ABC Extra – Forever and Ever and Ever

October 31, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

"The Road Goes on Forever" by Bob Jagendorf on

There are some things we do not want to last forever.  I was reminded of this as I was reading Psalm 74 in my devotions this past week: “O God, why do You cast us off forever” (Psalm 74:1)?  The Psalmist is here lamenting God’s anger which has resulted in the dislocation of God’s people from their homeland by the Babylonians.  The Israelites, the Psalmist says, have been “cast off” by God.  And he’s worried that there may be no redemption.  He’s worried that they may be cast off forever.

There are some things that we do not want to last forever.  We do not want our workdays to last forever.  That’s why there are so many songs about the glories of five o’ clock.  We do not even want our vacations to last forever.  That’s why there are so many songs about the yearning to be home.  The Psalmist does not want his people’s exile to last forever.  That’s why he writes a song pleading with God to restore them by His good grace.  There are some things – and maybe even most things – that we do not want to last forever.  But there are some things that we do.

In 1 Peter 1, the apostle writes about the kind of eternity that every Christian should desire – the kind of thing that every Christian should want to last forever:  

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1 Peter 1:3-6)

Peter says that in this world, like the Psalmist, we may have to suffer “all kinds of trials.”  We may feel like we have been cast off by God “forever.” But not to worry, Peter says, for these trials will only last “a little while.”   In fact, the Hebrew word for “forever” in Psalm 74:1 is nesach, which has a sense of “continually,” or “perpetually.”  God may have cast His people off again and again in judgment for the sin they have committed again and again, but that doesn’t mean that they must be cast off forever.  They can repent and God will restore them.  This is why the Psalmist continues, “Remember Your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which You have redeemed to the be tribe of Your heritage” (Psalm 74:2).  God will take His people back.  Their exile will not last forever.

There are some things that we do not want to last forever.  But there are some things that we do.  Peter says we have an inheritance that does indeed last forever.  It ‘s an inheritance that can “never perish, spoil, or fade.”  Why?  Because the One who holds our inheritance never perishes, spoils, or fades.  And He promises us that, by faith in Him, we too will never perish, spoil, or fade.  We will live with Him forever.  This is our inheritance.  And this is a forever inheritance that we should want.

There are some things that we do not want to last forever.  Life with Christ, however, is not one of these things.  For we were created by God to live forever.  But sin interrupted God’s forever plan.  Yet Christ, by His death and resurrection, put God’s forever plan back together.  And His forever plan is a forever that never gets old.

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ABC Extra – Heart Cleaning ABC – Pain, Suffering, and the Gospel

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