A Preview of Eternity

 A Preview of Eternity

So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.’ (Luke 16:26)

Funerals are sober reminders of our own mortality. They have a way of quietly bringing us face-to-face with the fact that one day we will die.  Death is a patient and perpetual enemy that reduces all our arguments about life down to one truth:  one day, we will die. We know that death is not the end; and so at funerals, especially for Christians, we have a future hope that we will rise again. We are comforted by this, and the pain is made more bearable.

But what about the non-Christian? Opponents of eternity are putting forth competing views. Just last week a new group in NODA started a church called, Sunday Assembly Charlotte. The leader of the church is an atheist who described the event as “a godless celebration of life.” He said, “We don’t believe in a god, but we’re not going to say you’re wrong if you do.” The most disturbing views come from people like renown atheist Stephen Hawkins. He said in an interview about death, “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” For them, death will be an awakening. Right now, they are not aware that death’s present delay is allowing them to have a false sense of security. One day, for them, death will awaken and claim them; and when it does, they will awaken to the harsh reality that there is a pure and holy God who requires purity in His presence–a purity that they do not possess.

What does God’s Word tell us? And what difference should that make in our lives and our purpose? There is life after death. There is also, tragically, death after death for those who reject Christ. More than 150,000 people die every day. That’s 4.5 million each month, a number that exceeds the population of South Carolina. Add to that, the number of dead throughout human history—it’s a staggering figure. Tragically, many of those people died without obeying the gospel of Christ. What fate awaits them? Do they really Rest In Peace, or do they find a different reality beyond the grave?

For those who obey Jesus, there is a glorious life, a life where there is completeness, where there is fullness, where there is wholeness, a life where there is unlimited satisfaction. It is the eternal life of God that is granted to everyone who puts his faith in Jesus Christ, the one who died and rose again providing that very eternal life. Right now actually counts forever; the choices we make today have eternal consequences. In this series, we will study the relationship of our present holiness to the reality that awaits us in eternity.

Serving at the Pleasure of the King,

Bro. Leslie B. James

 

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