ETERNITY – WHERE WILL YOU SPEND IT?

For over twenty five years, from 1930 to 1956, the people of Sydney woke up each day to a one-word sermon—”Eternity”—handwritten in white chalk or yellow crayon (when raining) on footpaths, train station platforms, and perimeter walls lining the city’s many walkways and streets. Each day a fresh batch of graffiti rendered in beautiful copperplate lettering style  would appear at places where there weren’t any the previous night. Somehow, for twenty five years, a mysterious figure had managed to sneak into the city every night and leave his presence on the city’s walls and sidewalks. It attracted the ire of Sydney City Council at first, but as the weeks become months, and the months became years, the “Eternity” graffiti became an iconic symbol of the city. Pedestrians stepped around and over the words, and street sweepers and cleaners left the elegant writings untouched. This is some way explains why the “Eternity” graffiti illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of new year’s eve celebration in 2000. The real explanation, God orchestrated it so that many worldwide would be impacted by the “Eternity” message. Arthur Stace was illiterate so it was obvious, certainly to Arthur, that God had initiated it. “I couldn’t understand it, and I still can’t,” Arthur later told in an interview.. But Arthur did know that God had asked him to do it. Arthur was obedient to go out on the streets of Sydney everyday, rain or shine, until the day before he died.

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The “Eternity” graffiti illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of new year’s eve celebration in 2000. Photo credit: National Geographic

The mysterious figure behind the phenomenon, who was to become the most famous graffiti artist in Australia’s history, managed to keep his identity a secret until one morning in June 1956, when he was caught in the act. That morning, Reverend Lisle M. Thompson, who preached at the Burton Street Baptist Church, saw a church cleaner sneak out a piece of chalk from his pocket and write the word on the footpath.

Rev. Thompson approached the cleaner and asked, “Are you Mr. Eternity?”, to which the cleaner replied, “Guilty, your honour.” Soon after that encounter, the Sunday Telegraph published an interview with the artist and the mystery that had baffled Sydney for over 25 years was finally revealed. The cleaner’s name was Arthur Malcolm Stace.

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A rare photo of Arthur Stace – “Mr. Eternity”.

Born in 1885 in Redfern, Stace’s childhood and much of his adulthood was marked by abject poverty. His parents were alcoholics, and his sisters ran a brothel. In order to survive, he resorted to stealing bread and milk and searching for scraps of food in bins. At the age of 12, Stace became a ward of the state and worked briefly in a coal mine. As a teenager, he became an alcoholic and was subsequently sent to jail at 15 for drunkenness. His twenties were spent running liquor between pubs and brothels, and working as a lookout for gambling dens. During the First World War, Stace found work as a laborer with the Australian Imperial Force, but his recurring bouts of bronchitis and pleurisy led him to be discharged.

Stace finally found his calling in November 1932, when he went to listen to a Baptist preacher named John Ridley give a sermon. In a homily titled “Echoes of Eternity“, Ridley declared: “Eternity, Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You’ve got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity?“. The words so captivated Stace that at that very moment, Stace pulled a piece of chalk he had in his pocket, bent down and wrote the word “Eternity” on the church floor.

Even though he was illiterate and could hardly write his own name legibly, the word ‘Eternity‘ came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. Arthur had to ask the person next to him what he had written.

God has a calling for each one of us, what is yours? Don’t know, then get into prayer until you do. Also, will you be obedient as Arthur was to carry it out regardless of the cost?

The story of Arthur Stace (Acorn Press, 2017)

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Jesus commands us: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28),  We can’t do this in our own strength. It takes yielding to God’s Holy Spirit within to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,” and “pray for those who abuse you.”

I am sure Abraham did not completely understand what God was doing by asking him to sacrifice his son, but he was prepared to do it anyway. Likewise, there are times when I cannot understand why we are commanded to pray for our enemies, do good to those that hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us but, I do it anyway. And never have I ever regretted it.

I might not precisely understand what God’s Word tells me to do in some cases, so I must trust the Spirit and yield to His influence. The Spirit might prompt me to do something that I would not ordinarily do, and even though my own flesh says, “No,” I sense it’s what God wants me to do, and more often than not, I discover that, in His sovereignty, God had placed me in such a place and time to do just what He willed for me to do. I know that if what I do helps others; if it glorifies God, and it’s revealed in the Word of God, then I must do it, even if I don’t fully understand it at the time.

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LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Colossians is a great book for helping us to live eternally now. Paul instructs us to concentrate on the eternal realities of heaven. “Set your minds on things above” The Greek verb for set emphasizes an ongoing decision. Christians must continually discipline themselves to focus on eternal realities instead of the temporal realities of this earth.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:1-11

Use of old self and new self. These two terms do not refer to the Christian’s fleshly and spiritual natures. Instead, Paul describes our former unredeemed life as the old self and our life as God’s child as the new self. The new self has the image of the new creation in Christ, just as the old self bears the image of our fallen nature. The old self is under an old master, Satan, while the new self has a new master, the Holy Spirit of God living within.

