Living for Time—or Eternity?

Living for Time—or Eternity?

Richard Hollerman

Few of us treat the issues of eternity and one’s eternal destiny with the awesome respect that this deserves.  This is one of the clearest demonstrations of misplaced priorities and mistaken perspectives. 

Someone has well said that to be diligently concerned about the passing things in this life is like straightening the pictures on the wall in the Titanic as it was sinking!  This world and everything in it will be destroyed and this may occur very soon (2 Peter 3:9-14).  If this all will pass away (1 John 2:17), why do we insist on being preoccupied with these passing things?  Paul wrote, “Knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).

Consider this matter along with me.  Every one of us—including you and me—will one day be ecstatic in unimagined joy and uninterrupted blessing—or we’ll be experiencing the hopelessness and horrors of hell!  We’ll be finally home with God our Father and Jesus Christ our Savior—or we’ll begin our eternal sentence of pain and anguish.  These are the only two destinies there are and, what’s even more significant, they both are everlasting!

Remember one more point.  We must never overlook the basic Scriptural truth that the overwhelming majority of the world’s population are unprepared to meet God, thus they will not be among the eternally blessed.  Yet they continue to rush headlong into a Christless eternity without hope.  How can we ever fail to see these facts that are plainly before us!  Are we, personally, guilty of closing our eyes to this reality?  Jesus encourages us to be alert, be awake, and be conscious of the spiritual realities of life and the approaching doom that is to overtake us (cf. Luke 21:34-36).  Our Lord warns, “Be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42).

Why do we refuse to face these awesome facts?  Why do we try to avoid, overlook, or even deny these divine truths?  Why do we dare to busy our minds with pastimes and pleasures that are of little or no consequence—compared to eternity?  Surely we all know, deep in our heart, that these are truths revealed by God our Creator and Judge.  Yet we choose to occupy ourselves with matters of no eternal purpose.

We spend countless hours entertaining ourselves before the TV or attending sporting events.  We spend priceless time devouring the daily newspaper, reading worthless novels, or leafing through magazines that divert our attention.  We pass away hundreds of hours talking about nonessentials, gossiping about people, or conversing about trifling matters.  We spend time eating, sleeping, and playing—while the world around us is going to destruction and while we, ourselves, are spiritually asleep!


We waste time keeping a meticulous lawn, or glued to the computer screen, or engaged in incessant shopping for things we don’t really need.  But in this senseless occupation with the temporal, the weighty fact of eternity seldom comes to our mind!

Why don’t we read our Bibles and pray like our life and eternity depends on it?  Why do we neglect sharing the good news of Jesus and His salvation when we know that this is the only possible way people can be rescued from eternal destruction?  We act as through we have endless time to prepare for eternity ourselves and we go from day to day as through our family, friends, and fellow-workers will always have the opportunity to repent and get right with God.

In reality, none of us is assured of one more day.  This may be our last—or our last week, month, or year.  And then the vastness of eternity looms out before us!  When you awake in the morning, you never know for certain that you will lay your head on your pillow that night.  When you say good-bye to a family member or friend, you are not really sure that you will see that person another time.  But we are willfully blind to these facts!

Beloved, let’s wake up.  Let’s come face to face with the fact that most things in this life really aren’t worth worrying over or consuming much attention.  We tend to become trapped in the temporal and overlook the eternal.  Quite frankly, if we neglect the kingdom of God now, we will not be prepared for the kingdom of God in the future.  Unless we live for Jesus now—every day—we simply won’t be with Him eternally!  I urge you to repent of your lackadaisical attitude toward spiritual things.  Begin to be diligent about God and His Word. That is what really matters.  Let’s live life now in light of eternity!  Remember the two eternal destinies of every person who has ever lived: “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).  Eternal punishment and eternal life—and there is a vast difference between them!

This will mean that we’ll be reading and studying God’s Word like our life depended on it. It will result in a comprehensive change in the way we use our priceless time.  It will be seen in our praying, our sharing, our use of money, and our stewardship of possessions.  It will be seen in our relationships with people—precious people who will be eternally blessed or eternally damned.

If you value your own soul and that of your loved ones, I urge you to make those necessary and reasonable changes now—while you still have time!  You have this moment and are guaranteed no more.  Begin to live for eternity today!


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