Archive for October, 2022

What is Eternity?

Monday, October 17th, 2022

What is Eternity?

Christians talk a lot about spending eternity in heaven, but the Bible doesn’t really tell us much about what it will really be like. The dictionary defines eternity only in terms of time: “infinite time; duration without beginning or end.” But how can we have a duration without time (or with “infinite time”)?

I once had a reader send me this question: “I was going to reply to a video that a friend used on utube. Because I try to use actual scriptures, I ran into a phrase that I cannot find in any translations of the Bibles that I have here. Where do people come up with the phrase, ‘there is no time or distance in the Holy Spirit?'”

These words, “There is no time or distance in the Holy Spirit,” do not come directly from the Bible. However, this idea is a logical deduction from a couple of scriptures. Romans 8:9 says, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit…” So, the realm of the flesh is quite different from the realm of the Spirit.

Then, there are several verses like Titus 1:2, “…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…” The realm of God exists beyond time. So, the logical conclusion is that the realm of the Holy Spirit is outside of time, and probably space (distance) as well. So, again, how can we have a period (of time, or whatever) “before the beginning of time?”

Well, this subject is so inconceivable to us, that we can’t really use words to talk about it. This is another anomaly, which is, I’m sure, intended by God. Our brains are just too small to understand God’s omniscience.

If there is no time in eternity, then we can’t use words like “when;” “then;” “now;” “past;” “present;” “future;” “later;” or, “again” when we talk about eternity. The best we can do is to say that, in eternity, “everything is now.” Somehow, everything happens concurrently. The same applies to space. Everything happens at the same place. (However, “happens” is probably another word we can’t use to describe eternity.)

I’ve heard preachers talk about a “time” in eternity past. Again, that doesn’t make sense, and “past” is one of those words that is off-limits. (For the remainder of this article, I’ll just use italics and an asterisk (*) to denote any off-limits words.)

So, I think (to the extent that our tiny brains can understand it), eternity is some kind of a place * where * everything happens * concurrently * and at the same place *. Somehow, if you’re on the other side of the universe, and you’re needed right back here *, you just instantaneously * zap yourself back. If you do something incorrectly, you just do it again *, and it’s like you never did it incorrectly in the first place.

All we know for sure is that, in heaven, we will always * have God’s omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence, and we will never sin again *.