February 25 I Thursday
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” —1 Peter 1:3-4
We live with an understanding of an unfaltering, continuously moving, progressive thing called time, where the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past. We measure time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, decades, centuries and millenniums. What we cannot do is look back in time forever, because time has not always been. Science tells us there was a beginning and there was a time when there was no time. Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God…” The verse reveals there was not only a beginning, but there was a before to the beginning. In other words, before the beginning, God was already in existence. Therefore, when the beginning began, God was the One who was behind the beginning; He was the one who was already there.
But where was God before the beginning? He was in eternity. The concept of eternity is not measured by time as we know time and space. Eternity is outside of time; it does not have a yesterday or a tomorrow. There is a “now” and that “now” is never-ending.
We all have access to eternity with God. 1 Peter 1:3 tells us, “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead....” We are given a new birth, which relates to what Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3). What does it mean to be born again? By nature, we are born spiritually dead, through acknowledging our deadness, our need and our sin, and declaring, “Lord Jesus, You died to settle my debt with the Father and take all the judgment of my sin upon Yourself. Thank You for Your sacrifice. I ask that You come and live within me.” We are born again to a new life, into a living hope, that will last beyond this life and take us forever into the presence of God.
Our entry to heaven is immediate upon leaving this earth. There is no biblical indication of purgatory, a waiting period or soul sleep. Paul tells us, “We are confident…to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8, NKJV). Absent one moment and present immediately, Paul anticipates an immediate transference after we die into God’s presence.
A reality we all must face is death. Have we confessed our sins and received Jesus Christ into our life with all the joy and fullness in the here and now, believing with confident expectation that this living hope will take us from death into an eternity in His presence?
Prayer: Dear Eternal God, thank You that I can be born-again because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. I have a confident expectation that my death on this earth will bring me into Your eternal presence.
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