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Difference between revisions of "The ETERNITY of God."

(The ETERNITY of God.)
 
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===The ETERNITY of God.===
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====The ETERNITY of God.====
 
<p>By Thomas Watson </p>
 
<p>By Thomas Watson </p>
 
<p>The next attribute is, "God is eternal." "From everlasting to everlasting, you are God." </p>
 
<p>The next attribute is, "God is eternal." "From everlasting to everlasting, you are God." </p>
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<p>(2.) '''The serious thoughts of eternal happiness would very much take us off from worldly things.''' What are these sublunary things, compared to eternity! They are quickly gone. They greet us&oacute;and then take their farewell. But I am to enter upon an everlasting estate; I hope to live with him who is eternal. What then, is the present fleeting world to me? To those who stand upon the top of the Alps&oacute;the great cities below are small things in their eyes. Just so, to him who has his thoughts fixed on his eternal state after this life&oacute;all these earthly things seem as nothing in his eye. What is the glory of this world? How poor and contemptible, compared with an eternal weight of glory! </p>
 
<p>(2.) '''The serious thoughts of eternal happiness would very much take us off from worldly things.''' What are these sublunary things, compared to eternity! They are quickly gone. They greet us&oacute;and then take their farewell. But I am to enter upon an everlasting estate; I hope to live with him who is eternal. What then, is the present fleeting world to me? To those who stand upon the top of the Alps&oacute;the great cities below are small things in their eyes. Just so, to him who has his thoughts fixed on his eternal state after this life&oacute;all these earthly things seem as nothing in his eye. What is the glory of this world? How poor and contemptible, compared with an eternal weight of glory! </p>
 
<p>(3.) '''The serious thoughts of an eternal state, either of happiness or misery, should have a powerful influence upon whatever we take in hand.''' Every work we do promotes either a blessed eternity , or a cursed eternity. Every good action sets us a step nearer to an eternity of happiness. Every bad action sets us a step nearer to an eternity of misery. Oh what influence should the thoughts of eternity have upon our pious duties! It should make us do them with all our might. Duty well performed, lifts a Christian higher towards heaven, and sets a Christian a step nearer to a blessed eternity!</p>
 
<p>(3.) '''The serious thoughts of an eternal state, either of happiness or misery, should have a powerful influence upon whatever we take in hand.''' Every work we do promotes either a blessed eternity , or a cursed eternity. Every good action sets us a step nearer to an eternity of happiness. Every bad action sets us a step nearer to an eternity of misery. Oh what influence should the thoughts of eternity have upon our pious duties! It should make us do them with all our might. Duty well performed, lifts a Christian higher towards heaven, and sets a Christian a step nearer to a blessed eternity!</p>
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[[4. The IMMUTABILITY of God]]
  
 
<p>[[Category:God]]</p>
 
<p>[[Category:God]]</p>

Latest revision as of 23:11, 12 October 2019

The ETERNITY of God.

By Thomas Watson

The next attribute is, "God is eternal." "From everlasting to everlasting, you are God."

There are three kinds of beings:

1. Such beings as had a beginning óand shall have an end. Such as all animate creaturesóthe animals, birds, fishówhich at death are destroyed and return to dust. Their being ends with their life.

2. Such beings as had a beginning óbut shall have no end. Such as angels and the souls of men, which are eternal once they are brought into existenceóthey abide forever.

3. Such as is without beginning óand without ending . This is proper only to God. He is from everlastingó to everlasting. This is God's title, a jewel of his crown. He is called "the King eternal." Jehovah is a word that properly sets forth God's eternity. It is a word so dreadful, that the Jews trembled to name or read it; and used Adonai , 'Lord,' in its place. Jehovah contains in it time past, present, and to come. "I am the Alpha and the Omegaósays the Lord Godówho is , and who was , and who is to come , the Almighty." Revelation 1:8. This verse illustrates the word Jehovah; (who is ) he subsists of himself, having a pure and independent being; (who was ) God alone, was before time; there is no searching into the records of eternity; (who is to come ).

"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever!" Psalm 45:6. The doubling of the word ratifies the certainty of it, as the doubling of Pharaoh's dream. His kingdom has no end; his crown has no successors.

I shall prove that God alone could be eternalówithout beginning . Angels could not be eternal; they are but creatures, and though spiritsóthey were created. Therefore their beginning may be known; their antiquity may be searched into. If you ask, when were they created? Some think before the world was; but not so: for what was before time was eternal. The first origin of angels reaches back no further, than the beginning of the world. It is thought by the learned, that the angels were made on the day on which the heavens were made. "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Jerome, Gregory, and venerable Bede understand it, that when God laid the foundation-stone of the world, the angels being then created, sang anthems of joy and praise.

It is proper to God only to be eternal, without beginning. He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. No creature can write itself Alpha , that is only a flower of the crown of heaven. Exod 3:14. "I am who I am," that is, "I am the one who always is. I am he who exists from , and to eternity!" "The Lord will reign forever and ever!" Exodus 15:18. "The Lord is King forever and ever!" Psalm 10:16.

