God is: Eternal
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
No beginning, no end, no succession of moments. Message given on May 3rd 2020
Greeting (May 3rd)
7th week that we have done our Sermon’s digitally like this.
Today is the first Sunday of the month, so we will be taking Communion together.
So if you don’t have anything to take Communion with, you can skip these announcements and go grab something.
A few quick announcements before we get into our Sermon:
Venmo - ChristCommunityChurch27
Tuesdays- is our Bible Study Worksheet
On Thursdays is we put out a short devotional video that were calling “15 minutes of grace” - which you can find on our Youtube channel “Christ Community Clyde”
And we also share it here on Facebook.
And that brings us to Communion.
We took the Lord’s Supper last month, through the confines and the freedom that the internet allows.
We all have been stuck home, away from our friends and family, away from the building that has been named the house of the Lord.
And thats just it, though. This is a building.
It is stone and mortar.
It is wood and plaster.
It has doors and walls, windows and floors.
This is a building, nothing more, nothing less.
Yes we get certain feelings when we step inside. We bring to mind all the memories we have that have taken place within the walls---
We remember good times and bad
Times when God moved in our lives, when we were brought to tears by a certain song or a certain sermon.
We remember the lessons that weve learned simply by hearing the words being spoken------
And we remember the hard fought lessons where our heart was wrestling with God
Or when everything in our life was falling apart, but yet the building stood.
Our emotions and our hearts fell apart
Our families were broken, yet the building stood, and maybe ----just maybe----- weve somehow equated the building, with God.
We think that since this building still stands----that God still stands--
We think that if I can get to that building----then God can get to me----
That if I can sit in my pew, that the things in my heart that have been raging against me, wont be so heavy
We think that the Church is this wood and plaster, or this mortar and stone-------instead of remembering what 1st Peter chapter 2 said:
“...You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…..But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
The people are the Church, the building is where we go.
The people are the Church, and no virus nor government, through all of human history, has been able to shut our doors.
And this morning----we meet, together.
We meet together, not in person, not bound or contained by the confines of stone and mortar----but at home, in our houses, with our families.
We meet together, though we are apart.
Yes we are called to gather together, to lift each other up, to hear and speak the Word.
To worship as a body of believers is of utmost importance, but when the reality of us living in a fallen world, forces us apart, we need to remind ourselves that Hell itself can not keep us apart.
So Id like to ask you all this morning, to meet together with me, though we are apart.
Id like to ask each of you to remember that you are living stones-----
That you are the Church
That if you have repented and turned away from your sins, and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ----then you are a temple, you and I and all of us within whom the Holy Spirit lives------are the Church.
Let us take the Sacraments of Holy Communion together, and remember the sacrifice of Christ, remember that He reigns on high, and remember that nothing can keep the Church apart.
So fathers and husbands, take up your heavenly duty and lead your family in the worship of the Lord.
For those of you who have no husband or father there to guide you, God is still there. He is still there with you and loves you, even though this world may have stripped you of a husband or father
1st Corinthians 13:23-26 says - “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Ok- so------on to our Sermon.
I want to say that its going to be short and sweet, but who knows, right?
We started a new Sermon Series 2 weeks ago about the Character and Nature of God.
Last week we talked about the Trinty. How God is 3 in person and 1 in being, and that His very nature exists outside of the boundaries of human comprehension.
And this week, we are going to talk about one of those Boundaries.
God is eternal.
To help us understand this, were going to be looking at a few key verses this morning, and the first two will be:
Revelation 1:8 - ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 22:13 - “13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
( → → Opening prayer ← ← )
When we hear that “God is eternal” what does it make us think?
Do we conjure up some image of God, as being this really really old guy?
Do we throw out the word “ancient” and imply that God has been alive for so but just ages differently than us?
The answer to both of those questions, should be “no”.
They kind of hint at what it means that God is eternal, but they miss.
It’s hard for us to explain that God is eternal, because our brain can only think within the present moment that we exit inside of.
(stay with me here)
We are “time-bound”
Time traps us inside of every single moment.
The good and the bad, come at us, non-stop
We experience this good moment, followed by the next, followed by the next.
