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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

Some Solemn Facts About Eternity

Dr. W. M. Tidwell

January 1974

It is not so long since the creation of man. Approximately 6,000 years. Only 2,190,000 days, 52,560,000 hours and 3,153,600,000 minutes since Adam lived. Not so long. If Adam had lived and saved $10 a day, he would now be classed the richest man alive.

Time had a beginning and will have an end. The angel set one foot on the land and one foot on the sea and swore that time should be no longer (Revelation 10:6, 7). Yes, time will soon pass away, but eternity never.

But how long is eternity? Unanswerable! Maybe we can get some faint ideas, though that is absolutely imperfect. We speak of great numbers, and they have lost their meaning today. You say, "How much is a million?" "How long is a million years?" A million is a thousand thousand. A quadrillion is a thousand trillion. A quintillion is a thousand quadrillion. "Baffling" you say; "staggering, " "incomprehensible." Certainly.

But so is eternity. After this bewildering duration just mentioned has flown by, eternity has not begun. No Eternity is endless. It had no beginning and will have no ending. Eternity is duration without beginning or end.

Some inconceivable things can be done. For example, give a mighty angel a thimble and say to him, "Drain all the lakes, seas and oceans in the world, Dip up a thimbleful at a time, transport it to some distant clime. Let this be so far way that it will require 1,000 years to make one round trip."

He begins. A maddening task. But as the millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions and quintillions of years pass, the gigantic task might finally be accomplished. Finally all the lakes, seas and five mighty oceans are drained. But then eternity would still be young and roll on unabated. Shuddering thought!

Astronomers tell us that it is 93 million miles from the earth to the sun. Traveling at the rate of 100 miles per hour, it would require 930,000 hours or 38,750 days to reach it. They tell us that the planet Neptune is 2,770,000,000 miles from the earth. It is one of our near neighbors, belonging to our solar system. But it would require a cannon ball with a speed of 1,500 miles per minute, many years to reach it.

They tell us that the stars are so far away that it would require light, at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, 40,000,000 years to reach the earth.

Something that cannot be done is to discover the bounds of infinite space. Suppose you charter some mighty airplane that is self generating, and capable of making 500 miles per hour. Let this mighty monster of the air be manned by some immortal pilot. Then he is commanded to find the East.

He begins this eventful journey. He flies on for a million, billion, trillion, quadrillion and quintillions of years. Then we behold him far out in this strange realm and he contacts some strange creatures and inquires, "Is this East?" But, to his dismay, the finds he is just as far from the East as when he began. The same could be said of other pilots who had been instructed to find other points of the compass, North, South, West. They have not made the discovery. They are as far from it as when they began.

We are now creatures of time but will soon be creatures of eternity. All must spend this awful eternity somewhere. There is no annihilation either in the material or the spiritual world. Whatever is, shall always be. It may change form but no cessation. We shall exist consciously. (We cannot say through eternity, for we shall never get through eternity.)

And God's inspired Word declares that this shall be in one of two places. And, they are both places. One is to the good world above and the other is the bad world below. One is Heaven, the other is Hell. With God, the holy angels and the redeemed; or with the devil, fallen angels, and the lost and damned of earth.

Just one worthwhile question in life and that is, where shall I spend eternity? The Word of God is positive, unmistakable. If we repent, trust Christ as our personal Savior ... then Heaven is the eternal home. If we reject Christ and His salvation, it is Hell. It is present salvation or eternal damnation. No second chance. When the old fashioned ships would pass each other on the high seas, the trumpeter would call out, "Whither bound?"

We would call to you, O fellow traveler to eternity, "Whither bound?" Heaven or Hell? Yes, eternity draws space. Hear her solemn footsteps. In the little country cemetery there was an epitaph which read, "Reader, stop and think. I am in eternity, and you are on the brink." Oh soul prepare to meet thy God!