Friday, July 30, 2010

Live for the Line

Back in 2002 the theme for Sovereign Grace's Youth Camp was the phrase, "Live for the Line". The idea behind this phrase was this: imagine this life on earth as a dot and then imagine eternity as a line. Which would you live for? Obviously, we would want to live for the line, but how often do we view our lives in this world in perspective with eternal life?

Scripture makes it clear to us that since Christ has saved us, we no longer belong to this world, but rather are sojourners waiting for the appearing of our Savior (1 Peter 2:9-11, Titus 2:11-13). In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul urges them to die to this world because it will prepare them for "an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:17). This message goes against everything our culture tells us we should want. We want happiness and we want it now. We want benefits we can see. However, these pleasures will not last. This is why Paul urges that "we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

In C. S. Lewis' book, The Last Battle, he describes life in Aslan's world-an allegory for heaven-in this way: "And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."

Jonathan Edwards describes eternity in this manner: “We can never by soaring and ascending come to the height of [the love of God]; we can never by descending come to the depth of it; or by measuring, know the length and breadth of it. . . Let the thoughts and desires extend themselves as they will, here is space enough for them, in which they may expand for ever. How blessed therefore are they that do see God, who are come to this exhaustless fountain! . . . After they have had the pleasure of beholding the face of God millions of ages, it will not grow a dull story; the relish of this delight will be as exquisite as ever. . .” (Works of Jonathan Edwards, Edinburgh, 1974, vol. 2, p. 909)

How different would our lives be if we viewed our lives this way? Our lives on earth are just a small part of the glorious future we have in Christ. We have been put here for a short time with the mission of glorifying Christ's name in all the earth. Then, when God has completed his work here, he will call us home where we will spend eternity beholding the glory of Christ unfold exponentially in front of us.

When we put eternity in perspective, suddenly the things we live for in this world do not seem as significant. The trials and hardships we will face do not seem so bad. The wait for Christ’s return does not seem so long. Let us not live for this dot that is our life in this world. Let's live for the line.

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