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I Can Almost See Eternity

February 12, 2007

If you have ever been on a long trip with a vanload of kids, you will inevitably hear the  question “Are we there yet?”  (I like to respond with”Yes! Thats why we’re still driving” or with the more comical  “I think were lost.”  Or how about “Wow!  I’ve never even heard of this state before.”)  After the moment of sarchasm has run its course, I’ll tell them “Don’t worry; it’s a long trip but we WILL get there.”  I am familiar with the details of the trip and am confident that, barring any unforseen events, the road in which we are travelling will eventually bring us to the chosen destination.  (Unless we really are lost. Then we’ll just drive around for hours; my wife telling me to stop and ask for directions while I contiually reaffirm “We’re not lost!”

 Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

This is a very commonly quoted verse as it tells of a serious situation; that of not seeing the eternal consequences of actions taken in this life.  It also tells that a person who lives in obediance to the Lord will be happy.  When I moved from Virginia back to Constantine, I began to lose a vision of the eternal world to come.  Surrounded by old acquaintances, I unwittingly began to think more about the present world, looked up an old girlfriend and “little by little” the old ways began to resurface.  Things that, just a few months prior I would have considered “not even possible” became not only possible but began to take place.  I don’t like to talk about the season of rebellion as it’s really quite embarrasing, however, I spent several years in a backslidden state because of my own negligence.  The huge silver lining to this is a greater understanding of such topics as the one that’s being talked of now.  (There are a number of lessons that stem from it, but this is one of the big ones.) 

 Hebrews 2:1  “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

Today, the spirit of this age permeates the very atmosphere.  Everyewhere you go, there are images, phrases and goings on which glorify this present realm.  The world appears to be growing darker by the day and we need to be all the more diligent in keeping out hearts on the Lord Jesus.  Although we all know the importance of doing this, it can never be overly emphsized.  It’s like when the kids get on the bus in the morning and my wife says to them “Be careful.”  It becomes an afterthought as she will say it every morning, but the importance of the mesage never diminishes.  As talked about in the previous paragraph, my slippage into rebellion was well underway before I even realized what was happening..  A little bit here, and a little bit there; the enemy is a very patient adversary.  We need not have any fear of him, but we must be ever mindful of the tactics that he uses to draw folks away from Christ.

 Hebrews 3:12-13  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened thrtough the deceitfulness of sin.”

Because of past events in my life, I tend to take this issue very seriously.  The above verse talks about exhorting one another daily.  This is what’s so incredible about participating in the blogosphere.  I find encouragement from many saints whom I’ll most likely never meet in this life.  Each having different life experiences and different things that the Lord has revealed to them.  We encourage each other to keep going forward; to press onward no matter what.  The title for this post is meant to focus attention on the eternal aspect of the world to come.  In doing so, we’ll not become overcharged with this life.  I find myself thinking about the world to come and the joy is almost uncontainable at times.   

I don’t do it as often as I would like, but I really believe that a regular visit to the final two chapters in Revelation is a good idea.  All scripture is profitable of course, but these two chapters tell primarily of the world to come.  While the devices of this life will continue to get louder, flashier, and “darker” we need to be ever mindful of its temporal standing within the realm of all that is.  Again, telling about the importance of staying in the word of God, and staying in prayer is very similar to telling the kids to “be careful” when the bus arrives.  The message may become redundant and finally be relegated to “background noise” but it never loses its importance.  Consistant prayer along with feeding on the word of God is ever so needful as we find ourselves confronted daily by a world that loves not the Lord Jesus, thinks it strange that we run not with them to the same excess of riot, and launches campaigns which are designed to draw us into contrary behavior.   Then, if it happens, they’ll be certain to blog about it.

This is a side note, but the previous sentance brought it to memory.  I was in the navy when the situation with Jim Bakker, the secretary, and the mishandling of funds came to light.  Folks would constantly ask me “what about that guy? (Jim Bakker)  He’s just a phony.”  Their suspicions suddenly had a champion and they were quick to make mention of the scandal.  It took patience and a reaffirming of the simple fact that every person is going to stand before God and give an account of their own actions; not those of anyone else.  I would often say “When you stand before Jesus, Jim Bakker won’t be on the table of discussion.” So while in many cases it was a distraction, it also led to conversations that, otherwise, may not have taken place.  Today we have the bizarre (and I mean BIZZARE) Ted Haggard situation and this is the first time that I’ve made mention of it.  The same thing holds true; every individual will stand before God and give an account for their own actions.  This is not to embrace sin; it’s simply the telling of a very important truth.

