There lived in Dundee, Scotland, in the 19th century a scoundrel by the name of Robert Annan. He was one of the worst men in the town, until he found Jesus, after which he was known as one of the most useful missionaries for Christ Dundee had ever seen, On leaving his little cottage one morning to attend to his mission work, he took a piece of chalk from his pocket and wrote on the flagstone of the walk to his house the single word, “eternity”. A few minutes later he saw a child fall from one of the vessels in the harbor. Being a bold, strong swimmer he threw off his coat and shoes, and plunged into the hay. He saved the child, but at the cost of his own life. His body was carried home over the word, “eternity” which he had written a few hours before.
What do you think of when you hear the word eternity? The first thing that comes to my mind is the word forever, time without end. Consider what slaves we are to the clanging bells of time. The days, weeks, and months pass and we can do nothing else but follow. Our day of birth, the days we live, the day of our death, were preceded by many days and years and presumably the same shall follow when we are gone.
The word eternity is heavily used in the Christian’s vernacular, but it only appears once in Scripture, in Isaiah 57:15, “for thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity…” It does, however, appear in other forms like, eternal, everlasting, evermore, perpetually, and world without end. Eternity is one of the attributes that makes up God. David in Psalm 102:27 describes Him with, “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” Also Genesis 1:1, In the beginning, God…” Before the beginning and without end, an eternal God. But forever can get pretty lonely without someone to share it with, so God made a way for his creation, mankind, to live eternally with him, and that way is Jesus. “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16) You can’t escape sin by buying eternal life, or work to gain favor. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life: through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Curiously, eternal life doesn’t begin at death, for those who have been redeemed, it has already begun. Have you received God’s gift? Eternity is waiting for you.