us is eternal life.

How long is eternity?  We cannot fathom this concept because eternity has no beginning and it has no end.  Time is just a little hiccup from the standpoint of eternity, and yet the Lord uses time to help us understand this concept.   In Revelation 20:10 we read, "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."  This verse always bothered me in my unsaved days because day and night forever and ever is a concept I can understand.  It is longer than a thousand years, because beast and the false prophet have already been there a thousand years when the devil is cast into this lake of fire (See Revelation 19:20).  Obviously, those who end up here are not annihilated.  According to Revelation 20:15, all who reject Christ as their Savior for whatever reason are ultimately thrown into this lake of fire.  We might not like to define eternity future as unending time, but that is a concept I can understand, and it seems to be a concept that the Lord uses to help us understand eternity.

Because eternity is so long and time is so short, we should not and cannot avoid the term when dealing with the doctrines of the Gospel.  That there is an eternity is a logical concept that needs no defending.  Many people think that humans only exist for time and when they die it is all over.  God says otherwise.  I would rather believe God than believe the opinion of a mere mortal who has not yet died.  The crowning sin that has the wages of death associated with it is unbelief.  The blessing is that the gift of God which is eternal life is still available to those who will believe in the Lord.

Again, the GIFT OF GOD is ETERNAL LIFE and I can assure you that that is a gift that is worth having. It’s value is immeasurable because it is eternal.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of September 15, 2013

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September 17, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

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Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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