As I promised, I am posting the conclusion of my miniseries on Death and Dying and Time and Eternity and how they are all connected. You might find the information in this blog to be too sophisticated right now. If you are having a hard time digesting it, don’t worry. Bury the thoughts. One day, when you are ready to chew on them, they will return. Understanding Time and Eternity aren’t salvation issues. They are, however, having, and will have, a bearing on you, so read on!
Connecting Death to Time and Eternity
Bringing us back around to the relationship of Death and Time and Eternity, reflect upon this verse, John 14:3. Jesus says here He will come again and receive the disciples to Himself. The average Bible reader might surmise that the context is speaking about a general return in the future that Jesus will make to come and pick them up, and they will all be together again. Jesus is speaking about a second coming.
Then what is Paul implying in II Corinthians 5:8 when he says to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord? This leads us to believe that once we vacate this physical shell, we are instantly in the presence of the Lord.
Here’s where we get another glimpse of Time and Eternity being separate entities. Custance says in his Time and Eternity volume, “When any Christian dies, he passes from this realm of time and space into another realm of pure spirit, that is to say, out of time as we experience it into a state of timelessness, the ever-present of God. As he makes this passage, every event in God’s scheduled program for the future which, as revealed in Scripture must come to pass before the Lord’s return, must crowd instantly upon him. He does not “wait” for the Lord’s return: it is immediate. But the Lord’s return is an event which, in the framework of historical time, cannot take place until the church is complete and the end of the age has come. It must happen for him, therefore, that these events are completed instantaneously, though the living who survive him await these events in the future.
“Yet, for him, those who survive him must in his consciousness also have completed their journey home, and therefore he will not even experience any departing from them, but they with him rise to meet the Lord on His way for His second triumph with all other saints. Within the framework of time, this general resurrection is future, but to the “dying” Christian, it is a present event. This is the meaning of the Lord’s words “The hour is coming — and now is. . .” (John 5:25). There is no difference between “is coming” and “now is.”
Suddenly this passage makes so much sense to me. The hour is coming, and now is. Wow! When we die in the flesh, we are removed only from our contemporaries. But we are not dead at all. We are only sleeping, so to speak, and we pass instantly from this state of sleep into a new dimension, one of Eternity. To the believer, we are freed from any conscious dying.
Custance continues, “As each child of God passes into glory, he therefore experiences no death nor the slightest pause in consciousness, nor even any sense of departure from the loved ones who remain. For him, the time that must elapse till they too ‘follow’ is completely absent. They depart with him. Is it any wonder that men can die joyfully in the Lord and show no sadness in ‘leaving their loved ones behind’?”
There will be no pause when we effortlessly pass from Time to Eternity. We will instantly be in the presence of the Lord, and with our loved ones, and with all God’s children who have gone to “sleep” before us. We will see a New Heaven, a New Earth. Eternity will hold no limitations, it isn’t bound by Time. Time, however, will always be with us in a sense. It will create opportunity. Now we never seem to have enough Time in a day. Time is “running out”. But in Eternity, Time will increase. We will never haste again. We will never wish to escape.
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…