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LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Have you contemplated why I called this blog Living Eternal Now?

How do we live in the light of eternity and see beyond the moment in a world of increasing darkness?

God has enabled us to look beyond today to see what lies ahead.

Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. All believers have received the Holy Spirit to be their counsellor, comforter and teacher. We are Holy Spirit enabled.

We have a spiritual lens through which to view the world from God’s perspective.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Considering we are living in the “last days” when persecution of Christians will increase. It is essential we live Holy Spirit enabled lives. He may not reveal what immediately lies ahead but we live our lives knowing He is in control of coming events. Moreover, we will not be taken by surprise, His Word tells us exactly how the “last days” play out before Jesus returns.

Living eternal nowis a way of travelling in the here and now, with our spiritual vision fixed on God and eternity so we are submitted to His will.

Remember, our days are numbered. The psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12 Hopefully, this admonition, will affect how we use our time, how we decide our priorities, so we don’t waste time..

Paul also tells us, we are now alive to the spiritual realm, we see what is important from an eternal perspective, we don’t dwell on earthly matters which are temporary:while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:18

The preceding verses tell us how being Holt Spirit enabled, we know that whatever God allows into our lives, we will be able to see it as “light affliction” because we know it is for His glory.

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

If we are living Holy Spirit enabled lives then the fruit of the Spirit (9) will be evident in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. The fruit of the Spirit demonstrates how far along we are in the sanctification process, submitted to God’s will.

As well, we will be operating in the gifts of the Spirit (9). The gifts of the spirit are the ammunition that the Holy Spirit provides for our use as we walk Holy Spirit enabled lives. The miraculous will truly be evident.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Note the counsel Paul gives concerning neglecting and quenching the Holy Spirits work in our lives.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Do not neglect the gift that is in you… Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 1 Timothy 4:14

Are you living eternal now? If not why not?

One aspect of living eternally now is based on what our expectation is of the hereafter. Where will you be, and what will you be doing? Sadly, most peoples view of eternal life is not that appealing. They view it as an eternity in heaven but have no idea of what they will be doing there e.g. plucking harps and praising God. As a result, not to many are anxious to leave this life and go there. In future posts, we will explore what the Bible really says about where we will be (new heaven and new earth) and what we will be doing there.

WHY THIS WEBSITE IS CALLED LIVING ETERNAL NOW

This website is called Living Eternal Now for a reason. Eternity on a new earth needs to be your focus. Look at these Scriptures which are written for Christians. They clearly show Christians will appear before the judgement seat of Christ. “If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved”

Are you living for heavenly reward?

“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthian 5:9-10

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10

“Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward2 John 1:8

Listen to John Bevere on Driven by Eternity. He will challenge you on how you live your life from this day forward.

SIN DESTROYS BODY, SOUL & SPIRIT

When we are silent about our sin and shortcomings, our bodies and souls suffer. What begins as intentional minimising of sin turns into blindness to both the sin and its effects. Our view of ourselves is skewed. We begin to say, “This is just who I am.”

Sin not only damages our connection to God, but our connection to others.

When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. Psalm 32:3

David learned this firsthand when he tried to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. When the prophet Nathan confronted David, the cure for sin’s poison was revealed. As we confess and repent, God welcomes us back. Although the consequences of our choices remain, God’s forgiveness and the penetrating light of His truth bring life and restoration to our souls and relationships.

God’s arrows of affliction are sharp and painful so He can get our attention. He won’t let His beloved children get away with sin because He knows it robs us of blessings, opportunities, and even character refinement.
Charles Stanley

Sadly, the world increasingly, by denying the existence of God, has no concept of the eternal consequences of SIN – separation from their Creator forever, i.e. HELL. Likewise, they don’t recognise that God has provided the solution to the SIN problem (rebellion against God and His Commandments) i.e. JESUS, God’s own Son. Nor will they repent of their SIN, acknowledge His sacrifice on their behalf and let Him be Lord of their life.

The Bible provides the only history of this universe that makes sense of what we see in the world today. The initial SIN of Adam and Eve brought death, pain and suffering into what once was a perfect world. God has provided one way back into a renewed relationship with our heavenly Father – JESUS.

“Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

“Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24

Will you reconsider? Your eternal destiny hangs in the balance.

ARE YOU FREE FROM THE POWERS OF DARKNESS?

Are you free from the powers of darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places?

You can live in a free society and be more bound than someone who lives in a nation governed by a dictator or an oppressive government. True freedom can only be found in Christ.

No dictator, oppressor or pharaoh who has reigned is a greater tyrant than Lucifer. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot were evil, but Lucifer is the father of evil. It is better to live in an oppressed regime and have freedom in Christ than to live in a free society without the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Those who are bound by Lucifer’s oppressive regime are bound by their lusts, desires and affections. They are doomed for eternal destruction. They are not free, no matter what form of government they are under.

