Good Things Which Have No End
We have a popular saying: All good things must come to an end.
We enjoyed the holidays, but all good things must come to an end.
It’s been a great vacation, but all good things must come to an end.
This was a lovely meal, but all good things must come to an end.
When we use this popular saying, we are expressing something of our understanding of time. We are basically saying that everything has a beginning and an ending. And we are saying that, sooner or later, everything will have an ending. Despite how enjoyable it might be, it ends. After all, all good things must come to an end.
But when we step into the Scriptures, this understanding is challenged. It is true that creation occurs “In the beginning,” but the God who creates is not bound by our conceptions of time. God is an eternal God. God is “forever and ever” (Psalm 48:14). Because of this, the way that God interacts with time is different than our dealings with time. As the poet of Psalm 90 writes, “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by.” 2 Peter 3:8 proclaims the same truth, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
Our understanding of time is based on the fact that all of our interactions have a beginning and an ending. But the Creator God has no beginning or ending. The Creator God is a God of eternal life. God does not die. This is why the death and resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of Christianity. If Jesus is truly God in the flesh, then death cannot be the final word. The final word is life eternal. And this ought to profoundly impact how we live life day to day.
Though God is eternal, this present age will end. In 2 Peter 3, this results in the question, “what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:11). Our actions should reflect our belief that there is an eternal God who is alive. When the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote the phrase “God is dead,” he was mainly conveying that people were living as though God had died. It’s possible that we might make great intellectual arguments for the existence of God and yet be living our lives as though God is dead.
When we talk about the hope of eternal life, all our definitions fall short. Eternity is something more than “a really long time.” It is the hope of life as it was meant to be without the effects of sin. It is the hope of life fully in the presence of God who says, “I am the first and I am the last” (Isaiah 44:6). Ultimately, it is the hope of life when all good things will not come to an end.