Posted by: jmark | October 25, 2004

Food for thought – Forever

(This is from my column in a local newspaper – The Tirconaill Tribune)

The poster for the film ‘Gladiator’ had the subtitle: ‘What we do in life echoes in eternity.’

It’s hard to get our minds around the concept of eternity. Here’s another quote from longer ago that may help. It’s from Thomas Watson, a preacher from London in the 1660’s:

“Oh eternity! If all the body of the earth and sea were turned to sand, and all the air up to the starry heaven were nothing but sand, and a little bird should come every thousand years, and fetch away in her bill but the tenth part of a grain of all that heap of sand, what numberless years would be spent before that vast heap of sand would be fetched away! Yet, if at the end of all that time, the sinner might come out of hell, there would be some hope; but that word ‘Ever’ breaks the heart. ‘The smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever'(Revelation 14:11).”

Both Watson and Maximus (the character from Gladiator) speak the truth. God has made us as eternal beings. Before us we have an endless expanse of time which will either be filled with more delights and pleasures than we could ever imagine, or we will face an eternity of suffering, worse than anything we could ever dream of.

While we are on this earth we have time to choose our destiny. A man once said to me – “Its too late for me, with all I’ve done I haven’t a hope of getting into Heaven. I’m going to Hell and it’s too late.” He’s wrong. Thankfully he’s wrong. He has a hope, and you have a hope. It’s not about what we do, or how good we have been. It’s about what Jesus did on the cross. There he took the punishment of sins – that’s Hell – so that you wouldn’t have to.

But does that cover everyone automatically? No, you have to go to him and apologise for your sins, ask him to take your punishment, and seek his help to follow him.

Then you will enjoy a different eternity.

It’s not too late, but one day it will be.

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