June 2017

................   Eternity. What is it really? We can stand around and talk about it for as long as our attention span will allow and then probably drift into some other subject matter that we can more easily get a grasp of. The main problem that we have  with the idea of ‘eternity’ is of course the matter of time. Our entire existence is constrained and defined by time. Eternity is not. I think that the good news in all of this is what God has gifted to us in His Word, the Bible. It speaks to us about eternity from outside our time domain.
                   It has been said that mankind has eternity written on their hearts, and I agree. Why else would we as a people see life as something precious, and for the most part, something to be preserved and protected? At the same time, we see death as repugnant and something to be avoided for as long as possible. However, I believe that most folks have an innate sense that there’s a whole lot more to life than just motorcycles and memory lapses. Hard to believe. So, what about God’s Word? What does the Bible have to say about this? Glad you asked. We could start with 1 John 2:25 which says,” And this is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life”. The ‘He’ here is God and the ‘us’ here is all of mankind. When the God of the universe makes a promise, you can bet every last one of your chips that it will come to pass. Next, let’s take a look at Ecclesiastes 3:11 where it says, “ He has made everything appropriate in it’s time . He has also set eternity in their hearts……”. God has placed eternity in man’s heart. Since we’re wanderin’ around, we might as well see what the author and creator of all things, visible and invisible, has to say in Micah 5:2. It says, “ …..From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from days of eternity”. Just to clarify here, Micah was a prophet of Israel some 700 years BC. The ‘ From you’ is from Bethlehem, and the ‘One will go forth for Me’ is Jesus going forth for God Himself. And there’s that word ‘eternity’ again. Seems to be a pattern here. So, Micah has told us that some time in thefuture, Jesus will step out onto the stage and take His place as Ruler of Israel. This hasn’t happened yet but it’s comin’.By the way, if you don’t mind a little detour, about that ‘visible and invisible’, take a minute and look up Colossians 1:16,17. You’ll like it.
                   Since we know that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are eternal ( Everlasting even to everlasting, Psalm 106:48 ), and we are given the promise of eternal life, it’s still difficult to wrap our brains around it all. Every day we face the very real possibility and reality of physical death. So, now what? Let’s take a right turn back into God’s Word, and land in 2nd Corinthians 4: 16-18 where it says, “ Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentarily, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the
things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal”. There’s that visible and invisible thing again. You can’t get away from it. There’s a distinct and very real world in the spiritual realm that for the most part is outside our normal senses. All I can do in this short space is try to touch on these things. One of the things we keep touching down on of course is our salvation. When Christ died for you and me and the rest of the world on that cross, something happened in eternity. God turned His back on His Son for a time while He paid the price for the sin of all of mankind, past, present, and future. And, as Jesus was dying, He said “ It is finished”. If you have accepted His free gift of forgiveness and salvation, it is no small thing! Being ‘Born Again’ through Christ gives us an eternity in a paradise we cannot begin to grasp. In John 5:24 it says, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life”. And, one more for the road, in 2 Corinthians 5:1 it says, “ For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house ( our physical body ) is torn down ( dies ), we have a building from God ( a new body ) a house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens”.
                Check it out! Time is growing short and I believe that most folks have an inner sense of that.

                ----Jesus –He is King of Kings, He’s my everything!
                ----Jesus –He’s my savior, He changed my behavior!
                ----Jesus –He’s my Pain Reliever, He made me a believer!
                ----Jesus –I used to be balking about Him, now I can’t stop
..................... talking about Him!

                      Wanted ----More Bikers In Heaven!!

Dan Benson
ANI Chaplain

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