Eternity: What would you do if you knew this is your last year, or month, week or day upon the earth? Do you ever think about eternity? Have you ever thought what is going to happen to you after this life? What is waiting for you when you die? Is it important? Have you ever thought that there is a spiritual world just as real as the physical world? Have you made any preparations for eternity? Why not? Our physical lives are so short and pass so quickly. What is 60,70,80 years when compared to eternity? What do you think is more important: making preparations for this life or for eternity? The Bible calls it everlasting life and it does not end. Death is not the final chapter.
It has always been difficult for men to believe that there are unseen realities, invisible to human eye and investigation, but, nevertheless, very real and very important. Do you desire that your life count for something great? Do you long for your life to have eternal significance? It is not too late. Your decision can change everything tonight.
You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one. And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ. He is the standard in which every life will be measured.
John 3:16,18: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already , because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
John 5:24: 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
CS Lewis: Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.
God is called the God of the hope in Romans 15. With God there is always a future better than you can ever imagine. Hope is the anchor of the soul: Hebrews 6:19a: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure . No matter how rough the waters, hope anchors us.
Proverbs 22:15: Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Deuteronomy 33:27: The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are his everlasting arms.
God is eternal and He has given an eternal hope to those who trust in Him. This hope begins with these three words: “Jesus is coming!”
Acts 1:6-11: When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
At any moment, any time, and at any day Christ could return. God promises this with certainty. This same Jesus is coming back to earth. The word “coming” in the Greek speaks of the personal presence of the one coming. This is not a metaphor or figure of speech. Jesus himself is coming back.
The hope in Scripture: Starts with Christ return but is so much more. It includes a resurrection, new bodies, rewards at the bema seat of Christ, judgment of the wicked, Christ’s millennial kingdom and the new heavens and earth.
The hope is the cure for a troubled heart. John 14:1-6: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.2 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?] 3 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. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Prepare-to make ready, to make the necessary preparations. Jesus is preparing a place FOR YOU. You have an exclusive room in the Father’s house. But this only comes thru Jesus and no other.
The gathering together or rapture as promised in Scriptures:
I Thessalonians 4: 13-18: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
He is coming back to bring you home. You were born to be with Him. The Lord Himself is coming for you. You will meet him in the air, see him face to face and always be with the Lord. This is God’s promise. This is the hope.
Before the foundations of the earth, You created me. Before I took my first breath,
You breathed life into me. Before I ever loved You, You loved me first. Before there was time, You numbered my days.
When I carried hatred and rage in my heart, You taught me to love. When terror and fear consumed me, Your perfect love cast them out. When I crumpled from the weight of my sin and shame, You paid for it all and lifted me up! When I struggled to forgive those who hurt me, You filled me with Your mercy and love.
And, Lord, though it seems the whole world is against me, As long as You love me, what does it matter? And, Lord, when I am alone and in pain, this I remember: You promised to never forsake me and stay with me always. And, Lord, every time that I stumble and fall, You lift me up, with Your righteous right hand. And, Lord, though some are born for fortune and fame, I know that I was born to be with YOU!
The 2nd great section of Scripture on the rapture and the hope:
I Corinthians 15:49-58: And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Romans 8:15-25: 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
What can compare to the hope?: The glory that will be revealed in you!
Philippians 3:20,21: But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator, our Lord Jesus the Anointed, to come and 21 transform these humble, earthly bodies into the form of His glorious body by the same power that brings all things under His control.
For the Christian, this earth is not our home. We are exiles in a foreign country. He promises to transform our earthly bodies at His return.
Hebrews 2:10, 13-16: For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
Heaven is our true homeland, our true city not this world. This was the hope of Abraham and the hope of the Christian believer.
Hebrews 9:27,28:And just as it is appointed for all men once to die, and after that the certain judgment, 28 Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and [d]once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are eagerly, constantly, and patiently waiting for and expecting Him.
If we live each day in expectation of his return, how would that change us? How would our daily activities change? How would our goals in life change? How would our passions and motivations change? God promised Jesus is most assuredly coming back. He cannot lie. Are you ready for the day of Christ’s return?
No one will escape the day of Christ’s return. It will affect every human who ever lived. There are three resurrections at different times as every person who has ever died will be raised and stand before God at one of the three judgment seats either the bema, the throne of Christ’s judgment or the Great White Throne Judgment.
Luke 21:25-34: 25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Some may doubt Christ will come back. Some think it is foolishness but you would do well to take heed to these words for all the doubters:
2 Peter 3:1-13: This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
The fate of the scoffer, mocker and unbeliever:
Revelation 6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 20:11-15 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
These are sobering words to those who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. This verdict from the Great White Throne Judgment is final and eternal. They will die the second death and never enjoy the blessings of eternity with their Creator.
The day of the Lord’s return will come as a thief in the night at an hour no one will expect. I Thessalonians 5:1-11: Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,[a] you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.5 For you are all children[b] of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Matthew 24:36-44: 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Therefore, we patiently wait for His return with eager expectation that it may happen today: James 5:7-9: But be patient, my brothers, as you wait for the Lord to come. Look at the farmer quietly awaiting his precious harvest. See how he has to possess his soul in patience till the land has had the early and late rains. So must you be patient, resting your hearts on the ultimate certainty. The Lord’s coming is very near.9 Don’t make complaints against each other in the meantime my brothers (as you wait for Christ’s return)—you may be the one at fault yourself. The judge himself is already at the door.
Every eye will see His return. Will it cause us great joy or great sorrow? Will it cause us great excitement or great regret?
Revelation 1:4b-8: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail] on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The magnificent appearance of the King of Kings:
Revelation 12:12-18: 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Only Jesus has the keys to Death and Hades and the key to life.
Thousands of Scriptures prophesied about the second coming of Christ. It is a major theme in the Bible verifying its truth and importance. It will happen because God has promised it will happen.
Daniel 7:13,14: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
His kingdom will never end. It will never be overthrown, expire or fade away.
The promise of a new heavens and earth:
Revelation 21:1-6: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
Revelation 21:3-7a: 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants[c] will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”7 “And behold, I am coming soon.20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Jesus last words in the Bible he says twice to emphasize the certainty of what He is saying. It will definitely come to pass. No power in this world can stop it. No government or religion can forbid it: Jesus proclaims: “Surely I am coming soon!”
The Great Banquet with the King
Luke 14:15-23: When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Are we making excuses for being indifferent to eternity? Are we making excuses why we are not accepting Jesus invitation of salvation and eternal life? Is anything tonight more important than this this. God wants you to enjoy eternity with Him and His Son. He want to give you eternal life, pay for your sins and open the door to eternity with Him. This is where you belong. This is how valuable you are to God. He paid the price. You just have to accept the invitation. He wants to write your name in the book of life.
Romans 10:9,10: The acceptance of the invitation
Ephesians 2:1-10: The promise of salvation
I John 3:1-3: The Promise of His coming and our future transformation.
We do not need to be discouraged for he is coming. We must focus on eternity and the future glories of His kingdom.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18:So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. 17 You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. 18 So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on.
I want you to think about these words tonight? Are you ready to meet Jesus face to face? Are you prepared for His second coming? It is not too late. Confess Him as your Lord tonight, repent and believe that God raised Him form dead. Receive His gift of salvation. Let our cry be, “Come Lord Jesus!”