Eternity Is A Breath Away: Where Will You Spend It?
When you take your last breath, where will you go? I don’t mean to be blunt here, but there will come a time when each of us will take our last breath. It’s inevitable and not one of us knows when or how our lives will end. Although this may seem like a dismal way to start a blog post, it is actually a post that offers hope and good news!
Eternity is just a breath away. My question for you is: where will you spend it? Many people believe that this life on earth is what it’s all about. We work hard to buy the things we desire like nice homes, cool cars, the latest fashions... but do all of these things really matter? It seems like here on Earth they do.
Keeping up with the Joneses is a favorite pastime of many. But what does possessing all of these things really do for us? A lot of times it leads us to simply wanting more. And this wanting can keep us from actually seeking the treasures which await us in Heaven.
The past few months of my life have reminded me that none of those things I mentioned above are really important at all. What matters most is knowing that I have a loving God who wants the best for me and will allow me to face trying times in order to bring me closer to Him.
I have had to remind myself time and time again that everything I have is because God has blessed me with it. And the truth is, He can take it away at any moment, because ultimately, everything is HIS…. including our lives.
The Story of Job
In the book of Job, God permitted Satan to test Job’s faith. Job had it all: family, friends, health, and wealth ….everything he could ever want. And when it was all taken away, he never relented about his faith for he knew:
“…Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
You may ask…why would a loving God permit His faithful follower to endure such trials? I believe it was for at least 2 reasons:
1. God knows everything and how every situation will turn out
God knew that Job would not lose faith. He knew that no matter what He permitted Satan to put him through, Job would stand firm in his faith and not allow Satan to win his heart and soul. This is important for anyone who is suffering through trials and tribulations because at the end of Job’s story, God worked everything out for Job and richly blessed him:
"After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters." (Job 42:10-13)
2. Job would become an inspiration to others
For many, myself included, the story of Job is inspirational. His story is a reminder that having faith in God, especially during difficult times, is so important. Remembering that God is always there, no matter what, should be a constant reminder to each of us.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)
What Matters Most
I mention Job’s story for many reasons. But most importantly, to stress the fact that God loves us. He will never let us down. Because He is a God of love, He desires for us to spend eternity with Him. We are here for a very short time (on God’s timeline) and what we do with our lives should ultimately give Him glory. BUT…. we have a choice to make.
We can either choose to serve Him, trust in Him and live for Him rather than the things of this world; or we can choose to reject His goodness, His love and the promise of an afterlife spent in paradise with Him and Jesus. That choice is on us. We have to determine for ourselves what matters most.
Are the THINGS that we have on Earth actually that important? Is a better, more prestigious position more important than spending time with your children? Does wearing designer clothes really make you feel more attractive? We all know that material things can't be taken with us, so why are they so important?
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about earthly possessions:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."(Matthew 6:19-21)
Not By Works
We have all heard the description of someone who is “a good person”. Yes, there are many good people who help others, are selfless and giving. We are all to be like Jesus in that manner. But is being a "good person" enough to get us to Heaven?
The Bible is clear when it comes to where we spend eternity and HOW we get there:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Jesus answered him, “Truly, Truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
It is not by being a good person or by doing good works that reserves your place in Heaven; it is by believing in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as your Savior that gets you there… Period.
So, How Do I Get to Heaven?
Jesus was a gift given to us by God. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven and with the acknowledgement of what Jesus did, we ultimately spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
The Bible tells us:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
What greater gift could we ask for than God’s sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we may be able to spend our eternity with Him in heaven? I can’t think of anything better than that.
An important point that I want to make regarding doing good works: when you choose Jesus, your desire to be like Him and do good works for others is increased. You want to love others and to serve others. That is part of the beauty of salvation.
The choice is ours to make: Do we want to spend eternity with our Lord in Heaven or in Hell with those who choose to reject Jesus? I know my choice, it is an easy one to make. My prayer is that each one of us all make the right choice so that we can receive the gift of Heaven for eternity.
If you want to know Jesus and claim your place in heaven, reach out to the Lord. He is waiting for you to call on Him right now. I promise you, He is there and wanting more than anything for you to seek Him.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
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For anyone reading this who does not know Jesus, my prayer is that you will seek Him with all of your heart. Request the "Where Will You Spend Eternity?" Scripture Study to learn more.
Tomorrow is not a guarantee, but spending eternity somewhere is..... Please choose to spend it in heaven.
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