Introduction to
God's Work of Eternity
September 21, 2001
Aging, Death and the After Life 

God's original plan for life was longevity (Gen 2:9, 16, Rev 22:2).  However, as a result of humanity's fall, physical death was given as the punishment for disobeying God (Gen 3:19).  The Bible goes on to reveal that there is a life after death (Lk 16:19-31) and this is evidenced in recent studies of resuscitated patients.

The process of aging is a constant reminder of our own death on the horizon.  With an afterlife, the issue of death becomes more far reaching.  We need to get to know God and resolve eternal issues now.  Jesus stresses immediacy because death's timing is unknown (Lk 12:16-21).  

Events in the End Times

There is a sequence of events that occur in the end times which include:

  • Second Coming  - of Christ to Earth
  • Final Judgment - of believers and unbelievers
  • Eternal Life -  in heaven or hell
While the second coming, final judgment and eternal life are the high points of God's work of eternity, there are other events which surround these.  At the end of the present age is the tribulation which is a time of great distress on Earth.  During this time the gospel will be preached to all nations and an Antichrist will oppose Christianity.  Only those who have the mark of the Antichrist will be able to buy and sell.  Christ comes a second time to Earth to rescue believers through a resurrection and the rest of humankind is destroyed in the battle of Armageddon.  Christ rules the Earth for a millennium and there is a final judgment of all.  Unbelievers spend eternity in hell separated from God and believers spend eternity in heaven with God.

There are numerous Bible passages which picture the specific events during the end times.  Like the origin of the universe, there are different views of these events and their order.  A good method to solve this puzzle is to parallel all relevant passages and determine a chronological order.  Once the general order of events is sorted out, one can answer the "smaller" yet still popular questions like, "what happens to believers in the end times?" 

Eternity in Heaven or Hell

There are two ultimate destinies in eternity.  As we saw above, there is quite a contrast between heaven and hell.  Of course, this makes the stakes higher to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.  But if God is the center of the universe, why wouldn't we want to enjoy a relationship with Him now and for eternity?

In conclusion, God initiates, oversees and receives all of His works back to Himself.  God's works all come back glorifying Him and the culmination of all is His work of eternity.  God is the beginning and end of all.