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Topic: Eternity (03/10/11)
TITLE: To be Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord
By Dawn Lucy
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As I have grew in my relationship with the Lord and the knowledge of his word, I have come to ponder other questions about eternity that could be deemed more important. Like, is eternity a place? Is there a Heaven and Hell? What will eternity be like (will it be a place of paradise or place of torture)? Where will I spend eternity- Heaven or Hell? Where will my family spend eternity- Heaven or Hell? According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary the definitions of eternity are as follows: the quality or state of being eternal, infinite time (lasting throughout eternity), the state after death: immortality, a seemingly endless or immeasurable time.
Being a Christian I do believe that eternity is a place that will last forever. I believe while here on earth that people have the opportunity, the free will, to choose their future eternal state. Many people believe that there is a Heaven following death, a paradise our spirits go to and that we live there forever following our time here on earth. Not everyone, including some Christians believe that God would send them to a place called Hell- a place of darkness, fire and a constant torturous state of mind. A large number of people believe that there are various ways to get to Heaven and that there is not just one way to Heaven. Many people believe that if you are a good person here on earth that you will naturally go to Heaven and live there forever. According to a Christian view on eternity, one will spend their eternal life in either Heaven or Hell. According to the word of God, there is only one way and this is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ into one’s life and practicing and applying his truths, commands and decrees in one’s own personal life. One of my most favorite scriptures in the Bible that has come to be quite comforting to me comes from John 14:1-6 where Jesus is speaking: “Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way.” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus paints a comforting and beautiful picture for those who love him and follow him that whoever believes in him will have a home with him in eternity with him and the Father. Eternity is a place where God has prepared for us a home that is rich in his love, peace and harmony forever. I was recently at my great aunt’s funeral, and I had never heard a pastor so eloquently speak about eternity. He summed up her faith by saying that she was ready to go to be with her Lord resting in his promises in the Bible. One which was preached by Paul in Corinthians: being confident that being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:5-8).
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