Philippians 2:10-12  “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” 

Philippians 1:13  “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Verse thirteen is very comforting.  When the Lord Jesus brought me out of the season of rebellion, the thing was done suddenly.  One  can imagine the wrestling with doubt that transpired afterward and the verses that continually ran through my head.  Thoughts that I had backslidden too far and was without remedy.  This verse along with II Corinthians 7:11 and a host of others, became very important to remember.  It’s a situation that I’m determined to never allow to transpire again.  (Thoughts of doubt still make their speeches, but they only increase my determination to finish the race that is set before me.)

I Peter 1:5-9  “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Trials and manifold temptations.  The situations in which we find out what we’re made of.  When Job lost everything in this world, it soon became abundantly clear that his heart wasn’t on the temporal.  While he lamented the trial he never sinned against God.  Not even when his health departed and his wife urged him to “forget the whole thing.”  James 5:11 tells about the patience of job and the tender mercies of the Lord.  Despite the trials, Job never lost site of the eternal and I pray that we all would keep looking for a city made without hands, where God is the light thereof. 

In these days, it’s ever so easy for one to lose sight of the finish line.  Recently, I had an idea in my head and right afterwards, Susan of faithwalk posted about the same thing.  It involves us being in a race.  As we approach the finish line, we can see the great cloud of witnesses; lining the route and cheering us on home.  At the end is Jesus; the Author and finisher of our faith who purchased us with his own blood.  We must keep site of the world to come and that, as Romans 13:11 states “now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed.”  I’ll close out with the following verses.

Hebrews 11:8-10  “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Hebrews 13:14  “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”

Revelation 21:2-4  “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from god out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of god is wih men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” 

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7 comments

  1. Hello, I’m BJ I just stopped by to view your site and say God Bless You.

    Here are my sites.

    http://www.freewebs.com/friendsareagift

    http://www.freewebs.com/friendsareagift2


  2. timbob, another great post, honest, forthright and revealing. It is so very vital that we encourage one another all the more as we see the day approaching. It is good to hear/read the voices of those who encourage us in our faith, our walk in Christ Jesus and in His word. It is also good to know that He who began this wonderful work of righteousness in us, is faithful to finish it, as we continue to keep our eyes upon He who is our hope and yes, once again, the finisher of our faith.

    The need for us to keep our eyes upon Him and our minds upon the things above, is growing each and everyday. With all that is here to distract us, there will become yet, even more. Therefore, may we become faithful today, in Christ Jesus and by the mercy and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, to seek him in the now that we may continue to faithfully to seek him then, in the darker times as well. He indeed is our hope and our light in these increasingly darker times. Look, therefore, and keep looking to He whose light shines ever brightly.

    Thank you for yet, another grand post.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  3. I second that (about the good post) – sadly its human nature to not only be heavily interested in the lives of others around us, saved or not, and worse – to sometimes almost have a feeling of self satisfaction that we somehow could never be like them – *we’d* never make that mistake or commit that ‘crime’ yet what I’m always reminded about is that God doesn’t see our sins and crimes as we do – there are no degrees with Him ultimately. Even if we lived a life (as many do) totally isolated from either people, or the outside world, we still couldn’t escape sins clutches – its inherent in our fallen nature, and our very thoughts are rebellious towards God (self will, pride, arrogance etc), so we have NO defence other than Jesus before our Awesome God. Many Christians I think somehow do forget that we will still be judged – not for our sins thankfully, but judged nonetheless by Jesus for what we’ve done with our lives (as you pointed out), yet few of us connect with what that will mean for us, and like many I drift through many a day feeling I’ve done nothing, or achieved nothing, and sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that His Will is perfect, and so long as I fully commit to it I can trust Him to fulfil it. But I still ‘worry’ a bit about having Jesus reveal my life to me as He has seen it – so figure I don’t have too much time to waste concerning myself with the sins of others – my own are enough to contend with :)). Blessings, TKR


  4. Excellent post and of great encouragement to my heart. Thank you timbob for continually reaffirming the need to keep focused on Jesus and resist the beckoning voices of this world and it’s lying enticements.

    The Holy Spirit seems to have our thoughts running parallel courses, as I so very often come here to find you writing about the same things, the same scriptures He is speaking to my heart. Isn’t our Lord just amazingly faithful?!
    I am always blessed by what you share and encouraged. Thank you for your faithfulness to Christ. I get fed here and am blessed.
    His love, grace, and peace to you today,
    Susan


  5. You’re a very encouraging man, timbob. That in itself is a rarity in this world. Thank you!

    We, of the New Testament believers, are to edify, exhort and comfort one another. As the days get darker, this will be of utmost necessity.

    Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart”


  6. Walking by faith…not by sight.
    Thanks for this post.


  7. Very encouraging post, timbob. I also find encouragement from those out in the blogosphere and it’s a great way to fellowship with other Christian men from all walks of life. Sometimes we get hung up in the familiar and this forum provides a nice diversion. I would like to add you to my blogroll if that is ok with you.
    Blessings,
    David.



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