These Things are Eternal

We live in a world where everything appears temporary. Americans marvel at buildings over 100 years old. Europeans marvel at buildings over 1000 years old. People in the Middle East marvel at buildings over 2000 years old. In reality, in the land of the living, we live in relative tent communities that will likely be bulldozed by our grandchildren. When a person is made to be a Christian by God’s grace, she takes on a perspective of things eternal. What are some things eternal?

First, God is eternal (Gen 21:33; Dt 33:27; 1 Chron 16:36; Ps 41:13; 90:2; 93:2; Hab 1:12; Rom 16:26), which means Jesus Christ is eternal (Is 9:6; 1 Tim 1:17), along with the eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14), whose ways are eternal (Hab 3:6). Because our Triune God is eternal, all of God’s attributes are eternal. Some are listed below, but we must remember God is unchanging and so are all His eternal attributes.

Second, man is eternal (Ps 49:9; Eccl 12:5). God has created the soul of every man, and every soul is eternal. Living souls have living bodies, and these, too, are eternal following the resurrection from the dead (see eternal hell and eternal heaven below).

Third, sin is eternal (Mk 3:29). Unforgiven sin has consequences, and because those consequences are eternal, we must see sin as eternal. For example, when one rejects God’s salvation in Christ through the witness of the Holy Spirit, she blasphemes the Spirit and the Word of God, calling God a liar. This action, for which she is responsible in time, results in eternal death in hell following God’s eternal judgment.

Fourth, God’s judgment is eternal (Heb 6:2). This is why the Bible warns us that all men are already condemned (Jn 3:18). When we speak of judgment day, we are really looking at the day of sentencing. The things done in the flesh, both good and bad, are historical at the point of sentencing. Inherited sin and sin practiced already have God’s judgment upon them. Those with sin are condemned in God’s eternal judgment. Sins condemned in the body of Christ on the Cross are forgiven, and therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, nor will there ever be (Rom 8:1).

Fifth, salvation is eternal (Is 45:17; Mk 16:20; Heb 5:9), including eternal redemption (Heb 6:2). Jesus is the Lamb of God, the eternal Son of God, who came into the world to execute redemption on the Cross. He paid the penalty for the sins of His people, whose names were written in His book before Creation (Rev 13:8) and whom the Father gave to Him (Jn 6:44). Once an elect soul is regenerated by the Holy Spirit, an eternal reality is made apparent by God’s light shining, where before there was only darkness in the heart. Salvation has come through the knowledge of God, by the Word preached in the Spirit. He who has received this grace of God through faith is said to have the Son, and He who has the Son has life (Jn 3:36). He is “in Christ,” who is the life of God (Jn 14:6).

Sixth, things in the life to come are eternal (2 Cor 4:17–18). Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of God will not pass away (Mt 24:35), nor will anything else that is eternally created and sustained by our eternal Triune God.

Seventh, hell is eternal fire (Mt 18:8; 25:41; Jude 1:7), and eternal punishment (Mt 25:46; Jude 1:7), and eternal destruction (2 Thess 1:9), and eternal bonds (Jude 1:6), and eternal contempt (Dan 12:2). The Bible is our source for understanding the truth of hell. Liberal Christianity has watered down or annihilated hell in its false teaching. Jesus was the most prolific teacher on this subject in the Bible. The attributes of hell are presented by Him, and to deny Hell is to deny Christ by calling Him a liar.

Eighth, heaven is eternal life (Mt 19:16, 29; 25:46; Mk 10:30; Lk 10:25; 16:9; 18:18; 18:30; Jn 3:15, 16, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:24, 39; 6:27, 40, 54, 68; 10:28; 12:25, 50; 17:2, 3; Acts 13:46, 48; Rom 2:7; 5:21; 6:22, 23; Gal 6:8; 1 Tim 1:16; 6:12; Tit 1:2; 3:7; 1 Jn 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11, 13, 20; Jude 1:21). Clearly, this is the most voluminous number of references on our list. There are more. Volume does mean something in Bible interpretation. It means this is a really important concept. Each of the Scripture text references carries a slightly different nuance to the meaning of what comprises eternal life.

Ninth, eternal buildings and dwellings (Dt 33:27; 2 Cor 5:1). Eternity is our home, our dwelling place. It is presented in Scripture, for believers, a city of prosperity and security (Rev 21–22). Jesus promised to prepare a place for His disciples and described it as “mansions in glory.” Both of these pictures encourage Christians, whose citizenship is in heaven, to look forward to a better country.

Tenth, God’s eternal purpose (Eph 3:11). What God has decreed from eternity will surely transpire. Time is our reality on the earth, but we are also operating in eternity because eternity includes time. God is working His will and purpose through Creation and Redemption. Although much remains a mystery for humanity, God’s Word grants us a view to His purpose in Christ Jesus. God has made man to enjoy God forever in eternal communion with Him in Christ. Rebels are not interested. The community of love and worship is an imperfect one on the earth, but we are being prepared for the community dwelling in the perfect presence of our perfect God in heaven. The temporal will be assimilated into the eternal when God’s purposes in salvation are complete.

