Dr. Jerry N. Duncan Guest Columnist
The Ada News
Ada — I love movies, especially adventure movies or movies that involve some quest. I have noticed a theme recently. Maybe it has been a part of our culture for longer than I have realized, but I just recently noticed it.
The theme is the quest for immortality. You might find it in a fountain where the water revives your youth for as long as you have access to it. You might find it by locating some long-sought-after key that unlocks a secret door. You can even submit yourself to the servitude of some dark creature that will reward you with protection from death, forever.
Death seems to scare us. Whether it is our own, or the death of a loved one, we find ourselves terrified of the prospect. Often it is because we don’t know what to expect. Or maybe we do know what to expect and don’t want to have to face it.
We are immortal, and our immortality begins in the womb. Only a small part of our life is lived here on earth. When our body gives out, or is injured beyond repair, we continue our immortal lives somewhere else.
So, the more pertinent questions are, “How and where will we spend the majority of our immortal lives?” and “What do we do with our earth-bound time?”
The story is told of the atheist and the Christian discussing whether or not there was life after “death.” The atheist told the Christian there was no life after death, and challenged him to prove otherwise.
The Christian thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I don’t think I can prove it. If you are right, then I have nothing to lose by living the life I am living. I live with hope and peace and direction and confidence, in spite of the difficulties in my life. If there is no eternity, I still wouldn’t trade what I feel right now. I have nothing to lose by my choice. But, if I am right, and there is an eternity, and your choices here on earth determine whether you spend it with God or without Him, you have everything to lose by your choice.”
A correct understanding of eternity can eliminate the fear of our own earthly death, and help us with the grief of of a loved one that is continuing their immortality elsewhere. A correct understanding of eternity can also help us be focussed and attentive to the value of how we spend our very short, but very meaningful time here on earth.
Jesus purposely made it very clear how we get to spend our non-earth eternity with God and with our family members that are already with Him. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
It is by accepting His death in our place, and following His will for our short time here on earth that we have certainty about our next phase of immortality.
We have many decisions to make, but this is our most important one.
The rest of our decisions and actions are our true adventure. We are already immortal, and our real quest becomes, “How does this King I serve want me to spend this part of my immortality?”