Last week I covered a difficult subject in my blog Of Death and Dying. In this blog I began to cover the aspect of Time, as Time is an element going hand in hand with Death. This week I would like to expand more on the subject.
The most frightening thing to me about Time is Forever. In fact, Forever has always scared me. When I was a child, I would lay in bed contemplating Forever. Such intense thoughts made me afraid to fall asleep. I was afraid if I died in my sleep, I would enter Forever. How could such a thing exist? Time without end? A life that goes on and on and on. And on. How is this possible?
Creation is Bound by Time
Time has so much power over us, reaching into every aspect of our lives. It commands our days. And then, when our days expire, so does Time. What happens to us after that?
Back in the day when Philosophy was king, the great question that begged an answer was, “What was God doing before He created the universe?”
Augustine once responded, “God did not have Time to do anything.”
A remarkable response. This response may perhaps be more true than Augustine had imagined. I think that I am not alone in saying this is a difficult concept to grasp, just as is Forever.
The Beginning of Time
Imagine the Creator of Time, and His righteousness. Imagine the created things. Just as the Creator, when He finished making Adam and Eve, even if they were very good, they would not be righteous. To comprehend this, imagine a very large number, then imagine Forever. This is a great expanse between them.
I cannot put it more profoundly than author Arthur Custance in his volume, Time and Eternity, Doorway Papers, “Time stands in the same relation to eternity, in one sense, as a large number does to infinity. There is a sense in which infinity includes a very large number, yet it is quite fundamentally different and independent of it. And by analogy, eternity includes time and yet is fundamentally something other. The reduction of time until it gets smaller and smaller is still not eternity; nor do we reach eternity by an extension of time to great length. There is no direct pathway between time and eternity: they are different categories of experiences.”
Is it just as simple as that? Time and Eternity are different? Let’s look at this! I’m getting closer to understanding, and almost there, but still not.
The Difference Between Time and Eternity
To begin with, it seems I cannot be in both places at the same time. To the best of my belief, in my life from its inception, Time came first. When I breathe my last, I will enter Eternity. The Bible makes this clear. It also makes clear in both the Old and New Testaments that God and Jesus are able to be in both categories at the same time.
Look at John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Our limited understanding of Time and its passage would be understood if Jesus kept in time sequence by saying I WAS. Instead we are left to interpret what He was trying to convey when He put the present in front of the past.
Another perfect example is the powerful verse Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call, I will answer.” This is just another way God is able to do beyond all we ask or think. Answering a praying before we ask it goes beyond our boundaries and limitations of Time. As I’m stuck in the present thinking this is all too wonderful for me, it gets even more strange.
E.A. Milne tells us that in order to understand the Theory of Relativity, we must understand that “future events have the same kind of reality as past events.”
The Mystery of Prayer
To boggle your mind further, try to comprehend that a prayer you pray can get answered before you pray because in God’s time, it has already been prayed. To carry this thought a bit further, look at Revelation 13:8. Jesus is referred to as “The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” What does this imply? Jesus was slain in Eternity, out of Time. Jesus is Eternal, and came in the flesh for our sakes, stepping in Time. This is what He means when He says “the Son of man which is in Heaven.”
He is on Earth while He is in Heaven.
It’s too high to attain to.
I think by these same rules, we can better understand predestination, and how it is possible to God to have selected us even before we were born. God chose Jacob. But Esau He hated. Perhaps foreknowledge played into this in the realm of Eternity.
Watch this space for Part Two
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…