NOTICE: My articles are NOT grammatically correct. I am a college graduate and understand all the rules of proper writing. I do use CAPITAL LETTERS to stress and emphasize important points. I do this to enhance your UNDERSTANDING. To me understanding is far more important then proper writing skills.
How long is eternity and how long is forever? This is one great question. Opinions vary on this subject. Many say, “You cannot know. You cannot determine or measure eternity.” I am going to surprise you. I can tell you the answer, and I am not super smart or super intelligent.
Lets go futuristic. Let’s say we have a starship with warp speed. How long will it take us to get from one galaxy to another galaxy? What would we find there? How far, and how long would it take us just to get to Heaven?
SO, HOW LONG IS ETERNITY AND HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Let’s go back to the beginning as we know it. (KJV Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This is where we start, this is the beginning point. This is where it all started (at least for us). This was our creation as we know it, but it was not Gods.
So where did God start or begin. This is the mind blowing question. The Bible says, (KJV Hebrews 7:3) “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Simply put, God always existed. He had no beginning or end. We call that eternity past.
We see from the creation story, (Genesis chapter 1) that God created all things for us. In his creation he also set an order for us. He set the day and night, the times and seasons. God set the sun to shine during the day and the moon (the lesser light) to shine at night.
Too many want to argue if these were 24 hour days, or if maybe one “creation day”, could have been a thousand or a million years. There are way to many theories. I think it was a 24 hour day, but that is another article.
SO HOW LONG IS ETERNITY AND HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
GOD SETS A CREATION AND ORDER
Genesis Chapter 2 tells us this. (KJV Genesis 2:1-3) “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
So we ask this question. Was there a time, the universe had an infinite past with no beginning? If we were looking from the viewpoint of the movie, “Back to the future” we would have to say, “God breached the space-time continuum. Great Scotts!” The truth is God created space, time and matter for us. What a great God and creator we have!
SO HOW LONG IS ETERNITY AND HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
OUR PHYSICAL WORLD AND MEASUREMENT
We live in a physical world. It has four known space-time dimensions of length, width, height (or depth) and time. This was created for us and our existence. This is a standard or a measurement for us. We calculate and measure everything.
If we are going to know how far it is to heaven and how long is eternity, we have to have a way to measure it. There must be a “standard measurement system”. Even throughout the Old Testament, they had their own standard of calculation of measurement. Noah did not just guess, when he built the ark.
Today we have many standard of measurements systems. We have dry measure, wet measure, weight measure, liquid measure, money measures, time measures, and many more. The Jews had seasons, months, feast and festivals that were used for measurements also. Some nations today have moved to the Metric system as their standard.
What I really love is the “calculation and conversion standards” we have today. It allows us to calculate, understand, and convert another countries standards of measurements, into our own system of measurements. I like knowing that 1 United States dollar= 47 Philippine Pesos.
What really excites me is knowing, that God has His own MEASUREMENT AND CONVERSION STANDARD FOR MANKIND. God’s conversion standard is based on HIMSELF–AMEN! God’s conversion standard is based on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It transcends space and time, or any other man made standard.
SO HOW LONG IS ETERNITY AND HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
HERE IS THE ANSWER
(KJV I Corinthians 2:10) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” God is so far above us. We only understand what God has chosen to reveal to us. We have little finite minds while God is infinite.
Here is an example. Mom tells her small child that we are going to visit grandma. Grandma lives 80 miles away. Mom puts the child in the car and starts driving. In 5 minutes the child says, “ARE WE THERE YET?” The child does not grasp the concept of time, seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years. The child does not understand inches, feet, yards, and miles. In many respects, we as God’s children are the same way. When it comes to God, we know very little.
Have you ever heard the old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees?” That has happened to me many times. I have read the word of God over and over. Then sometimes a light comes on in your mind. You find and realize God’s great truths of the Bible. This is what happened to me. It was like a familiar scripture just jumped off the page and opened my mind.
SO HOW LONG IS ETERNITY AND HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
The book of Revelation gives us the key. We know this book tells us about prophecy, end time events and the finality of God’s creation as we know it. It even says there will be a new heaven and a new earth. To finally give you the answer I have to ask ONE QUESTION? “What is eternity and what is forever?
(KJV Revelation 10:6) “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer”
ANSWER: TIME SHALL BE NO MORE–ETERNITY IS THE ABSENCE OF TIME. FOREVER IS THE ABSENCE OF TIME! Time, space, matter, distance, and measurement was Created for us. The question, “How long is eternity and forever”, becomes irrelevant.
