I have been doing a good bit of night driving of late. While my prescription glasses give me 20-20 vision, there are some things about driving at night that are very different from day travel. The biggest difference is distance and clarity. At night you can see lights in the distance, but as the radiance of the light fades, so goes the clarity of its surroundings. That is so different from the day when all around you, and as far as the eye can see, the clarity is extremely improved.
One night last week, I began thinking about eternity, and how when I think about eternity it is a lot like driving at nighttime. There are things we know about eternity because we have heard about it much of our lives, and at different intervals we read about it in the word of God. But when you are thinking about what eternity is going to be like, it is so hard to imagine how long it truly is, along with other particulars. For instance, how will I feel in eternity? 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says we will be given a new body, spiritual in nature. Will that spiritual body feel? If so, how? This is similar to driving at night and not being able to make out all the details in the short distance from you. The truth is eternity is closer than you think. It is as close as the darkness at night, and maybe closer.
Where are you going to spend eternity? Will you be in heaven with the Lord forever and ever? Or, will you be in the other place? Oh you know about the other place. Many would like to consider it as the place that shall not be mentioned, like the evil influence of Harry Potter fame. Unlike the fictional series just spoken of, the Bible speaks of hell as quite literal; a real place that God plans to send people who refuse to follow His will, Matthew 25:41. Imagine that!
So, how do we make eternity become to us like day? Is it possible? Perhaps, you may be thinking that eternity is something that will never become that plain until we get there, and you are probably correct in that. However, eternity can become far more visible and real to us than you might think. As a part of John’s first letter, he attempted to make eternity as real to the world as he possibly could by encouraging his readers to learn more about Jesus. Here is how:
First, he wrote that Jesus was from the beginning. He was the “word of Life,” who was revealed to the world. John saw Him with his eyes and claimed from what he saw of Jesus, and in Him, is the expression of “eternal life,” 1 John 1:2. Jesus, and His life is a proclamation of eternal life. Look at His life, His works, His character among people, and the like, and you must come away with a better picture of eternity. For, understanding a thing to be true requires sound evidence. Jesus was and continues to be evidence of eternity.
Second, John connected Jesus to the promise of eternity as proof of its reality. Jesus promised us that where He is, there we may be also, John 14:3. Later, John wrote about, “. . . the promise He made us—eternal life,” 1 John 2:25. He promised eternal life! Can you see it more clearly now?
Third, eternal life is to be found “in” Christ. John wrote, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:11 ESV). Eternity will be lost on lost people. But, those in Christ will see it more clearly. Finally, John tells us how important Jesus truly is when he wrote, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20 ESV). Did you hear it? Jesus is the true God and eternal life. He is eternal life! When you think about Jesus, eternal life becomes more and more plain. It becomes more real. Jesus makes eternity like driving during the daytime!