Preparing For Eternity

by Tom Wacaster

 Eternity!  Men have attempted to capture the essence of eternity, but their attempts are weak at best, and completely inadequate.  Here is how someone sought to describe eternity:  “If you can imagine an ant marching around a steel globe the size of this planet.  How long would it take that ant to wear a path one inch deep in that steel globe?  How long would it take to wear a path one foot deep? Ten feet deep?  The time it takes is only an inkling of eternity.”  But friends, even that illustration measures activity related to time.  In eternity, there is no time.  How can we even begin to grasp the concept of eternity?  If we could but capture its essence, it would be but for a fleeting moment, for we are quickly drawn back to the temporal; the here and now.  But will you, for just a moment, imagine yourself standing before the judgment bar of God, as you hear the sentence pronounced, “Depart, I never knew you.”  Now will you try to imagine that you find yourself, like the rich man who refused to give unto Lazarus the things for which that beggar lacked, opening your eyes in “torments.”  And so begins the punishment that you must now endure forever, time without end.  If your punishment were to be for a million years, you might could bear it, for after that first year you would know you have only nine-hundred-ninety-nine-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety-nine years to go.  There would be a ray of hope that someday, though far, far removed, you would eventually be released from that torment.  But my friend, in hell there is NO hope; NO release to be expected; NO cessation of the punishment that you will receive for your disobedience to God.  Oh what despair!  No longer will that television program have any importance.  How you did in the stock market will be completely insignificant.  The closing balance of your bank account will seem so insignificant, regardless of the dollar figure the bottom line might show.  Those things that we placed so much importance on in this life will seem so trivial, so completely unimportant.       

 When Sir William Russel was sentenced to die, someone recorded that along the way to the scaffold he handed his watch to a friend and said, "Will you kindly take my timepiece and keep it? I have no use for it.  I am now dealing with eternity."  When the time comes for us to enter eternity there are a lot of things we will no longer have any need of.  One second after my heart beats its last beat, and I breath my last breath, I will realize that much of what I valued in this life will pale in comparison to what I will value in the life to come.  One drop of water was of great value to the rich man; but alas he could not obtain it.  And while he fared sumptuously every day while living upon the earth, he was a pauper the other side of death.  Let us keep our priorities straight in this life, and when it comes time to depart the walks of this earth, may each one of us calmly and victoriously cast off those things that we cannot take with us, with the glorious expectation that we shall embrace that which is of lasting value when once we cross over the Jordan river into that eternal abode that awaits those who are faithful in this life.