Ministerial Alliance Program- KLMX

Focusing on Eternity- Part 3

September 2012

Bryan Kimsey

1st Baptist Church, Des Moines, NM

Good morning and welcome to the Ministerial Alliance program on KLMX. Thanks to the invention of the mp3 file and CD player, youíre listening to me while Iím out bow-hunting mule deer. Technology is wonderful sometimes. Well, anyway, what weíre talking about this week is the perspective of eternity vs the perspective of the temporary world. I thought about this a lot after my 11-yr old son, David, died last Memorial Day. We did a lot of things together and after he died, I wondered what good all that was? You either have the atheist perspective that death is the end of the line and there is no more after that, or you have some sort of hope for life after death. Either way, what do we do with the things weíve done here on earth? You canít take them with you, or can you? I covered the various philosophies and thoughts about this topic on previous days, but in short, if death is the end of the line, then eventually the entire world will die and disintegrate and that will be the end of it all. Whatís the point of life at all, then? This line of thinking is called nihilism and I kind of think that if I werenít a Christian, thatís where Iíd end up, philosophically, because it makes logical sense. Fortunately, though, Iíve been claimed for God through Jesus Christ and I have a lot more hope than your average nihilist. But, those are the line of thoughts that we need to consider. Letís consider them!

Yesterday, I started out with this passage from Paulís letter to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NKJV According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. (11) For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, (13) each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. (14) If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. (15) If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

In it we can see that Christ is the foundation upon which we build. A personís works either survive the fire or are burnt up. This seems to me to say that our works here on earth can definitely have eternal value. I looked at other Scriptural references for gold and silver works and found out that manís job is to glorify God. Therefore, it seems that whatever we do to glorify God while on earth are works that will last for eternity. Whatever does not glorify God is of no value. I think Jesus is referencing this when he says:

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Peter certainly hints at this when he refers to our inheritance in this passage:

1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

As does John:

1 John 2:15-17 NKJV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- is not of the Father but is of the world. (17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Jesus says that we are to have treasure in heaven, Peter says our inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled and does not fade away, and John says that the world is passing away be he who does the will of God abides forever. Iím seeing eternity in these words. How about you?

What Davidís death taught me was to use my time and efforts to build eternal things rather than temporal things. Deal with the things that last forever rather than the things that do not. I do not want to arrive at the end of my life, look back, and see a bunch of worldly things. Itís fine to do things together as a family, but if thatís all you have done, then what good are those things? In other words, we must build things as a family on the foundation that is Jesus Christ. When we do things as a family, we should acknowledge the God-given order of the family. We should praise God for giving us the finances, time, and ability to do things. We should praise Him at all times for His creation, of which we are a part. In short, we should observe Paulís urgings:

1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17 NKJV And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Davidís death clarified these things for me. After his passing, I wondered if I had spent my time wisely or foolishly with him. Did I teach him about eternity and the consequences therein, or did I spend our time feeding his earthly lusts? God is the judge of those things, not me, but I do remember something about our trip to Washington DC. Before we left, David wanted to know if we were going to go to church there. Iím ashamed to admit that I was not going to go, but David was insistent, so I Googled around and re-discovered that one of my theological heroes- Mark Dever- was pastor of Capitol Hills Baptist Church, just a mile or so from our hotel. We arrived in DC on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning found us taking a taxi up the hill to church. That was Davidís idea. He liked going to church and I was able to help feed that like.

Iíd like to report that all was fun and roses, but, unfortunately, David tripped and fell face-first down some metal steps at the church and really banged himself up. That was probably the closest Iíve come at getting angry with God, for allowing David to fall down the steps after he wanted so much to be there, but thereís just no use getting angry with God, so I sucked it up, tried to make the best of the situation, and denied Satan the satisfaction of seeing me angry with God. That was David, though. He loved going to new churches, visiting with people, hearing the story of David and Goliath, and so forth. I remember how heíd just light up when we asked him to read at Bible study. David couldnít confess his sins and he was never baptized, but I absolutely saw signs of repentance in him. On the whole, I have hope that he had the foundation that is Jesus Christ and I have hope that we helped him build at least a little bit on that foundation.

Again, though, Davidís death clarified these things and made me really think about them. Afterward, I resolved to focus more on eternity and less on the temporal with my remaining children and with my own life. Itís easy to get sucked in by the world and the things of the world. Our eyes are full of covetousness, greed, envy, and want. Itís much harder to sacrifice, do without, help others, and give. But, those are the eternal things. Letís look at Jesusí words in Matthew again:

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Jesus says that our treasures on earth donít last. Moth and rust destroy them; thieves break in and steal them. Theyíre here today, gone tomorrow. Furthermore, Solomon tells us about the lust for silver:

Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 NKJV He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. (11) When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?

 

Thereís a common saying that echoes this: "The more he gets, the more he would get; "The love of money increases in proportion as money itself increases."

Psalms 62:10 NKJV Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them.

Proverbs 23:5 NKJV Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

Riches and things of this world are temporal things. By contrast, the things of God are forever. Which do you want to focus on? Do you want to get old and look back on your life and see that you have a nice house, a new car, lots of possessions, but have never built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ? Thereís nothing wrong with those things, but if thatís all you have, then youíll have nothing after death. Think about these things and see if they resonate with you. If you need to repent of your worldly life-style, then do so. Itís never too late to start working on your building.

Part 2

Part 4

Home