Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What ever happened to eternity?

There is a wonderful post over at Church Matters called Eternity Lost?, written by Matt Schmucker [HT: Jared Wilson]. Matt writes:
Is the idea of eternity and the believer's ultimate end simply lost to the modern church? We hear 12 step sermons to make everything better in this life and rarely hear about the next.
I make note of this not only because it is an excellent and thoughtful post in its own right, but because it happens to be the subject I'm going to touch on next. Jesus seemed to think it a fundamental endowment of disciples that they understand that their eternity is absolutely secure. So on the night of his last master-class in discipleship, just hours before his own arrest and execution, he told his eleven remaining students that he was going away. Distressing news this surely was, but then he told them this:
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.[John 14:2-3]
I'll have much more to say about this next time. For now, I'll just leave you with a brief quote from Puritan divine Walter Marshall, found in his book Gospel Mystery of Sanctification (p. 18). Marshall argues that we need to be utterly persuaded that God has provided for our eternal destiny, or we will not love him with our whole heart. And, not loving Him, neither will we serve Him. Read Marshall's words carefully:
The more good and beneficial we apprehend God to us to all eternity, doubtless the more lovely God will be to us, and our affection will be the more inflamed towards Him. God will not be loved as a barren wilderness, a land of darkness to us, neither will He be served for nothing (Jer. 2:31; Isa. 14:19). He would think it a dishonor to Him to be owned by us as our God, if He had not prepared for us a city (Heb. 11:16). And He draws us to Him by the cords of a man, such cords as the love of man uses to be drawn by, even by His own love to us, in laying His benefits before us (Hos. 11:4). Therefore the way for us to keep ourselves in the love of God, is to look for His mercy to eternal life (Jude, verse 21).
For more excellent Water Marshall quotes, see this post from Gospel Driven Blog.

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