Do you know the oldest documented person outside the Bible to have ever lived? The oldest verified person on record is French woman Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), who lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days.
Do you know the oldest person (whose age is listed) in the Bible? His name was Methuselah and he lived to be 969 years old.
Compare this to the life expectancy for an American man and woman? Who do you think on average lives longer, men or women? For men it’s 76.4 years, and for women it’s 81.2 years.
What about God’s age? He has no age. He is eternal. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand words like “forever,” “eternal” or “infinite.” Our minds have difficulty understanding just how long “eternity” is. In fact, it gets even more amazing to know that God does not even exist in time. He is outside of time as we know it. He created time. According to Psalm 90:2, our God is from everlasting to everlasting.
When Moses was commissioned by God to go to the Hebrew people and deliver them from Pharaoh, Moses asked whom should he say sent him. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is the translation of the Name of God. God is, has always been, and always will be. This means He had no beginning and He has no end. In Job 36:26, Elihu says of God, “How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.”
As humans, we must come to terms with God’s great eternal nature with our temporal one. The Bible speaks about the brevity of man’s days on earth by comparing them to “a shadow (Job 8:9),” to “wind that passes and does not return (Psalm 78:39),” to “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14),” and “a flower that comes forth and withers (Job 14:2).” You get the picture. These physical lives we have are brief compared to eternity. We must make them count! How can we live for eternity while our physical lives are so temporary?
The Bible also speaks about our eternity. Although our bodies will pass away, our soul will last forever. We are souls who have a body rather than bodies who have a soul (Matthew 10:28)., According to the Bible we will spend eternity in one of two places; either we will spend eternity with God, or we will spend eternity separated from God in a place called the lake of fire. If we believe Jesus is God in the flesh, who came to die for our sins on the cross; if we turn away from living for ourselves and commit to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we do not have to fear being separated from God for forever. We will have eternal life with God (Romans 6:23)!
With this eternal hope, we should live our lives here on earth knowing we are “citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20),” awaiting the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will take us to be with Him forever. We also are here as “ambassadors” of Christ, helping others hear the important truth—we have short lives and the decisions they make in this life will affect their eternity. We want others to come to know Christ, to have a relationship with the eternal God, and live with Him forever instead of separated from God forever.
Eternity is important. Live today for the eternal God with an eternal perspective. Yours and other’s lives depend upon it!