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  • Living with Eternity in Your Heart?

Where is the need of the Holy Spirit, if sinners are can enter heaven without conversion and renewal of heart? Where can we find the smallest evidence that after a person dies in an unregenerate state, that later he can still be born again, and have a new heart? If a man, without faith in Christ or sanctification of the Spirit, can escape eternal punishment, then sin is no longer an infinite evil and there was no need for Christ making atonement. I can imagine nothing so pleasant to our flesh and blood as the deceptive theory that we may live in sin, and yet escape eternal damnation; and that although we are "enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures" while we are here, we will somehow all eventually get to heaven!

Just tell the young man who "squandered his wealth in wild living" that heaven is available even for those who live and die in sin, and he is never likely to turn from it. Why should be repent and take up the cross, if he can get eventually get to heaven without repenting? It is impossible to separate the two things. No ingenious theological definition can divide them. They stand or fall together.

Things Unseen: Living in Light of Foreveer

The same language is used, the same figures of speech are employed, when the Bible speaks about either condition. Every attack on the duration of hell is also an attack on the duration of heaven. It is true that if we take away the fear of hell from sinners, then we also have taken away our own hope. I turn from this part of my subject with a deep sense of its painfulness.


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I strongly agree with Robert McCheyne, that "it is a hard subject to handle lovingly. Dear Jesus, deliver us from hard, austere, and unmerciful theology! If men are not saved it is because they "refuse to come to Christ. No morbid love of liberality, so called, must induce us to reject anything that God has revealed about eternity.

Men sometimes talk exclusively about God's mercy and love and compassion, as if He had no other attributes, and leave out His holiness and His purity, His justice and His unchangeableness, and His hatred of sin. Let us beware of falling into this delusion. It is a growing evil in these last days. Let us think about the mighty Being whom we are subject to, as He Himself declared His character to Moses saying, "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

The words of Psalm are strikingly beautiful: "The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. But what a striking fact it is that the passage goes on to add the following solemn conclusion, "But all the wicked He will destroy. The third thought that I bring to your attention is this: Our future state in the unseen world of eternity depends entirely on what we are in the present.

The life that we live on the earth is short and soon gone.

You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. But short as our life is here, and endless as it will be in eternity, the life we now live will have a tremendous impact on eternity. Our lot after death depends, humanly speaking, on what we are while we are alive. It is written, God "will give to each person according to what he has done.

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. We must never forget, that every one of us, while we live, are in a state of probation. We are constantly sowing seeds that will spring up and bear fruit, every day and every hour in our lives. There are eternal consequences resulting from all our thoughts and words and actions, of which we pay too little attention to. No wonder that Paul says, "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

There is no greater delusion than the common idea that it is possible to live wickedly, and yet rise again gloriously—to be without Christ in this world, and yet to be a saint in the next.


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  7. When that great preacher George Whitefield revived the doctrine of conversion, in the last century, it is reported that one of his listeners came to him after a sermon and said, "It is all quite true, sir. I hope I will be converted and born again one day, but not till after I am dead. I fear the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic purgatory has many secret friends even within the confines of the true Church today! However carelessly men may go on while they live, they secretly cling to the hope that they will be found among the saints when they die.

    RSM Primary English

    They seem to embrace the idea that there is some cleansing, purifying effect produced by death, and that, whatever they may be in this life, they will be found "suitable for the inheritance of the saints" in the life to come. But it is all a delusion. The Bible clearly teaches that what we are when we die, whether converted or unconverted, whether believers or unbelievers, whether godly or ungodly, so we will be when we rise again at the sound of the last trumpet.

    There is no repentance in the grave: there is no conversion after the last breath is drawn. Now is the time to believe in Christ, and to lay hold of eternal life. Now is the time to turn from darkness to light, and to make our calling and election sure.

    The night comes when no man can work. As the tree falls, there it will lie. If we leave this world refusing to repent and believe, we will rise in the same condition on resurrection morning, and find it would have been "better for us if we had never been born. Our souls will continue forever what we make them in this world.

    Such a taste and disposition of mind as a man carries with him out of this life, he will retain in the next. It is absolutely true that heaven perfects those holy and virtuous dispositions, which are begun here; but the other world alters no man as to his main state. He that is filthy will be filthy still; and he that is unrighteous will be unrighteous still. See Horbery, volume II, p. I strongly advise readers of this paper to remember this, and to make a good use of their time.

    Regard it as the stuff of which life is made, and never waste it or throw it away.

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    Your hours and days and weeks and months and years all have something to say to your eternal condition beyond the grave. What you sow in this life on earth you are sure to reap in a life to come. As that holy preacher Richard Baxter says, it is "now or never. Remember this in your use of all the means of grace, from the least to the greatest.

    Never be careless about them. They are given to be your helps toward an eternal world, and not one of them ought to be thoughtlessly treated or lightly and irreverently handled. Your daily prayers and Bible-reading, your weekly behavior on the Lord's day, your manner of going through public worship—every one of these things are important. Use them all as one who remembers eternity. Keep it foremost in your mind, whenever you are tempted to do evil. When sinners entice you, and say, "It is only a little sin. Everybody does it,"—then look beyond time to a world unseen, and place in the face of the temptation the thought of eternity.

    There is a great saying by the martyred Reformer, Bishop Hooper, when someone urged him to recant before he was burned, saying, "Life is sweet and death is bitter.

    Things Unseen - Experiencing God | First15 Daily Devotional

    But eternal life is sweeter, and eternal death is more bitter. The last thought which I bring to the attention of my readers is this: The Lord Jesus Christ is the great Friend to whom we must all look to for help, both for now and eternity. The reason why the eternal Son of God came into the world can never be declared too fully, or proclaimed too loudly. He came to give us hope and peace while we live among the "temporary things which are seen," and glory and blessedness when we go to the "eternal things, which are unseen.

    And now, blessed be His name, a mortal man may pass through "temporary things" with comfort, and look forward to "eternal things" without fear. Our Lord Jesus Christ has purchased these mighty privileges for us at the cost of His own precious blood. He became our Substitute, and bore our sins in His own body on the cross, and then rose again for our justification.