Eleventh, God’s eternal comfort (2 Thess 2:16) and eternal joy (Is 51:11) for His people. Joy is a product of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is called, “Comforter.” The fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22–23) represent attributes of God, manifesting in Spirit-filled Christians. Pain and suffering are experienced in our temporal, fallen world. God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit into the world to bring application of the decree of the Father and works of the Son. God has set eternity in the hearts of men, and the Holy Spirit brings a token of eternity into the hearts of saints who have trouble in this world. He leads us and guides us through temporal life and into eternity.

Twelfth, God’s glory is eternal (2 Tim 2:10; 1 Pet 5:10). God is from everlasting to everlasting and every attribute and every work of God is glorious. Christians speak of the riches of glory in Christ. We see the glory of God in the face of Christ, and someday soon we, in body and soul, will be in the midst of His glory. He is eternal and His glory is everlasting because He is unchanging.

Thirteenth, the inheritance of the saints is eternal (Heb 9:15). Christians are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). The glorious inheritance is called, “treasure.” Again, we have a token with the Holy Spirit in our hearts, but unspeakable glory is ready to be revealed to us (Rom 8:18).

Fourteenth, the covenant of grace is eternal (Gen 17; Lev 24:8; 2 Sam 23:5; 1 Chron 16:17; Ps 105:10; Heb 13:20). The Bible speaks of a number of covenants made with a number of individuals (ie. Abram; Moses/Israel; David), but these are all components of the covenant of grace, which is represented in God’s saying, “I will…” God has made the final covenant agreement with the eternally reliable covenant keeper, Jesus Christ, the God/man. All of the spiritual blessings are ours in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3) because He has secured them through His death as the testator of a new covenant cut in His blood (Jer 31:31–34; 1 Cor 11:25) and enacted through His death. This covenant and all of its benefits are forever, according to the terms of the covenant revealed in God’s eternal Word.

Fifteenth, God’s kingdom is eternal (Dan 4:3; 7:27; 2 Pet 1:11); and it is ruled by King Jesus (Jer 10:10; 1 Tim 1:17), holding eternal power (Rom 1:20), and eternal dominion (Dan 4:34; 7:14; 1 Tim 6:16), in eternal righteousness (Dan 9:24). Daniel spoke prophetically of the inauguration of God’s coming kingdom. The other prophets also gave information about the coming Messiah King. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the prophecies of His first advent, and He will fulfill the rest when He comes again. Today, God’s kingdom is in the world wherever the Spirit is manifested (Rom 14:17). When Jesus Christ comes again in bodily form, He will gather His sheep and separate out the goats unto their respective eternal dwellings. Christ Jesus’ kingdom is forever and those who are in Him are in it, now in part, and then in full.

Sixteenth, God’s love is eternal (1 Chron 16:34, 41; 2 Chron 5:13; 7:3, 6; 20:21; Ps 100:5; 103:17). The Psalms speak volumes of God’s lovingkindness being from everlasting to everlasting. God is eternal (noted above) and God is love (1 Jn 4:8); therefore, God’s love is eternal and unchanging. It is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and therefore, required in God’s people as a principle and practice (Jn 13:34). Like a father who gives his daughter a gift to give to her siblings at Christmas, so God our Father has given us all things in Christ to give away to others. Love is the motive, and it is spiritual. It is the nature of Christ, who is God, and it is demonstrated in practical ways by Him (Rom 5:8). The nature of the Spirit is also love, and as our Teacher, the goal of instruction is also love. As we learn Christ, we learn love. The more we practice love, the better we understand it. Tokens of love are mingled into our experience of suffering, and they foreshadow the fullness of love in eternal heaven with our eternal God.

Seventeenth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal (Rev 14:6). The good news of God has never changed. It has been, it is, and it will always be Gospel. God is the Gospel. Christ is the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit is the personal bearer of the Gospel wherever it is preached. Gospel preachers are filled with the eternal Spirit and preach the eternal Gospel in a demonstration of eternal power and the Spirit.

Eighteenth, the name of God’s people is eternal (Is 56:5). Men try to make a name for themselves, even putting their names on stone buildings designed to be long-lasting memorials to themselves. Because kingdoms crumble, men are forgotten and their names are lost in oblivion. God promises to give His people what men cannot attain in their own wisdom and power: an everlasting name for themselves. This promise was given to “Israel.” Ethnic Israel proved unworthy as the bearer of such a glorious name; and so Christ came as the true Israel of God (Is 49:3), which is also the name given to His body, the church (Gal 6:16). Christ Jesus has the name above every other name (Eph 1:21; Phil 2:9), and the only name under heaven, given among men, where a man must be saved (Acts 4:12).

In summary, the eternal salvation of our eternal God has come to us through His eternal Son, as witnessed by the eternal Spirit. It is the message of eternal love and of eternal life received by a people with an eternal name, boasting in an eternal inheritance made possible by an eternal covenant that secures an eternal kingdom in eternal heaven, where eternal glory is enjoyed in eternal comfort and joy. The alternative is eternal hell following eternal judgment of eternal sin. My hope and prayer is that all these things eternal have given you an eternal perspective to set your affections on eternal heaven (Rev 4–5), where everything is perfectly and gloriously the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

David E. Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

January 15, 2021

--

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher