What Is Eternity in the Bible?
The word eternity can conjure images of outstretched horizons, heavenly realms, and Elysian plains. But the concept of eternity is more complex than that, and it has a lot to do with how we view God and our place in the universe. Let’s look at some of the more common ways in which eternity is portrayed in the Bible.
God is timelessly eternal
One of the most cherished biblical doctrines is that God is eternal. Without this doctrine, all other doctrines and claims would fall apart. The Bible is filled with passages that refer to God as eternal, such as Romans 1:20, which speaks of God’s eternal power, and 1 Timothy 1:17, which refers to God’s eternal purpose. Other passages, such as Genesis 21:33, speak of God’s eternal character.
Timelessness does not require memory or anticipation. Likewise, a person cannot be timelessly eternal and temporal at the same time. Therefore, God cannot be timelessly eternal in one place and temporally temporal in another. This is a contradiction of terms. So, God must be eternal.
Timelessness does not require creation, as the Bible teaches. Instead, timelessness means that God exists without time. Before the creation of the universe, God did not exist. Therefore, he entered time only when he became a first thing. But God did not enter time before the creation of the world, so timelessness in the Bible is not a new idea.
Timelessness in the Bible is an important concept in the Christian faith. While God cannot be timelessly eternal and temporal at the same time, he is eternal in all ways. Moreover, he is temporally active in the universe and responds to petitionary prayer. This means that God has knowledge of the lives of his creatures.
His covenant with His people will be eternal
God promises in His word that His covenant with His people will be eternal. His covenant with His people is an everlasting covenant that will keep the righteous in peace. It is a covenant that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The New Testament makes this clear. Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises.
The covenant is a stipulation of rights, obligations, and conditions. It is a promise that a person will receive a blessing if he or she obeys the terms of the covenant. It also promises punishment for disobedience. These conditions must be clearly defined.
The first covenant was made with Abraham. It promised Abraham a great nation. But instead of focusing on Abraham’s royal lineage, it focuses on the individual, conquering “offspring.” The promise in Gen 22:18 and the hope expressed in Ps 72:17 were fulfilled through Abraham’s covenant with God.
The New Covenant will be different. It involves a total change of heart. This change makes the individual pleasing to God.
His relationship with creation
The Bible teaches that God created the universe and created time. Before the creation, however, God existed outside of matter. Consequently, God is eternal. But can eternity be fully defined? Is it possible to define God by His relationship to the creation? The answer to these questions depends on the kind of eternity you believe in.
The Bible describes the creation of man in Genesis 1:1 as “a creation of God.” The Hebrew word bara’, meaning “created,” is the sole use of the word bara’ in Genesis. It is also only used of God, and never of secondary creation of humans.
Many Christian philosophers have posited that God is eternal, even though the universe may not have a beginning. Anselm, an early Christian thinker, also believed that God is timeless. He believed that God is “greater than all things” and posited a “grammar” of divine powers.
The doctrine of creation teaches that God is good. His creation reflects his goodness. Evil, on the other hand, reflects the antithesis of God. Evil, in other words, is a result of evil that God brought into the world by creatures that he created. God has the absolute power over everything, and it is up to him to decide what happens in the universe.
His purpose for all of time
In the Bible, God reveals His purpose for all of time. We can read about His purpose in creation and find fulfillment in knowing Him. At creation, He made man in His image and gave him a purpose to fill the earth and subdue the creatures. This purpose begins in Genesis and continues into eternity.
It is difficult to understand the biblical revelation of time without a clear understanding of how God views time. This concept of time has caused many philosophical and theological debates. The Bible, for example, makes an important distinction between the temporal and eternal, with Paul saying that things seen are “temporal” and those unseen as “eternal.” In psalm 90:2, God describes himself as “everlasting” and man as “threescore years and ten” years. Clearly, time does not relate to God the same way as it does to us.
The Bible also gives believers a general and specific purpose. It says that we are to do everything for the glory of God. We were predestined for good works, and God will accomplish them. Every believer is destined to do good works. The Bible teaches us that God will complete His purpose in us, if we let Him.
His purpose for all of creation
The Bible teaches that God has a plan for all of creation, which is revealed before the world was created. The plan for the universe is to glorify God, and every event recorded in the history of Scripture relates to that plan. Genesis 1 describes how God created the earth and people on it. People were created to enjoy the blessings of God. Throughout Scripture, sin and evil are discussed.
At creation, God revealed two purposes for mankind: to fill the earth and subdue creation and to know God. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they broke fellowship with God and the plan for redemption was revealed. This plan continues in the rest of Scripture and extends into eternity.
The Bible teaches that God created time and space before matter and energy existed. As a result, God is eternally loving, purposeful, and has a destination in store for those who believe. In addition, God is immutable. These are important attributes of God.
His relationship with all of creation
The eternal nature of God is thought of as timeless and everlasting. As such, God existed before time and is always in the same relationship with all of creation. The eternal nature of God is also significant because God cannot change. His life is eternal and will be the same relation to every moment in the future as it was when he created it.
The eternal relationship between God and all of creation implies that God knows all things. Because God is omniscient, he is aware of every moment, whether it is past or future, or any time between the past and the present. As such, he has a clear understanding of how things flow into each other. This doesn’t mean that God has a “succession of moments” in his consciousness, but that God sees the entire process from a high vantage point.
The Bible teaches that God is the Creator of everything. The first verse in Genesis tells us that God created the world and the heavens. This doesn’t mean that we were created from nothing, but that God made the world so it can exist with us. This is a testament to His loving character. It is also proof that the Bible is God’s eyewitness account of the creation of everything.
His covenant with all of creation
Eternity is defined in the Bible as the time God will spend with all of His creation. This time period is infinite, but it is also limited. For example, if you are living in this time frame, you will not experience the eternal life that Jesus promised. That’s why he died and rose again to set up His kingdom, which will last forever. Until then, you must repent of your sins and accept Christ as your Savior.
The Bible teaches that all of creation was made to fulfill the eternal covenant with God. It is this covenant that is the foundation of everything outside of God. This covenant is fulfilled through the Son’s redemption of the people and the work of the Holy Spirit to implement God’s plan of salvation.
In the Bible, God makes many covenants with humans. These covenants are important to the Christian life because they give us a clear understanding of God’s purposes and ways. God makes covenants with all of creation, including humans, and with the church.