What Will Eternity Be Like? – Mathew 18:1-6

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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As a young man fresh out of Bible College, I worked as an assistant pastor in a denominational church for several years. There were several fundamental churches in this city. The pastors and assistant pastors met once a month for a time of fellowship and encouragement. While many of the experiences were edifying, one thing always bothered me. Each month these pastors would “count scalps,” so to speak, by bragging about how many baptisms, new memberships, or attendance records they had recently.

If you’ve ever wondered what eternity will be like, you are not alone. One day the disciples “…came…unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1). The apostles were anticipating a Millennial Kingdom virtually identical to that of every earthly kingdom before it. They saw the Lord Jesus as King, with them as His loyal subjects possessing positions of honor, wealth, glory, and power. The problem with this concept is that the Kingdom of our Lord will be unique in nearly every way from the kingdoms of mere men. When the Lord Jesus Christ reigns as King over all the earth, the primary focus and activity will be ongoing worship of the King, and the sincere learning His precepts out of a humble heart (Daniel 7:14; Zechariah 14:16; Isaiah 2:2-3). It will not be to exalt men, including the apostles. Instead, it will be as recorded in Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord…My glory will I not give to another.” This means the answer to the question of the apostles is that the Lord Jesus Christ will be the greatest in the Kingdom, and there will be room for only Him to have the spotlight of greatness and exaltation at this time.

We today share the same fleshly ambitions of the apostles. Therefore, the Lord reminds us, “For this I say…to every man that is among you, not think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly… (Romans 12:3). Revelation 4:1-11 paints a vivid picture of the nature of an eternal existence for the saints: “…I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven…The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship…and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things.” May we begin now to rearrange our eternal expectations toward praise, adoration, learning, and service, rather than self-exaltation!

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."