Time or Eternity? ™


In Immortality/Eternal Life on April 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

Death has no legitimate part in the economy of the creation of God. It is an abnormal condition, brought into this world by sin. An endless life was the Creator’s purpose for man, but it was to be maintained only upon condition of obedience. God’s government must be clean, with no tendencies to sin, and no danger of rebellion.

The immensity of God’s government cannot be estimated by finite minds. But it is safe to conclude that heaven and earth do not comprise all the creation of God. The myriads of stars are not for show alone. Astronomers tell us that many of them are suns, some of them much larger than our sun.  The starry worlds are certainly of importance, for the psalmist says that God “telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.” (Ps. 147:4)  In the wonders of the heavens, David beheld such evidences of the magnitude of creation that earth and the petty affairs of man appeared very small. This earth was to him but a minute particle in God’s great universe. He exclaims, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” (Ps. 8: 3, 4)

Earth, through sin and rebellion, is of great significance in the economy of heaven. Not only has the Son of God died to redeem the world, but the Father and the Son are continually interested in the plan of salvation, and millions of angels are constantly employed as messengers and ministering spirits to fallen man.  Throughout eternity the greatest triumph of divine power will be the redemption of a fallen world. It is wonderful that God should create our world in six days. But it is still more wonderful that, after the fall, all heaven should be engaged for six thousand years in its redemption. And so important is this triumph of divine grace, that, when it is consummated, the entire administration of heaven will be changed.

This must be so, for in coming to earth the Son of God became the Son of man. Throughout eternity He will ever be identified with humanity. He will ever bear the marks of His earthly experience and ministry. This earth will be honored as the abode of the Man of Calvary, and as the seat of the Great White Throne from above. This world will become the eternal home of the Son of God.

John says, in speaking of the New Jerusalem as the capital city of the new earth, that “the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it.” (Rev. 22 :3) May we not gather from this that the earth will become the seat of God’s government, and the New Jerusalem its capital city? However this may be, it will be blessed beyond comprehension. And as the only sphere redeemed from sin and honored by the presence of its Redeemer, it will, through eternity, stand as a gem in all the creation of God.  But what a change must be wrought before this condition can be realized.

Man was sunk in the depths of sin; he had lost his right to life, and the world had come under the dominion of the author of all evil. Desperate measures must be employed to remedy such a desperate condition.  Nothing less than the life on earth of the Son of God, and His death on Calvary, could atone for the sins of man. The Son of God, the Creator, must become Jesus Christ, the Restorer, and thus bring to man the bliss of heaven and the blessings of a life eternal. Immortality through Christ is the only possible basis of hope for a future life.

In 2 Tim. 1: 10 we read of “the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Man lost life by sin, for “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23)  Jesus forgives sin, abolishes death, and restores to life and immortality, for Paul continues, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Immortality is an undying nature. Man can receive it only through Him who is the fountain of life. David, speaking of Christ, says, “With Thee is the fountain of life.” (Ps. 36:9) Hence it is only through Christ that we can ever drink of the life-giving stream. The River of Life flows from the throne of God, where Christ sits. See Rev. 22:1.  Christ is to us the Source of all life. “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1)  Through Christ alone we receive eternal life. “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life [in giving us Christ], and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not [eternal] life.” (1 John 5:11, 12) From this text it is evident that immortality is a gift to those only who accept Jesus Christ, and who have Him abiding in them. Christ said to His disciples, “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” (John 6147,48, 51)

Jesus said, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (John 10:17, 18.)  Jesus had life in Himself. No one could take it from Him without His consent. But He yielded His life to His Father, and trusted Him for His resurrection. He said, “This commandment [the promise of His resurrection] have I received of My Father.” Vs. 18. It was His faith in God and the resurrection that brought Jesus from the grave, and gave back to Him the life which He had laid down.
It is the Christian’s faith in Christ that will bring him from the grave at the resurrection morning, and give to him the eternal life which became his by faith when he accepted Christ as his Saviour and Life-giver.
Those who do not have Christ abiding in them have not this eternal life or the promise of it. “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:14,15)  Here, then, are two classes compared. First, Those who have the love of Christ, because He dwells in them, and so have eternal life; and, secondly, Those who have not the love of Christ, the indwelling Saviour, have not everlasting life, but “abide in death.”

The conclusion seems clear, that’ the life and immortality of which we have been reading is only in Christ, and is obtained only through the resurrection.

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