Lifting us up, raising our spirits, giving us that dopamine rush that floods our brains with good feelings and happy times
And then we experience bad moments
And then more bad moments
And they beat us down and hold us down
Time is holding us hostage.
We experience this moment, and then the next, and then the next----- and theres nothing we can do about it.
That is how we experience time--- we are “time-bound” we are bound by time.
--------so trying to explain someone OUTSIDE of that, someone who is not bound by time----- is complicated.
The simplest way we can explain that God is eternal, is in 3 ways.
He has no beginning
He doesnt experience a succession of moments
He has no end
You see, God isnt really really old….
He isnt billions and billions of years old
He isnt trillions and trillions of years old
He isnt the oldest most ancient being in all of reality
Because He doesnt age.
He doesnt age, because:
He has no beginning
There was never a time when God didnt exist------- He has always been
(Even right there, in that statement, I used the language of someone who is
(did you hear it? I said “never a TIME)
Its hard for us to imagine this, because everything in our reality, has a beginning.
We quantify and classify things based on there beginning
We say that if someone had their beginning years and years and years ago----then they have a depth of knowledge and experience as opposed to someone who had their beginning just recently
And were right.
We live our day to day life, moment by moment------learning and growing.
These moments lift us up or break us down.
Time teaches us lessons over and over again, most of which can only BE learned by the passing of time
We experience this moment, and then the next. A never ending march of time carrying us into the unknown future.
Some of these moments, we want to last forever, right?
When were surrounded by friends and family and we are enjoying everything that that moment has to offer---
But then they are over before we can savor every last drop of life from them-----
And we have other moments that we wish would just hurry up and end already, before they can make my life any worse-----
When our life seems to be spiraling out of control
When there doesnt seem to be anything else that can go wrong because everything already has
When we cant seem to imagine a life outside of all this pain were in------and we just want time to hurry up already
We build our life based on our past, either embracing it or reject it------
We experience our present, the good times and the bad----
And then we plan for our future----
This is allwe can do, it is our only choice.
Some of us:
Ignore the past // waste the present // and disregard the future
But we are all still bound by this flow, whether we like it or not
Not so with God.
God isnt controlled by the flow of time, because:
God does not experience any succession of moments.
There is no duration within Him
He doesnt experience any fleeting moments, that pass Him by ignoring Him along the way------
He doesnt experience any prolonged moments where the people within them just want them to be over-----
Nations rise and fall, centuries at a time----
Families rise and fall, years at a time---
Emotions rise and fall, moments at a time----
Yet God stands outside of all of it.
Standing outside of time, God sees all of our moments-----all of our years----all of our centuries, at the same time.
God exists in what philosophers call “the eternal present”.
He has no past
He has no future
He exists in a perpetual “now”.
That is what Exodus 3:14 means when it says-
“14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘ “I am” has sent me to you.’”
God simply is.
He has no beginning-----
He always was----
He doesnt experience any succession of moments-----
He always is----
And He has no end----
Always and forever, God will be.
When the universe is rolled up like a scroll, and all of our sins stand before us at the Judgement seat of Christ------
It will not be the end of God.
Though this world may end-----God endures
Though the universe will wither and groan and reel as it comes to its conclusion----- God will endure.
He won’t endure because of some really strong effort that He is going to exert to make sure that He doesnt come to an end------
He wont endure because He is simply stronger than whatever may cause Him to end, and He somehow wins the battle of existing longer-----
He wont end -------because He cant.
The God whom we worship is not some god that ebbs and flows or rises and falls----
He is not some being who was created by another at a point a long time ago---
And He is not someone who will reach the fulfillment of their days, and suddenly cease to be
He has no beginning, doesnt experience any succession of moments, and He has no end.
Our God, is eternal
An analogy that can help us understand:
If you can imagine the flow of time to be a river, irreversibly flowing from one point to another, with everything in the world caught within its current.
Each minute carrying them forward----every hour of every day,
-----year after year
-----decade after decade
The current pushes us forward, until we can no longer stand the force of the waves and we succumb to the effects of time.
