This life does not last forever. We all will come to our last day. Some sooner than others, but the reality remains, our life on this planet is limited. Embracing this truth will lead us to the point of asking important questions, “What is this all for?” “Why do I exist?” “Does any of this really matter?”
These questions are very important in order for individuals to delve deeper into their souls and discover what it is that they really believe. If one believes that there is no god, and that there is only this life, then the way that they conduct their life will reflect that. However, if an individual believes in something greater than them and believes that there is something more than this life, their life, too, will reflect this. Whether a person is an atheist or a follower of Jesus, everyone lives with an eternal perspective.
An eternal perspective is the lens by which we view the world and approach life. If a person is convinced that this life is all that we have, they will often conduct themselves to the end of getting the most out of this life and striving to avoid death. That is, unless they become nihilistic, this may lead them to suicide. Or, if a person believes that there is an afterlife, but their behavior must be ‘good enough’ in order to enjoy the benefits of this afterlife, then they will strive to morally train themselves accordingly. However, for people who believe the Gospel, if they understand it according to what the Bible teaches, then there is an immense freedom that is experienced in their lives.
Living in view of eternity, from a biblical Christian perspective provides great hope for this life. When a follower of Jesus realizes that this is not their home, that they have been bought at a price, that this life is not all that there is, that their reward is in Heaven, and that they will never die a horrid spiritual death, then they can begin to embrace the freedom purchased for them on the cross. Realizing that our time here on Earth is limited, and that there are so many people around us who do not know Jesus, we must then be intentional about engaging those around us intentionally with the truth about Jesus Christ.
Our eternal perspective, as followers of Jesus, gives us not only the promise of eternal life, but also the power and authority to share this truth with those around us. We must never forget that we, too, were headed straight towards eternal destruction prior to God revealing Himself to us through Jesus Christ. Therefore, our motivation to share the Gospel should not be merely one of obligation, rather one of gratitude. If we have received new life through Jesus Christ, if we are born again, if we have been given the spirit of courage, then our RESPONSE ought to be declaration. To declare that God became flesh and dwelt amongst His people, living a perfect life in obedience to the Law, dying a death that we all deserve, then rising again to defeat sin and death, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father waiting for the command to come back and make all things new, should be all the motivation necessary for us to live, share, teach, and preach the Gospel.
Our response to the reception, implantation, and consequential transformation of the Gospel in our lives ought to invoke a response of thanksgiving in our hearts. This response will ultimately breathe life into our souls and begin a drastic paradigm shift of how we view this life and understand our purpose. We are created in the image of God to bring glory to Him by enjoying Him forever. If God is really this enjoyable, if we really live in view of our secured eternity, if we truly understand and embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then why is the church in drastic decline? Why are we embracing heresy in an increasing measure? Why do we run to the preacher who preaches ‘self-worth’ rather than God’s worth?
Once we come to the realization that we cannot please God on our own, rather that God is pleased in us through Jesus Christ, and then we can begin to live a life fulfilling the great commandment. This command is to love God with all that we are and love our neighbors as ourselves. To love our neighbors as ourselves is evidence of an eternal perspective. Think about it. We are by nature extremely selfish. Even the most ‘selfless’ person that you know, outside of Christ, acts this way for personal gratification or later manipulation for personal gain. However, when we become drastically aware of the radical love of God expressed towards us in and through Jesus Christ, we then have the ability to be freed from our self-absorption. This freedom then enables us to ‘do for others as we would have them do for us,’ thus loving them as we love ourselves.
To grow in humility is a miracle. This miracle occurs when our mind’s eye is shifted from ‘self’ towards God. We never lose sight of ourselves, but our pursuit and satisfaction switches sources. To think less ABOUT not OF ourselves is the chief-end of a God-centered existence. Through this miracle, God then enables us by His Spirit to begin living missional lives that is living with the specific purpose of being Kingdom builders. We no longer view the waitress, mechanic, doctor, or family member as a human being who can provide service, take from us, or be used by us. Rather, we begin to view all humans as living souls who need to know God through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:16).
When all of our life’s pursuits are viewed through these lenses, then we are able to truly live as a new creation, free from being bondservants to sin and death, and can begin to live expressly as bondservants of righteousness. This freedom, purchased on the Cross, ensured by the resurrection, is the evidence of the promises and their faithful fulfillment by God. Therefore, with the eternal perspective implanted in us through being born again, nourished through the consumption of the Word, and stirred and flamed to the boiling point of overflowing, we are able to live according to the Great Commission.