The EMW Summer Call to Prayer
WE RECOGNISE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ETERNITY
One of the great possibilities of this time is that people start to think of eternity and its significance.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
Life is short and uncertain, but eternity lies ahead of us all. The Bible is clear that there are only two eternal destinies: heaven where we are forever with the Lord, rejoicing in the forgiveness of our sins, or hell where we are eternally cast out of his presence and bear the just punishment of our sins for all eternity. How little attention people give to eternity!
Every believer has a place in glory prepared for them by the Lord Jesus Christ. To see his face and be made like him, and to be with him for ever is a joy beyond anything we can comprehend. It makes all the sufferings of our present lives worthwhile (Romans 8:18).
But to be lost for all eternity is a tragedy beyond our imagining which nothing can make worthwhile, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Our eternal destiny is decided in this world. If we are saved in life, we are safe for eternity (John 5:24), but if we die outside of Christ, we are lost for ever, and that breach can never be made up: there is a “great gulf fixed” (Luke 16:26).
For believers, the glory of eternity is a spur to holiness (1 John 3:2-3), and the nearness of eternity is a spur to service (John 9:4). And for unbelievers, the reality of eternity should be a spur to seek the Lord for mercy and to listen to the gospel invitation, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).
Pray that there would be an awareness of eternity in our churches and our nation.
Mark Thomas, EMW General Secretary