Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 29, 2018

The Coming Glory, It’s All True, All of it! Concluded

The Coming Eternity

In one way the Bible’s account of eternity reminds me of its account of the antediluvian world; short on details. As we consider the subject of eternity it is easy to start wondering about many things that are simply not revealed. I have always endorsed a principle of Bible interpretation which I shall apply here: any interpretation that honors God is probably correct, any interpretation that honors man is probably incorrect.

The majority of the limited amount that is revealed is given mostly in the Book of Revelation in the last two chapters. There are a few basic things that are revealed there starting with the arrival of the New Jerusalem on earth; we are told of its size and beauty as it descends to the new earth; that description alone is overwhelming in its scope.

I find it impossible to truly imagine something of the size of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven onto the surface of the earth; that is not too surprising as I find it impossible to imagine creation as it now exists; once my mind tries to cope with stellar distances it sort of shuts down; references to light years is really beyond my ability to visualize.

That, I believe, is one reason the Bible is so short on details; they are simply too grand and glorious for us to understand; I have come to love David’s observation in Psalm 139:6 where he exclaims:

“6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!”

I’m particularly fond of the King James translation of that verse:

“6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

I can most assuredly relate to those feelings of inadequacy when it comes to the glories of the eternity that awaits us; it is, however, fun for me to try my best to imagine the wonders the Trinity has prepared for those who love him. In light of this I will acknowledge that some of my efforts will be speculative, but fun, at least to me. I am admittedly a fan of science fiction and have enjoyed the imagined universes of many writers; how much more fun to imagine the real universe that is coming; a universe that is glorious far beyond what the mind of man can even conceive.

That portion the Trinity has chosen to reveal is found in the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments in terms that are understated and calm; the most incredible events are described in brief statements with none of the embellishments one might expect in modern advertising yet providing descriptions of profound, earth-shaking events.

I will try and take my cue from this example and keep my descriptions toned down but first a brief moment of reflection. Mankind’s creation in the image of God had profound ramifications; remarkable privilege coupled with deeply serious responsibilities. Mankind’s failure to live up to those responsibilities resulted in exceedingly grave consequences which are eternal in scope.

Deliverance from those consequences was provided by God at the First Advent of God, the second person of the Trinity; in his grace and mercy, reception of deliverance was made as easy as possible, simply receive the free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

A Place of Eternal Judgement

First, I will consider the eternity of those whose names were not found in the “Lamb’s Book of Life.” In Revelation 20:10-15 it is written:

10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 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.”

The Bible gives no indication where, in the new universe, this place of eternal judgement will be located; I suspect it will be far removed from heaven and the joy that will be found there. Mankind has speculated on the existence of parallel dimensions, perhaps the lake of fire will be in one of those. By the way, have you ever smelled burning Sulphur? I assure you it is distinctly unpleasant and once you’ve smelled it you’ll never forget the stench.

A Place of Eternal Joy and Happiness

Those whose names have been recorded in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” can look forward to an eternity that is completely different from those whose names were not recorded there. We have hints in Revelation 21-22 that tell of the wonders yet to come. I shall not repeat those recorded wonders here but will engage in some speculation based on the information that has been revealed to us by the Trinity.

I’m really pleased to think my sin nature will be gone forever; what a blessing to have that ugly phase behind me. The innocence we had before the fall will have been restored; the Bible suggests that even our memories will be cleansed of past sins; so that nothing mars our joy of the presence of the Trinity and the joys of heaven.

I think we’ll have plenty to do; I’m encouraged to believe that we’ll have responsibilities assigned to us which we will be able to perform with joy and skill. We are told we will judge the angels and yet also have governmental responsibilities under the Lordship of King Jesus; I so look forward to a theocratic kingdom which will be ruled forever by King Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords!

We are told of the many mortals who will enter eternity in their mortal bodies but free of the sin nature; I see this as a new beginning, similar to the Garden of Eden but free of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and Satanic interference. Once again God is providing a fresh start for humanity which will be a complete success this time.

I can see mankind spreading among the stars and populating many distant star systems; I can see trade and commerce between star systems all under the umbrella of the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. I can imagine Christians, as children of the Trinity, given key roles to play all over the universe as mankind expands to the stars. I’m of the opinion we’ll be happy, productive leaders in the world to come!

While there is much more that could be said I’ll close with this thought; I invite you to exercise your imagination and dream of what the Trinity has planned; at a point yet future we shall know but now we can dream.

Pleasant dreams!

 


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