Ecclesiastes 3:11 “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.”
Consider the balance of life which brings a beginning and end of all things. This construct is one that dominates our existence, we are born naked and helpless and if we live long enough we assume the same position. It can be so difficult to wrap our minds around anything that doesn’t constitute a set time frame and yet there is an element that defies this reality.
Solomon reminds us as a preacher who declares truth to anyone who would listen that we must consider the alternative if we are to maintain a right perspective.
Alexander Maclaren notes that within Ecclesiastes the Preacher has been “enumerating all the various vicissitudes of prosperity and adversity, of construction and destruction, of society and solitude, of love and hate, for which there is scope and verge enough in one short human life; and his conclusion is, as it always is in the earlier part of this book, that because there is such an endless diversity of possible occupation, and each of them lasts but for a little time, its opposite has as good a right of existence as itself.
The former idea is no doubt closely connected with the latter, and would here yield an appropriate sense. We should then have the contrast between man’s undying existence and the transient trifles on which he is tempted to fix his love and hopes. We belong to one set of existences by our bodies, and to another by our souls. Though we are parts of the passing material world, yet in that outward frame is lodged a personality that has nothing in common with decay and death. A spark of eternity dwells in these fleeting frames. The laws of physical growth and accretion and maturity and decay, which rule over all things material, do not apply to my true self. ‘In our embers is something that doth live.’ Whatsoever befalls the hairs that get grey and thin, and the hands that become wrinkled and palsied, and the heart that is worn out by much beating, and the blood that clogs and clots at last, and the filmy eye, and all the corruptible frame; yet, as the heathen said, ‘I shall not all die,’ but deep within this transient clay house, that must crack and fall and be resolved into the elements out of which it was built up, there dwells an immortal guest, an undying personal self. In the heart, the inmost spiritual being of every man, eternity, in this sense of the word, does dwell.”
The Immortal Guest
Within the framework of society lies an eternal foundation, if you don’t know where to look, you’ll miss it.
Psalm 103:15-18 “As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.”
Within the framework of our bodies dwells the image of God. The spirit of mankind is the only element of our existence that does not perish with time. Immortality is not some elusive antidote to the brevity of life, it is there already and dwells within us like a guest that awaits its day.
It seems most if not all experience the rise and fall of life, from prosperity to adversity, few can claim to have been insulated from its grip. But what can we say, is life only about surviving this seemingly endless cycle of joy and pain, only to find at the end it was all for not?
The reminder comes that there exists a greater purpose, an eternal purpose that can be grasped by the prince or the pauper. It is those who attempt to suppress the Truth of God and deny His existence that causes hopelessness to those who seek for more.
Romans 1:18-19 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.”
The Spark of Eternity
If the spirit of man is the tinder of what is to come, the Spirit of God is the spark that lights the flame of righteousness.
How is this flame set afire?
The infilling of the Holy Spirit can only happen in the one who is made worthy. Being made worthy is not an action that is acquired but a gift that is given.
Jesus is the only way to gain access into eternal life.
For those who have accepted Jesus’ measure of grace, the fire of the Spirit burns deep within their soul. It is appreciably distinguished from the fake attempts this world uses to masquerade as fulfillment. All the world can supply is a cheap substitute that bears no lasting value. Alcohol numbs the pain of hopelessness, drugs blur the lines of a reality that can’t measure up, relationships promise a false hope, and entertainment is only for a moment.
The life of Christ is indelibly linked to hope, life, and peace.
Luke 24:32 “And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
What was this burning that the disciples of Jesus experienced on the road to Emmaus?
Proximity to Jesus is confirmed by the Spirit of God in man.
The knowledge of the eternal has been revealed and this revelation was formed from the beginning.
Consider your history and recognize the path of Life.
The Circle of Creation
- Creation—It all began in the garden. God created man and formed woman, the union of His creation was perfect until sin entered in and they died…spiritually.
- God abided—His people revealed His name among the world and the revelation of righteousness was founded through His law.
- Jesus came—what the first Adam could not do by flesh alone, Jesus as the last Adam accomplished. Perfection bridged the divide that sin created and communion with God became very personal.
- The church—carries with it the image of the eternal value of Christ in us, the hope of glory, beckoning anyone who might join in.
- The New Creation—has taken seed in those born again and will be formed on the earth again one day. God’s people will dwell with Him in perfection as Adam once did and the eternal nature of life will be realized by those whom God has called blessed forever.
Isaiah 46:8-10 “Remember this, and show yourselves men;
Recall to mind, O you transgressors.
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure”
The hope of mankind can only be entered into by one door.
Jesus is that door.
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Without Christ, your life will remain on the outside looking in, the eternal nature of life remaining as only a “what might have been”. Hell will be a time of eternal regret for those who lived for the temporal in finding the short thrill ride is over far too quickly and nothing is left.
Do you want to dwell in the eternal with a future that has no end?
Sin is what keeps you from this reality.
There is nothing you can do to absolve yourself from the clutches of sin’s judgement, only the perfect sacrifice of Christ can fulfill that requirement.
The cycle of life will end just like this universe God created….where will you be when it concludes?