How Long is Forever?

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By Ada Brownell

Grand Mesa near Grand Junction, Colo., is the largest flat-top mountain in the world. The mountain has 300 lakes that anglers claim are “bottomless.” In Carlsbad Caverns, early spelunkers named one yawning opening as “The Bottomless Pit.”

Yet, we know those lakes and the pit end somewhere. Someone discovered the reason the abyss in the cavern seems to have no bottom is because soft sand covers its floor. Sand prevented sound when a stone dropped.

Although people imagine pits and lakes that go on forever, the human mind can’t comprehend no beginning and no end. I used to try to figure it out as a child and it made me dizzy.

At the end of the Lord’s prayer we say, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory—forever.”

How long is forever? No one has wrapped his brain around it, but we know from His Word God is eternal. The great “I am.” The self-existent One. The One who was, and is, and is to come. Someone with no beginning and no end. He’s always been, He is, and He will exist forever.

But humankind is limited. We all have a beginning, and life does end. But Jesus promised “whoever lives and believes in Him will never die” (John 11:26).

What hope that gives! Back when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and they discovered Satan lied, telling them, “You won’t die if you eat the forbidden fruit,” they realized their future was ruined.

Afterward, although they would die, God promised a Redeemer who would reverse Satan’s scheme. Through God’s only Son, eternal life was restored for those who accept redemption.

Although often it brings joy, “forever” can be a troubling word. Like Adam and Eve, sometimes our choices mean we are changed forever. Suicide is a forever decision; it can’t be reversed. Rejecting Jesus can be a forever decision because “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:26-28).

The Book of Revelation is full of “forever” passages, most reasons to rejoice. “There will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5NLT).

“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5: 13NKJ).

”Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10NLT).

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15KJ).

If we know Jesus and accept God’s love, even though we die, we will live forever, too. This is the theme of my new book, Swallowed by LIFE: “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” 2 Corinthians 5:4NLT).

©Ada Brownell 2012

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  1. Great post. Stacy, thanks for introducing Mrs. Brownell to us. She has a wonderful blog.

  2. What a wondrous thought for today, Ada. Thank you.


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