Use one: Here is thunder and lightning to the WICKED. "Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever!" Revelation 15:7. God is eternal, therefore the torments of the wicked are eternal! God lives forever; and as long as God lives, he will be punishing the damned! This should be as the handwriting upon the wall, which should have this effectó "and his face turned pale with fear. Such terror gripped him that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way beneath him." Daniel 5:6. The sinner takes liberty to sin; he breaks God's laws, like a wild beast that breaks over the hedge, and leaps into forbidden pasture; he sins with greediness, as if he thought he could not sin fast enough. "They don't care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed." Ephesians 4:19. But remember, one of God's names is Eternal , and as long as God is eternal he has time enough to reckon with all his enemies. To make sinners tremble, let them think of these three things: the torments of the damned are without intermission, without mixture, and eternal.

(1.) Without intermission. Their pains shall be acute and sharp, and no relaxation; the fire shall not be slackened or abated. "They have no rest day nor night;" like one who has his joints stretched continually on the rack, and has no ease. The wrath of God is compared to a stream of brimstone. Isa 30:33. Why to a stream? Because a stream runs without intermission; so God's wrath runs like a stream, and pours out without intermission. In the pains of this present life, there is some abatement and intermission; the fever abates; after a fit of the stone, the patient has some ease; but the pains of hell are intense and violent. The damned soul never says, "I am now more at ease."

(2.) Without mixture. Hell is a place of pure justice. In this life, God in anger remembers mercy, he mixes compassion with suffering. Asher's shoe was of ironóbut his foot was dipped in oil. Affliction is the iron shoeóbut mercy is mixed with it; the foot is dipped in oil. But the torments of the damned have no mixture. "They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture ." No mixture of mercy.

How is the cup of wrath said to be mixed? "For the Lord holds a cup in his hand; it is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours the wine out in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs!" Psalm 75:8. Yet in the Revelation it is said to be without mixture . It is mixed, that is, it is full of all the ingredients that may make it bitter; the worm, the fire, the curse of God, all these are bitter ingredients. It is a mixed cupóyet it is without mixture; there shall be nothing to afford the least comfort, no mixture of mercy, and so without mixture. In the sacrifice of jealousy , Numb 5:15, no oil was put to it; so, in the torments of the damned, there is no oil of mercy to abate their sufferings.

(3.) Without cessation, eternal. The pleasures of sin are but for a seasonóbut the torments of the wicked are forever! Sinners have a short feastóbut a long reckoning! Origen erroneously thought, that after a thousand years, the damned would be released out of their misery; but the worm, the fire, the prisonóare all eternal. "The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night." Revelation 14:11. "The torments of hell keep on punishing, they never end," Prosper. Eternity is a sea without bottom and banks. After millions of years, there is not one minute in eternity spent; and the damned must be ever burningóbut never consumed, always dyingóbut never dead. "They shall seek deathóbut shall not find it."

The fire of hell is such, as multitudes of tears will not quench it; and length of time will not finish it! The vial of God's wrath will be always dropping upon the sinner! As long as God is eternal, he lives to be avenged upon the wicked. Oh eternity! eternity! who can fathom it? Mariners have their plummets to measure the depths of the sea; but what line or plummet shall we use to fathom the depth of eternity? The breath of the Lord kindles the infernal lake, Isa 30:33; where shall we have buckets to quench that fire?

Oh eternity! If all the body of the earth and sea were turned to sand, and all the air up to the starry heaven were nothing but sand, and a little bird should come every thousand years, and fetch away in her bill but the tenth part of a grain of all that heap of sand; what numberless years would be spent before that vast heap of sand would be fetched away! Yet, if at the end of all that time, the sinner might come out of hell, there would be some hope . But that word "Forever" breaks the heart. "The smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever." What a terror is this to the wicked--enough to put them into a cold sweat, to think, as long as God is eternal, he lives forever to be avenged upon them!

Here the question may be askedó Why should sin that is committed in a short time, be punished eternally?

We must hold with Augustine, "that God's judgments on the wicked, may be secret óbut never unjust ." The reason why sin committed in a short time is eternally punished, is, because every sin is committed against an infinite essence, which nothing less than eternity of punishment can satisfy. Why is treason punished with deathóbut because it is against the king's person, which is sacred; much more that offence which is against God's crown and dignity is of a heinous and infinite nature, and cannot be satisfied with less than eternal punishment.

Use two: Of comfort to the GODLY. God is eternal, therefore he lives forever to reward the godly. "To those who seek for glory and honor, eternal life." The people of God are now in a suffering condition. "Bonds and afflictions await me." The wicked are clad in purple, and fare deliciously, while the godly suffer. The goats climb upon high mountains, while Christ's sheep are in the valley of slaughter. But here is the comfortóGod is eternal, and he has appointed eternal recompenses for the saints. In heaven are fresh delights, and sweetness without excess. That which is the crown and zenith of heaven's happiness, isóthat it is "eternal." Were there but the least suspicion that this glory must cease, it would much eclipse, yes, embitter it; but it is eternal. "An eternal weight of glory."

