What Really Lasts?

David Gaunt

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”  II Peter 3:10

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ’Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  I Corinthians 15:51-58

Once in the back country of Colorado, I came across the remains of an old log cabin.  In the midst of it was an old wood stove, which is now serving as shelter for chipmunks.  In the backdrop was majestic mountain grandeur and rolling hills of field and forest.  At first glance, it would appear that the existence of the mountains, hills, fields, creek, and forest has and will far surpass that of the previous human residents.  But that’s not the truth.  Death is not the end.

I stood and tried to picture the people and hear the voices that had echoed many years before.  The impact of the actions, attitudes, relationships, and beliefs of those people will be manifested long after this earth has passed away. According to the Bible, there are only a few things in this world that will really last, and the mountains, hills, fields, forest, and various bodies of water are not among them (see 2 Peter 3:10 above).

God of course is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), meaning that He always did, and always will exist. We know that His word is forever, and in eternity will be completely fulfilled (Matthew 5:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25).  We also know that angels and humans are the only creatures that will endure forever in one place (heaven), or another (hell) (Revelation 20:4-6, 10, 11-15).

It amazes me that God has placed permanent value on us mere humans, while the majestic scenes of nature will all pass away.  I am therefore reminded that my relationship to Him, His Word, and to those He created in His image (every human) is more precious than everything else on this planet.  It was nice to get away to the beauty of a wilderness experience.  But I am thankful that my normal everyday life constantly consists of those things on which God has placed an eternal priority.

Are you standing firm upon, and giving yourself fully to, that which lasts forever?

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