“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2).
Dr. Tony Evans says this about eternity: “If we were to empty the Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water in the world, we’d be left with a hole that’s beyond imagination. If we were then to fill that hole with sand and make a pile as high as Mount Everest, we’d be talking about a lot of sand because Mount Everest is the tallest mountain peak in the world. Since the ocean is fairly deep and Mount Everest is fairly high, we’d have a fairly sizable sandpile! Now, if we had a bird that would take one grain of sand from that sandpile every 100 billion years, how long would it take the bird to finish the sandpile? I don’t know that in human language we have such a number. It is probably beyond numerical count. Whatever that number is, when the bird finishes the last grain of sand, you will have been in eternity your first second.”1
It is glorious to think of spending eternity with Christ in heaven, but it’s also heartbreaking to think of those who will be in the lake of fire forever. Our faith rests on the sure hope of eternal life. We can live our lives for Christ confidently and courageously, knowing that nothing we do for the Lord is ever in vain (1 Cor. 15:58). We have certainty in what we believe. The “hope” Scripture holds out is not a hope-so hope. Our hope is a complete certainty, a confident expectation. It is a destiny.
Eternal life is both a present possession and a future hope. It doesn’t just begin when you die; we have it at conversion, the moment we trust Christ as our Savior. God is “eternal” (Deut. 33:27), and having “eternal” life means we have been given God’s life, which is Christ in us (Col. 1:27; 3:4). Our future hope of eternal life is in the sense that we confidently look forward to eternal life in its final, victorious form when we’ll be in our eternal home in heaven, having received our eternal, incorruptible, glorified bodies (2 Cor. 5:1), dwelling in Christ’s presence forever (1 Thes. 4:17).
All the truth of the Bible and the hope of eternal life is based in God Himself. Our faith is secure by virtue of God’s unchanging character and the fact that He cannot lie. God is Truth and free from all deceit (Deut. 32:4). Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie.” Hebrews 6:18 tells us it is “impossible for God to lie.” God’s character backs up our absolute hope of eternal life. If He said it, it’s true, He cannot lie, and it will happen.
From eternity past, “before the world began,” God promised what He was going to do for those who believed (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2). God is a promise-keeping God. What He has said, He will do. You can place your soul’s eternal destiny in His hands, and you don’t need to be anxious about it. We can rest in Him because we can count on Him and on His character. When (not if) we find ourselves in heaven one day, we’ll praise Him saying, “The Lord was faithful, faithful to me, faithful to all His promises.”
- Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009), p. 91.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.