What angel can span eternity? The saints shall bathe themselves in the rivers of divine pleasure; and these rivers can never be dried up. "At your right hand are pleasures for evermore." This is the highest strain in the apostle's rhetoric, "Forever with the Lord!" In heaven, there is peace without trouble, ease without pain, glory without end; "forever with the Lord!"

Let this comfort the saints in all their troubles; their sufferings are but shortóbut their reward is eternal! Eternity makes heaven to be heaven! Eternity is the diamond in the ring! Oh blessed day, which shall have no night! The sunlight of glory shall rise upon the soul, and never set! Oh blessed spring , that shall have no autumn, or fall of the leaf. The Roman emperors have three crowns set upon their headsóthe first of iron, the second of silver, the third of gold; so the Lord sets three crowns on his childrenógrace, comfort, and glory. The saints' crown is eternal, "You shall receive a crown of glory which never fades away!" The wicked have a never-dying worm; and the godly a never-fading crown! Oh how should this be a spur to virtue! How willing should we be to work for God! Though we have nothing here on earth, God has time enough to reward his people. The crown of eternity shall be set upon their head!

Use three: Of exhortation. Study eternity. Our thoughts should chiefly run upon eternity. We all wish for something that may delight our mind. If we could have lived, as Augustine says, from the infancy of the world to the world's old age, what is thisócompared to eternity? What is time, measured with eternity? As the earth is but a small point, compared to the heavens. Just so, time is scarcely a momentócompared to eternity! And then, what is this poor life which crumbles away so fast? Oh, think of eternity!

Brethren, we are every day traveling to eternity ; and whether we wake or sleepówe are going our journey. Some of us are upon the borders of eternity. Oh study the shortness of lifeóand length of eternity!

More particularly think of God's eternity and the soul's eternity. Think of God's eternity. He is the Ancient of Days , who was before all time. There is a figurative description of God, "As I kept watching, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of His head like whitest wool. His throne was flaming fire; its wheels were blazing fire. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from His presence. Thousands upon thousands served Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was convened, and the books were opened." Daniel 7:9-10. His clothing was white like snow, which signifies his majesty. His hair, like the pure wool, signifies his holiness. His title, the Ancient of Days , signifies his eternity.

The thought of God's eternity should make us have high adoring thoughts of God. We are apt to have low, irreverent thoughts of him. "You thought I was such a one as yourself," weak and mortal. But if we would think of God's eternity, when all our power ceasesóhe is King eternal, his crown flourishes forever, he can make us happy or miserable foreveróthis would make us have adoring thoughts of God. "The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne." Revelation 4:10. The saints fall down , to signify by that humble posture, that they are not worthy to sit in God's presence. They fall down and they worship him who lives forever and ever; they do as it were, kiss his feet. They cast their crowns before the throne, they lay all their honor at his feet; thus they show humble adoration to the eternal essence. Study God's eternity, it will make us adore himówhere we cannot fathom him.

Think of the soul's eternity. As God is eternal, so he has made us eternal. We are never-dying creatures; we are shortly entering upon our eternal stateóeither of eternal happiness or eternal misery. Have serious thoughts of this. Say, "O my soul, which of these two eternities is likely to be your portion? I must shortly depart hence, and where then shall I goóto which of these eternities, either of glory or misery shall I go?" The serious meditation on the eternal state we are to pass into, would work strongly with us.

(1.) Thoughts of eternal torments, are a good antidote against sin. Sin tempts with its pleasure; but when we think of eternity, it may cool the intemperate heat of lust. Shall I, for the pleasure of sin for a seasonóendure eternal pain? Sin, like those locusts, Rev 9:7, seems to have on its head a crown like goldóbut it has in it a tail like a scorpion, verse 10, and a sting in its tail; and this sting can never be plucked out. Shall I venture eternal wrath? Is sin committed so sweetóas lying in hell forever is bitter? This thought would make us flee from sin, as Moses fled from the serpent!

(2.) The serious thoughts of eternal happiness would very much take us off from worldly things. What are these sublunary things, compared to eternity! They are quickly gone. They greet usóand then take their farewell. But I am to enter upon an everlasting estate; I hope to live with him who is eternal. What then, is the present fleeting world to me? To those who stand upon the top of the Alpsóthe great cities below are small things in their eyes. Just so, to him who has his thoughts fixed on his eternal state after this lifeóall these earthly things seem as nothing in his eye. What is the glory of this world? How poor and contemptible, compared with an eternal weight of glory!

(3.) The serious thoughts of an eternal state, either of happiness or misery, should have a powerful influence upon whatever we take in hand. Every work we do promotes either a blessed eternity , or a cursed eternity. Every good action sets us a step nearer to an eternity of happiness. Every bad action sets us a step nearer to an eternity of misery. Oh what influence should the thoughts of eternity have upon our pious duties! It should make us do them with all our might. Duty well performed, lifts a Christian higher towards heaven, and sets a Christian a step nearer to a blessed eternity!

4. The IMMUTABILITY of God