Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – April 3, 2016
Theme: Living with Eternity in View
Topic: The Sense of Eternity
Main Texts: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7; John 14: 1-12; 1 Corinthians 15:13-19
Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 3:11 –“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (NIV)
Virtually every religion in the world exists on the basis of a consciousness that there is life beyond man’s sojourn on this earth. The religions then aim to prepare man for the after-earth life. It is a mystery that every human being born into this world intuitively gains that consciousness. There are of course philosophers and pseudo-scientists who have and who continue to propose that our time on earth is all there is to life. However, those attempts have not succeeded in erasing from the consciousness of every human being, the consciousness of life beyond the grave. It is about eternity – the fact that the real man lives beyond the grave.
1. Give some reasons why you believe that the real man lives beyond life on this earth. In Genesis 2:7 we read: “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (NIV). This is to say that man is more than the physical body that we see. The physical body on its own has no life in it. It only starts to live when God breathes the breath of life into it. Ecclesiastes 12:7 describes physical death as when “… the spirit returns to God who gave it.” The consciousness that we are accountable to God our Creator informs our thoughts and actions – even of those who try to convince themselves that there is no God. Apostle Paul imagined what things would be like if there was no life beyond the grave when he said: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:19 NIV).
2. List some ways in which our consciousness of the existence of life beyond the grave affects our attitude to this life. Jesus Christ affirmed the existence of eternal life when he spoke specifically about it, including how man can prepare for it. In His discussion with Nicodemus (John 3), He spoke of heaven and summed up the path thereto in that classical gospel message: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV). He later said, “… Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:5 NIV).
3. Apostle Paul wrote: “… godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Tim 4:8) List some benefits for this life of some of the things we do or do not do for the sake of eternity. While the ultimate vision of our Christian life and walk is a blissful eternity with God, the benefits of our faith for the present life is often understated or not even stated at all in our reach-out with the Gospel. This often gives the impression of Christians being “too heavenly to be of any earthly use”.
4. How can the some of the benefits of our Christian values for this life be harnessed to enhance our ministration of the Gospel to unbelievers?
Father, thank you for the promise of eternity with you, and for the benefit of my walk with you even while I am on earth. Keep me focused on things of eternal value, in Jesus’ name. Amen.