*Eternity in Our Hearts*
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”* *
*-Ecclesiastes 3:11 *
* Let’s suppose that you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and after a second and third opinion all doctors confirm that at the most you have one year to live.
* Let’s suppose that the disease will not affect you physically until it has reached the end stages of its course.
* How would this affect your life?
If you alter the way you live presently after hearing of this illness, that is the distance between your current view of life and the biblical view of life.
* While God has placed eternal purpose within the heart of man, man has smothered it by pursuing the fleeting, temporal things of the world.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the op’ning day.
The busy tribes of flesh and blood
With all their cares and fears,
Are carried downward like a flood
And lost in following years.
Read Psalm 90.
*Psalm 39:4-7 * “LORD, make me to know my end, and what /is /the measure of my days, /that /I may know how frail I /am./ 5 Indeed, You have made my days /as /handbreadths, and my age /is /as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state /is /but vapor.
Selah 6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up /riches, /and does not know who will gather them.
7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope /is /in You.”
*Isaiah 40:6-8 * “All flesh /is /grass, and all its loveliness /is /like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people /are /grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”
*James 1:11 * “For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes.
So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.”
*James 4:14 * “…For what /is /your life?
It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
What is real?
* Our stay here is briefer than we would like to think according to the Word of God.
* This is a realistic, biblical approach to life, and it is filled with hope.
* Realistic because it is better to know things the way they are not the way they seem!
* “The statistics on death are impressive.
One out of one dies.”
–George Bernard Shaw
* Hopeful because there is more to life than what we see.
We walk by faith not by sight.
Two ways to look at life –
* At one time everyone thought that the sun and planets orbited around the earth
* Copernicus came along and said that everything revolves around the sun
* He published his findings after his death because he realized how radical the shift he was making; he also realized how hostile the response would be
* We may look at life in one of two ways: the temporal and eternal perspectives
* These perspectives compete with one another – we can live in this world like this is all there is or we can live as if on a brief journey to eternity
The heroes of Hebrews 11 had their eyes on eternity, *Hebrews 11:13 * “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced /them /and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
* The problem we’re facing today is that we get caught up in the temporal because that’s where we live
* It takes a Copernicus-type shift in our thinking to challenge what the world reinforces daily
* The only way this shift comes about is through the renewing of our minds with biblical truth and the reinforcement of that truth through our relationships with one another as children of God.
When we do this, we see more clearly that we are on a brief journey to eternity.
* The Copernicus analogy breaks down.
The problem is that we flip-flop between the temporal and eternal perspectives every day as Christians.
We will face this ongoing struggle throughout our brief journey to eternity.
“The days of the years of our lives are few, and swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.
Life is a short and fevered rehearsal for a concert we cannot stay to give.
Just when we appear to have attained some proficiency we are forced to lay our instruments down.
There is simply not time enough to think, to become, to perform what the constitution of our natures indicates we are capable of.”
* Few people have the wisdom to see what Tozer is saying in the first 3 or 4 decades of life.
* After 40, man seems to grasp the fact that he is going to die.
We can’t run, hit and slide like we used to!
* We realize that we won’t fulfill many of the earthly hopes and dreams that we have had.
That’s pretty traumatic if your expectations are tied this earth.
* For believers…our hope is tied to the character and promises of God.
Our affections and ambitions need to be tied to eternity.
“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.
Eternal years lie in His heart.
For Him time does not pass, it remains; and those who are in Christ share with Him all the riches of limitless time and endless years.”
*1 John 2:15-17 * “Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that /is /in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
*James 4:4 * “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
*Luke 16:15 * “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
“We must care for our souls as if we were going to die tomorrow.”
Can one be so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good?
* When people become heavenly minded, they treasure the present opportunity of this life.
They react to each moment as if it were their last moment.
*Ephesians 5:15-17 * “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord /is./”
* When we pursue the claims of both the temporal and eternal, “we are holding onto two horses that galloping in opposite directions.”
* Many try to have it both ways, but this is just putting a spiritual façade over the house of the world’s philosophy.
You cannot have control and security on your terms according to the Scriptures.
*2 Corinthians 5:7 * “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
*Romans 8:24-25 * “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for /it /with perseverance.”
* The world wants us to pursue pleasure and minimize pain.
*James 3:13-17 * “Who /is /wise and understanding among you?
Let him show by good conduct /that /his works /are done /in the meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but /is /earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 For where envy and self-seeking /exist, /confusion and every evil thing /are /there.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
* Warfare exists between a heavenly and demonic wisdom.
We make a choice.
Which will we believe?