This is the final goal of God for man: Eternity with God! But let us take us back to man’s beginning. This is the goal of God for man that He actually accomplished for man at man’s creation when He created man in His image: His holy and eternal nature. Right from then, man was to live forever; and more importantly, forever with God, as long as he keeps holy. But somewhere along the line that image was altered by Satan and sin. The holy nature of God was lost by man, but not His eternal nature.
So, the soul died spiritually but still lives forever: now eternally from the presence of God, and eternally in indescribable torment with Satan except he repents and turns back to God through Jesus Christ Who now graciously makes that repentance possible, effectual and result-oriented by His vicarious sacrifice for sin at the Cross where He shed His Blood for sins of us all and died for us all.
To restore man back to eternity with God was why the Word of God, Who is God and Creator of the universe was manifested in the flesh to have blood to atone for our sins, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Emmanuel: God with us! Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins! Christ: The anointed One, the soon coming King! As many as give over their sins to Him in genuine repentance are forgiven and imputed the holy image of God (the image of Christ) they lost in Adam. At this point the two purposes of eternity – the holy and eternal nature of God in man – are regained. But it now must be necessarily probationary.
Saved man must now be proven to be faithful. He has now eternity: eternity with God, but he must now work out his salvation with fear and trembling, and not as Adam who sold his priceless birthright. Yes, he is eternally saved but he can still choose to walk away from it or be so careless as to make shipwreck of it all. The choice is His. But the counsel divine is that he walk out his salvation with fear and trembling; that he fight the good fight of faith; earnestly contend for the faith; he run the race set before him, and not as one that beats the air; and look unto Jesus the author and finisher of his faith. And the grace to do all that and all that pertain to godliness, Savior Divine has provided!
All that is saved and would diligently tap into this grace – for neither is the race for the swift nor is it by power and might, but by the Spirit of the Lord – will be accounted fit and well for the rapture: the introductory phase of real beginning of eternity proper with God. Once here there is no more Satan, sin and temptation! They will be in Heaven with God! Then they will come with Christ to earth and rule and govern this earth with Him for a thousand years: the second phase!
And after this: unceasing phases of eternity with God would begin to unfold. No mortal word describes this, and no mortal mind comprehends it! Suffice to say it is bliss indefinable, glory unspeakable, holy worship inexpressible, fellowship incomprehensible, and life and living beyond words! “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” – 1 Corinthians 2: 9. Isaiah 64:4 put it this way: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” The promise is for those that love Him, those that wait for Him: The heart of Christianity!