ECCLESIASTES 3:1, 11: “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven:…He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 CSB
OBSERVATION: What does eternity have to do with it? Everything!
Have you noticed the difference between someone who knows the answer to eternity and the one who is continually searching for the answer? There is a peace and sense of security in the one who knows the answer to eternity. And, there is a perpetual searching and frustration in the one who does not. The reality is, everyone is hungering for the answer to eternity. Why? God has placed this hunger in every person’s heart.
Man, on his own, never finds the way to eternity. The history of the Old Testament teaches us many things. It shows us that miraculous provision from heaven, and the manifest presence of God working miracles in one’s life, does not answer the question of eternity. It show the reality of the God who holds the answer. Yet, the miraculous is not the answer. How many times did the children of Israel wander away from the one who miraculously provided?
For ages, people have looked for the answer to eternity in so many different places. They have looked to the stars, to creation, to their accomplishments, to pleasure, and even to wisdom. All one has to do is read the book of Ecclesiastes to see that even Solomon did not find the answer in any of these. And, when a person continually comes up short in their pursuit of eternity, they live their life with a growing sense of angst and discontentment.
This is where we find ourselves today. We have more provision, more wisdom, more accomplishments, than any time in history. And yet, we live in a culture that is increasingly lost, angry, and discontent. And, when one comes with the true answer of eternity, they are met with hostility and are immediately dismissed. The frustrated person views the one who walks in the peace and contentment of eternal certainty as ignorant, arrogant, and an enemy to their quest. While, all the time they are really the messenger of hope and life.
God knew that mankind would never find the answer to eternity on their own. Even though it was God Himself that put the hunger to search for eternity in man’s heart, He knew that man’s sin would keep him searching endlessly, but never being able to find it. So, God in His infinite wisdom and love, brought eternity to man.
- “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 CSB
The Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to proclaim the answer to man’s search. It was not in a pursuit or an accomplishment. The answer to eternity and all of life’s questions is found in a relationship. God, in human flesh, came to live among us and offer to us a personal relationship with Himself. It is only in this relationship that we find the answer to eternity!
So, that seems pretty simple. Why doesn’t everyone gladly receive this invitation, by grace through faith, to believe in Jesus Christ? That is a question anyone who knows Jesus struggles with. It seems so simple to them. Why would anyone reject this wonderful relationship that brings such a sense of life, understanding, and the certainty of eternal life? John gives us the answer in the verses following.
- “Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:18-21 CSB
To discover eternity one has to walk into the light. To walk into the light one has to let go of their sin, the works of darkness. And, this sin is not always a transgression of God’s laws. Many times this sin is the unwillingness to let go of one’s lofty pursuit of eternity based on their own terms. Pride, as much as sin, keeps people in the darkness. The light is not a teaching, it is a person. The light that came into the world is Jesus Christ Himself. And Jesus makes a strong demand on those who desire to discover eternity. They must deny everything, including themselves, pick up their cross, and follow Him!
- “Now great crowds were traveling with him. So he turned and said to them: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, and even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-27 CSB
God came to earth to show us the way to eternity with Him. He lived, died, and rose from the dead to show us the pathway to life. Our hunger and our search find their answer and rest in Christ alone. There is no other answer, no other pursuit, that will lead to the fulfillment that every man and woman in this life are seeking. It is so simple, but it costs everything. We lay down our life in order to discover our true life, our eternal life. This is the only way. To persist in sin and pride, however noble our pursuit may seem in the eyes of the world, will only lead to continued angst, frustration, and emptiness.
When I was a young man Andre Crouch recorded a song entitled, “Jesus is the Answer.” The chorus went like this,
- “Jesus is the answer, for the world today, above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.”
Many have mocked this song and said – “If Jesus is the answer, what is the question?” The question is eternity! It is the question that is burning in every heart, in every man and woman who walk upon the face of this earth. And its answer is found in a person, not in a pursuit. Its answer is found in Jesus Christ!
- “But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 CSB
Have you found the answer?
In Jesus Name!