We struggle mightily dealing with the issue of eternity, because it is entirely separate from our temporal existence. We live in linear fashion, with a perceived beginning, and the appearance of an end. These are points in time we mark on gravestones, and they have great meaning to us in the moment – but the meaning seems to fade as time passes…
If you’ve ever happened by an old cemetery you know what I mean. You gaze at the headstones, and they each contain weathered dates. If long enough, the letters have been worn smooth by the weathering process. They become harder and harder to read over time.
In a sort of mystical way, you think to yourself about those lives, and what they must have been like. There is a ‘hush’ in your soul. You notice things like the span of the lives listed, since you don’t know the individuals. You mark both the extremely long life, and have a sobriety about those listed which are very brief. You think that must have been tragic, particularly if it had been an infant or a child.
And then you walk away, mostly unchanged, but at the same time sensing an eeriness that has to do with “eternity,” and “eternal things.”
Why? Because no one would internally wish for a plot of ground to be their end …
Where does this notion of eternity come from? Where is the desire to live forever born? We might say it is innate, but it cannot be an evolutionary ingredient because evolution knows nothing of eternity. Evolution speaks only of the survival of the fittest until the fittest one dies. The end of all evolution is death.
By contrast, the Bible speaks of both an eternal kingdom and an Eternal King. It is a rescue that conforms with an internal awareness we are already possess, even when we have never been taught about it.
The notion of an eternal kingdom makes perfect sense to us. It is only when we are taught against it our doubts begin. And who would teach against the promise of eternal life in kingdom of heaven?
Jesus has come to demonstrate the power of eternal life. It is a life of freedom from the power of sin and death – which are the two greatest powers known to man. It is a life lived by the power of unconditional love in the person of Jesus Christ.
All of evolution ends in death. All of eternal life begins in Christ.