Many of us believe that our eternity will be based on the balance of the scales of good and evil. We hope that God is grading on a curve. In fact, we hope it’s like running from a bear or swimming away from a shark. We simply want to be faster than the person next to us…
1 At that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Yesterday we looked at Daniel’s prophecy to see that each of us will rise one day at the end times of the earth. The point is not that the end times are coming or when they are coming or how will we know? The point is that we have an eternal future which begins on that day. Eternity has already started. The kingdom of God is now. Yet still, on that day, our eternity is fixed and unchangeable.
Today, our eternity is not fixed and it is not unchangeable. Our eternity is in our hands to determine and impact. What do I mean?
Many of us believe that on the day of judgement, my eternity will be determined based on the balance of the scales of good and evil. Was I better than a criminal? How do I stack up against the good and evil people around me. We hope that God is grading on a curve. We hope it’s like running from a bear or swimming away from a shark. We simply want to be faster than the person next to us.
Except… Eternity is not like running from a bear. Eternity is not like swimming from a shark.
Eternity is in our hands right now because we have been offered the opportunity to accept everlasting life instead of everlasting shame and contempt. We have that offer in our hands. Eternal life is an offer. It’s not a race, it’s not a competition, and it’s not a comparison. God is not grading on a curve.
The offer in our hands is the offer of relationship with God through Jesus. Notice that in Jesus discussion on eternal life with Nicodemus in John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life? It’s that simple. No good works required. Open to good dudes and bad dudes. In fact, whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Our eternity of everlasting life or shame is determined now based on whether we believe in the name of God’s one and only Son. That’s it. Jesus reinforces this is his statements in Matthew 10. If we acknowledge Jesus before others, he will acknowledge us before his Father. If we disown Jesus, he will disown us. This isn’t a threat. This is an articulation of the truth of eternity.
The offer of everlasting life is in our hands even now. Will we receive the offer of life in Jesus, offered by the Father in the giving of his only son to live and die on the cross for us, rising from the dead to defeat sin and death and to provide everlasting life? I hope you will consider eternity today.
Today is the day to receive God’s offer.