Sunday, May 21, 2006

With Eternity's Values in View

“…the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. /Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” (2 Pet. 3:10-11)

Talk about global warming! The whole thing is going to burn up one day, says Peter. According to those who keep such records, the temperature of the earth has risen one degree Fahrenheit in the last one-hundred years. And for this I should be driving my car less? Believe me, I can think of far better reasons for staying home than that! Actually, reading 2 Peter 3:10-12 in 2006, it would be much easier to believe the earth will succumb to a nuclear cataclysm long before it is overcome by greenhouse gases. I acknowledge our role as stewards of God’s earth; but, obviously, this is yet one more ploy to keep us so occupied with the temporal that we lose sight of the eternal.

If our view of this earth leads us to major on trying to preserve it, we have the wrong view. According to Peter, when we have the right perspective of the earth and our relationship to it, it will change the way we conduct our life. It will be characterized moreby holiness and godliness. Paul makes the same point in Titus 2:11-13, where he says that those who actually understand the truth of the “blessed hope” of Christ’s Second Coming live “soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

We used to sing a little chorus in Sunday School when I was a young person that said: “With eternity’s values in view, Lord/With eternity’s values in view/May I do each day’s work for Jesus/With eternity’s values in view.” I understand, of course that much of life is concerned with the immediate, and rightly so. We may be citizens of Heaven, but we are occupiers of Earth. It is all right if our hearts are in the clouds as long as our heads are not. If we are unable to function in society, we can never hope to influence it for Christ. Still, having said that, I cannot help but think it would be a good thing to ask myself at the end of each day, “Did I do anything today that will outlast me, or, better still, outlast this earth?” How about you? What have you done lately that had eternity built into it?

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