GOD’S STANDARD AND MEASUREMENT
God’s standard and measurement is “Eternal.” God has always dwelled in Eternity. God is not limited to time and space as we are. He can exist inside or outside of time. God has never needed a clock.
Here is a good question. Is heaven a place already in eternity? I think it is. Christians were promised we would be with Jesus, where ever He is.
(KJV Psalm 90:4) “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
(KJV 2 Peter 3:8) “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
(KJV Psalm 90:2) “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
The heavens, galaxy and universe cannot hold God. For us, eternity can be mindboggling. If we try to measure eternity, it would take you forever to complete your measurement. Eternity has no start or ending place. Our standards of measurement do not apply to eternity. Our standards do not exist there.
I found this statement on belief.net. It will make you think, so here it is. “There is an old Texas aphorism: ‘Time is how God keeps things from happening all at once.’ Perhaps for God things do happen all at once, and ‘time’ as we know it, is only an approximate description.”
I think this is saying, “There is no before and after, start or finish, beginning or end with God. We think in terms of past, present and future. These are TIME MEASUREMENTS. That does not exist for God.
THE CHRONOLOGICAL TIME AND ORDER OF OUR REALITY
We see and experience events of our reality, in a chronological time frame. This means we have a record of events starting with the earliest and following the order in which they occurred. This is how we operate and this how history is written. These events happen within our time of past, present or future. Time exist for us in our reality.
Because God is timeless, one second of our time, is no different than a billion years to God. Time is a limited part of God’s creation. Time was created for us and for the working of God’s purpose. We should be able to see that in the long term, time is only temporary.
We live in a physical universe and world. We live in a world where there is cause and effect. We also live in a disposable world tainted and polluted by sin. This is why this world will not stand forever and time will end.
God is going to take Global Warming to a new level!
(KJV 2 Peter 3:10-13) “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
We know there will be new heaven and a new earth. Christians often struggle to understand God, time and history. We see the very working of God’s plan and purpose from “Eternity Past to “Eternity future” which has not come yet for us.
We use charts called “TIMELINES” to create a VISUAL for better understanding. This gives us visual understanding of sequences, times and events that have and have not taken place yet. I want to place one timeline chart here. Please note this chart is an EXAMPLE. If this chart does not match your doctrine or eschatological view, I do not need to hear about it.
I chose this chart because it shows God’s plan from eternity past to eternity future. All the information between is the “Timeline” and the plan of God. You may click on it to enlarge it.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE
I had more than one reason for writing this article. I did want to give information that you may not know. I did want to answer the question, “How long is eternity.” But there is a larger reason, so here it is.
(KJV Romans 11:33) “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
(KJV I Corinthians 13:12) “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” The Greek word used here is one of a reflection, like in a mirror. One day there will be no more reflection, but it will up close and personal, face to face with our Lord and Savior!
Can you see the greatness of God, the Creator? Can you see how “AWESOME” God really is? Can you see how the Creator left ETERNITY, left heaven, crossed over into our time and space to be born in a human body? Setting aside all of His Power and Glory for mankind and sinners. Dying on a cruel cross for us. Giving us His Very own Life and Love.
KJV 1 John 3:1-2) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Then another, The Holy Spirit of God, steps out of eternity and heaven. He comes to earth into our time and space. He comes to live and indwell us forever! He leads us and guides us into all truth. And we have the great promise of Jesus who said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
We have the promise of a heavenly home, the glorious hope, a new glorified body that cannot sin. We have the promise of a new heaven and earth and the promise of living eternally with the everlasting King and Creator.
If God had offered His Salvation and blessings in this life ONLY, it would be worth it. Even in a temporary life. But, He offered and gave us, Salvation, blessings, and a personal relationship with Him eternally, now and forever!
I conclude this article the only way I can. I conclude it with the words of a song by Stuart K. Hine. He wrote this song in the service of Christ on the mission field.
“O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.”
“When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.”
“And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.”
“When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
“Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!”
(KJV 1 Corinthians 2:9) “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Our God and our existence is eternal. Where will you spend eternity. It is forever. The grave does not end our existence. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your own personal Lord and Savior, then you will have lost everything.
If I did not know the Lord in the free pardon of sin, I would not sleep tonight. I would be on my knees repenting and begging God for forgiveness. (KJV Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” YOU CHOOSE!
We ask, “How long is eternity, How long is forever?” If that question can be answered, then God knows! I know eternity and forever is the absence of time. When we enter eternity with the eternal God, it will not matter, neither will time!
Your thoughts, opinions and comments are welcome, so leave them here. If I can help you then leave a message below and I will get back to you.