Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 14, 2015

How Long will You Live? Concluded

Created in the Image of God

Previously we considered the fact that human beings were created in the image of God; now I would like to examine just one of the ramifications of that reality. The most significant fact is you will live forever; that is the answer to the title question, no matter how far you go into the future you will be there; there will never be a future time when you are not alive.

It is vital to acknowledge that fact if we are to establish a realistic perspective on the life we presently live in our mortal bodies and establish a rational order for our priorities. Every human being will live for all eternity; although our bodies, which are made from the dust, will not last, the true essence of who we are, the breath of God, will continue forever! Ready or not, you’re eternal, you will live forever; your living essence is made in the image of God!

The Christian’s New Body

Since we will live forever should we not wonder how and where we will be? Forever is a really, really long time and how you will spend your forever should be a topic of concern for you; our mortal lives, by comparison, are infinitesimally short. The Bible gives us some clues about our new bodies. In 2 Corinthians 5; 1-5 it is written:

5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

When Paul says we, he is referring to Christians, only those who have received Christ as Savior during their mortal lives on earth will be included, only they will receive these heavenly bodies.

There is Bad New and Good News, the Bad News First, the Lake of Fire

What about those who reject Christ as Savior, what will happen to them; they too have the image of God and will live forever with bodies that will suffer in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. The Bible provides some information on that too; in Revelation 20:11-15 it is written:

11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

More information is provided in Revelation 19:20, “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 

In Revelation 20:10 we are given further information on the beast and the false prophet; after the 1,000 years they are still identifiable as individuals at the time Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire, “10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

During the 1,000 years, there will be others with the beast and the false prophet; all those who have survived the Tribulation but rejected Christ as Savior will have been judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire:

 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41

This is an unimaginably severe punishment for rejecting Christ; it shows how very seriously God takes rejection of His Son; while there may be no immediate adverse results for rejecting Christ, the long term results are devastating!

Now the Good News, Heaven and the New Jerusalem

Those who have received Christ as Savior have an entirely different forever awaiting them; we get some indications how it will be in Revelations 21:1-7 where we are told something about that forever:

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

Now this is a forever to get excited about and one that is available to all who will simply receive Christ as their Savior. God has paid a terrible and difficult price that salvation might be by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

The Choice Facing You Today

If you have not made the decision to receive Christ as your Savior, then I urge you to take this opportunity to move from darkness to light. Although you may have been born spiritually dead you can, by faith in Jesus Christ, be born again and become spiritually alive.

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. John 3:16-18

The stakes are infinitely high and there is no straddling the fence in this matter; you have to choose sides so I encourage you to choose life in Jesus Christ!

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