The Promise of Eternity
January 8, 2018
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Have you ever broken a promise to someone? Has someone ever broken their promise to you? The sad reality is that human beings make and break promises all the time.
“I’ll be there, I promise.”
“I promise to love you always, for better or for worse.”
“I promise never to do that again.”
“I’ll take you there someday, I promise.”
Unfortunately, every broken promise makes us more and more skeptical because broken promises equals broken trust. We have to be careful not to allow this skepticism to cross over into our relationship with God. The Lord God Almighty is the ultimate promise maker and promise keeper. While we are sometimes powerless to keep our promises—because we lack the resources, commitment, control over unforeseen circumstances, or recollection of what we’ve said—God has the power to do what He has said He will do.
In the Bible, we find more than 3,000 promises of God. And the truly amazing thing is that God keeps all of His promises. In Luke 21:33, He declares, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promises. In 2 Corinthians 1:20, we learn: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” As one biblical commentary states, Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises because He is the sum and the substance of them!
The promises of God can be places in one of three categories.
First are His transformational promises.
In Ezekiel 36:26, God promises to take the heart of stone from His people and replace it with a heart of flesh—stone representing stubbornness and disobedience, and flesh representing a tenderness and an eagerness to do the will of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, God promises that anyone who is in Christ (who loves, follows, and believes in Him) is a new creation—“the old has gone, the new is here!” God promises to change us for the better and for His glory.
Second are His provisional promises.
God promises to provide many good things to His people: protection and victory, wisdom and peace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit…just to name a few. (See Psalms 20:4 and 61:3; Acts 1:8 and 2:38; John 14:27 and 16:13; Matthew 6:30 and 17:20). In fact, one of God’s names in the Bible is “Jehovah Jireh,” which means “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:8). God is the awesome provider of all our needs, both physical and spiritual.
Third are God’s triumphal promises.
In 1 John 1:9, we are promised victory over sin. In Galatians 2:20, we are promised victory over self. James 1:13-18 promises us victory over temptation, and Isaiah 41:10 as well as many other Scriptures in the Bible promise us victory over fear.
One of God’s most breath-taking promises is the promise of eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11b reveals, “He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Have you ever wondered why many people feel there is something else beyond this life? It’s because God has planted eternity in our heart! John 3:16 proclaims, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” This is echoed by 1 John 2:25, which says, “And this is what he promised us—eternal life.”
If you would like to know more about God’s promises and how to spend eternity with Him, please join us for weekend services at Shepherd Church at one of our four campuses—Agua Dulce, Porter Ranch, Westside, and West Valley. Please visit www.theshepherd.org for more information on service times and locations.