“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, 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)
According to Peter, one day this earth, as we know it, will be “burned up.” Spiritualize this if you want to (I don’t); but the fact remains, this planet we call home makes for a poor long-term investment. And if our view of it leads us to major on trying to preserve it, we’ve got the wrong end of the stick.
At one time, astrological science taught that when the sun came up in the east and set in the west, it was because it was revolving around the Earth. Now, of course, we know it’s the other way around. Earth, like all the planets, revolves around the sun. The outdated explanation is called geocentrism (earth-centered; and the accepted one today is heliocentricism (sun-centered).
Here’s my question for you and me: Is my life heliocentric (centered on the Son) or is it geocentric (centered on this earth)? It’s not an inconsequential question. Peter says, the fact that this earth, and our time spent here, are both miniscule in the light of heaven and eternity, should determine how we live our lives while we’re here. If I’m convinced this life is all there is, I’m going to invest my time making it as comfortable and pleasurable for me as I can while I’m here. But if I believe this life is just the vestibule to eternity, and one day I’ll stand before Jesus Christ, I’m going to do all I can to please Him till then. Now do you understand why my original question is important? Who or what does your life and mine center around?
We used to sing a little chorus in Sunday School 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 that much of life is concerned with the immediate, and rightly so. We may be citizens of Heaven, but we are occupiers of Earth. If we’re unable to function in society, we can never hope to influence it for Christ. Still, having said that, surely our greatest accomplishments in life are those things we do with eternity built into them. 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?” Did you?