Are you thoroughly free? Are you enjoying the true freedom that can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Jesus death and resurrection has enabled our Heavenly Father to send the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit, to be our counsellor, comforter and teacher. This freedom therefore, surpasses the freedom that is granted by any document or government. This freedom is temporal and eternal. It is the freedom to become what you were created to be. The Holy Spirit will conform you to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. You can pray to your Heavenly Father and He will answer your prayers. You are empowered to express your conviction and your beliefs through everything you do: the way you treat your mate, the way you raise your children, the way you exercise your civic duty and the way you run your business or do your job.

The wonderful thing about this freedom found in Christ is that it is eternal.

You don’t have to worry about someone else taking it away from you. No government, person, angel or demon can take it from you. You are truly free at last.

My prayer for you today is that you will find or  be reminded of the freedom you have in Christ, found only in His precious death and resurrection.

HOW DO YOU INTEND TO LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

Obviously the decision is yours to make, but as we are living in the “last days”, ETERNITY and where you spend it hangs in the balance. This article by Fulton Sheen, which I received at the end of 2014, should challenge you, as it did me then and NOW.

The Decision is Yours (12/24/2014) Fulton Sheen

Like the rain washes away the dust and the dirt and replenishes and purifies the rivers, the streams and waters in the earth for all living things to continue to live and flourish, so My Spirit waits for those to enter, that I may do the same to the hearts and spirits which have freely yielded to Me. It is a decision and act and every decision and act has consequences. What will you do today, how will you live the moments which have been given to you? Will you yield; will you live the day I have set aside for you? Will you follow the path I have laid for you to walk or will you find your own way? This choice, this decision is yours to make every day and every morning, for every day is a new beginning. The consequences of that choice and decision will determine whether you go deeper into My plans and purposes, you stop short or you regress.

For those that regress and choose another path, they will drink of the consequences of that decision. They will step out of the walled city which they had previously chosen to inhabit and are now on their own. They have made themselves subject to the world and have rejected My will and replaced it with their own and they rejected My plans, My purposes and My protection. They have chosen their own path. In these days and the days to come, retracing ones steps and taking back ground will become more difficult and the consequences greater.

For those who stop short, you will continue to walk in the revelation and grace you had been given up to that point, but the former revelation and grace will not be sufficient. It will be harder and harder to stand your ground without fresh revelation and grace. You will be like a stagnant pond, no longer connected to the river which once replenished, purified and allowed it to expand. In time you will become polluted with things which can only grow in water deprived of cleansing and eventually dries up and disappears.

But for those who daily choose the path I have laid out for them, for those who have chosen My will, My plans and purposes over their own, they will not be disappointed. They will receive fresh revelation, fresh grace for the day and they will move forward and the enemy will not have his way with them. I will renew their strength, I will give them wisdom, insight and direction they need for the day and for the days to come. The consequences of this choice will be peace, joy and rest in the midst of the battle. They will have eyes to see, their ears will hear and their mind will understand what My Spirit is saying. Like the sons of Issachar they will understand the times and they will know what to do.

THE DECISION IS YOURS?

 

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

True Religion
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27
Last summer, former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow spent time ministering to children in an orphanage in the Philippines. It was a personal mission for Tim because he was born in the Philippines to missionary parents, and the orphanage had been started by his father, Bob Tebow.
tim_tebow_denver_sports_authority_field_2012-01-01Critics may blast Tim Tebow for his vocal faith, but it’s hard for them to criticise him when his Christianity goes to work caring for orphans in the Philippines.
Following Christ isn’t a popular path in today’s culture, and the world is quick to criticise us for being vocal or for our slightest faults or failures. But the world falls silent as we care for orphans, visit widows, feed the poor, rebuild communities after disasters, promote literacy, and provide clean drinking water for impoverished villages.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us”   1 Peter 2:12, NIV.
Our authenticity as a follower of Christ is often judged more by our actions than our words.

The greatest thing a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to… His other children.
Henry Drummond

TIME TO BE RADICAL FOR GOD, JUST AS IN THE EARLY CHURCH

The church is in for increasing persecution as in the Book of Acts and it’s coming quickly. The world is calling good evil and evil good as prophesied for the last days (“a great apostasy, moral apostasy”). The Supreme Court not only struck down the traditional definition of marriage but you will be called a “hater”, “an enemy of the State if you defend God’s commandments.

Jonathan Cahn has been led by God to prophesy to America (the World), His truth, His judgement for these end times. If you haven’t read The Harbinger, you don’t know what judgement, God has already brought upon on America.

If you want to know what God is doing right now in these last days, then watch this video. In fact, you can’t afford not to invest this time, if you are at all interested in where you will spend ETERNITY.