What is an eternal perspective? It’s a way of looking at your life and world. Most people live their days focused only on the next day, week, month or year. Any thought of eternity is relegated to religion or death—but not to life itself. As Christian believers, our spiritual framework requires a different perspective.
As followers of Christ, everything we do has eternal impact, which means it doesn’t just affect the here and now. Our actions, thoughts and words influence our walk with God, our witness in the world and our eternal reward. Our choices reflect our focus. When we focus on our own comfort, goals or hopes alone, we lose sight of what it means to be Christ’s disciple. We are part of a bigger purpose; we have an eternal perspective.
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
An eternal perspective starts with the character and love of God. We have access to eternity—a life that doesn’t end with death, but continues past it—because of Jesus! It is because of Him we can go beyond knowing about God to knowing God Himself. Eternal life begins with knowing Christ, a knowledge that grows deeper and more intimate until we pass death and meet Him face-to-face.
This is why your devotional time is so important. It’s not just a “to do” on your list; it’s a time to know God better on earth, as a precursor to the way you’ll know Him in heaven. As Dwight L. Moody said: “We talk as if heaven is so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.”
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7–8)
We don’t talk much about eternal rewards in today’s age, but the Bible talks about them frequently. While we can’t earn our way into heaven, how we live our lives once saved does affect how eternity will look for us as individuals. There is a greater reward for those who faithfully follow Christ than for those who accept His salvation yet live as if they barely know Him.
When we live according to our fleshly desires, our lives quickly fall into the latter pattern. But we don’t have to stay there! We can turn, run to Christ and draw near to the relationship He so longs for us to take part in.
Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
Our ultimate hope—and eternal perspective—lies in the fact that the “second death has no power” over us. This second death is the judgment after physical death, when those who rejected God in life are judged wanting, separated from Him for eternity. This may seem harsh, but this is their choice. It is God’s heart that all people come to a saving knowledge of Himself, that ALL be gathered together in eternity. But those who believe they are better off separated from God on earth are simultaneously separating themselves from God for eternity. And in so doing, they separate themselves from the source of all Good, including a perfectly good eternity.
This perspective makes us more passionate to follow Christ with devotion, to love Him as He loves us and to love others with the same care He has for them. Jesus does not give up on people until they, in death, give up on Him. We’re called to that same perseverance!
Our hope does not rest in earthly success, the applause of man or passing appearance. Our hope rests in our eternal hope, which in turn changes how we live. That’s why eternal perspective is so important.