God is far above and outside of this river, able to see the beginning and the end at the same time, while seeing and interacting with everyone caught within it’s pull
The God whom we worship is the one who created time itself----
Who stands apart from it---
Who interjects Himself at certain points within its stream---
Our God knows when and how this river of time ends----
And is warning us every step of the way about its end---.
Our God is eternal
No succession of moments
Forever He has existed and reigned as King------and forever he WILL exist, reigning as King.
God is eternal
This river has a beginning // It has an end //
and everything in our reality is caught within its current
It moves boulders and mountains
It moves planets and galaxies
It carries nations and empires
It carries families and children
The current of this river current carries everything within its waters in one direction----and everything in the universe is caught within its current
Now imagine a fisherman, standing on the shores of this river-----
He can walk up and down this river, looking for the perfect spot, from its beginning to its end----
Because He can see both of them at the same time...He can find the right spot, and cast his lure into the waters, from outside of them OR
He can wade into the river, let the current flow around him, or walk with the current….and then climb back out.
This is what God is like compared to time
Our God stands apart from the river of time.
He created it, and He will end it-----
He can see the beginning and the end of this river at the same-----
At certain points He has walked its shores, back and forth, and interacted to those within it------without wetting His feet
And once before, He stooped down, wetted His feet within the streams of time, and walked with His children as the current carried them forward.
Our God is eternal.
So why does this matter-----right?
That’s the question.
In fact, thats going to be the question throughout this entire Sermon Series.
Why do these big, lofty, theological aspects of God----matter to me in my day to day life?
And in that question-----is part of the answer, at least for today.
Our “day to day” life.
Our “day to day” life.
Our moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade life.
James 4:13-15 - “13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
We must tackle our life, every single day, every moment that we are living it.
The days are evil, draggin on,
Pulling us down
Holding us down
Beating us into submission
The effects of time weigh on our souls, weigh on our hearts,
We claim that “time heals all wounds” only because time causes new wounds that make us forget the past.
We look back at our life-------at our choices
We look back at things weve done or didnt do
We look back at things other people have done or didnt do
We build our life around whats happened in our past while claiming that our past cant control us------
Or we look forward to imaginary futures,
And then dedicate our lives to something that doesnt exist and work ourselves to death to achieve our own ficticious futures---
We say: “Things will be better tomorrow, things will be better next week or next year”
We say: “If I can only do this or that, than the future that I want will be real”
We build our lives around what MIGHT happen in the future, while claiming that we can have any future that we want.
We are stuck within the streams of time----
Looking at our childhood----imagining our future-----and trying to make the most of the present
Raise your eyes above the muddy waters of time, and see the eternal God walking the shores of this river.
He was there--- years ago, in your past, in your childhood--- calling to you----
He is there now, walking along the shores of your day to day life, reaching out to you----
And He will be there, at the end, when you reach the end of your time, and everything in your life is laid bare before the judgement seat of Christ
Our God is eternal, and He provides eternal hope, peace, assurance, love, comfort, joy, grace, forgiveness and eternal compassion-------to any who repent of their sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
When the troubles, pain and sorrow of this life beat on you day after day-----look to the God who doesnt experience days.
When life has taken advantage of you for years ------ look to the God who doesn't experience years.
When you are not sure what tomorrow will bring -------
Open your Bible---
Fall to you knees----
Open your heart----
Read of --- and cry out to ---- the God of eternal tomorrows.
He is standing----outside of the stream of time----calling to you, and saying the words of:
Isaiah 46:9-10 - “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’”
Our God is eternal.
In closing I would like to read Psalm 93.
If anything I said has stuck with you this morning send us a message and I myself will get back to you
Hopefully things will get back to normal soon, and we can meet in person again
The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty.
Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
The world stands firm
and cannot be shaken.
2 Your throne, O Lord, has stood from time immemorial.
You yourself are from the everlasting past.
3 The floods have risen up, O Lord.
The floods have roared like thunder;
the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
4 But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
mightier than the breakers on the shore—
the Lord above is mightier than these!
5 Your royal laws cannot be changed.
Your reign, O Lord, is holy forever and ever.
( → → Closing prayer ← ← )