Following are various definitions for the word “Eternity“:
- Time without end
- What exists outside time
- An endless or seemingly endless period of time
- The timeless state following death
- A state of eternal existence believed in some religions to characterize the afterlife
That last definition is the focus of this post.
On several occasions I’ve come across Christian believers who mention “Eternity” in discussions related to their departure from this earthly plane — and I’ve frequently asked them to describe exactly what they think they will be doing during this rather extended period of time.
So far, no one has provided an answer. (In fact, the question is usually ignored.)
According to this website, there are 42 bible verses that talk about “eternal life.” However, after a cursory look at the list, I was unable to find a single verse that offers a description of activities during this period of “time.”
I then came across another website that discusses the topic of Eternity using biblical data and theological analysis. It covers the philosophy of time, Augustine’s view, modern views … and even covers “practical applications.” But again, no discussion of activities by believers during this prolonged period.
And then there’s this website that offers a quite lengthy discussion of the difference between the words “eternal” and “Eternity” but once again, the writer fails to offer any suggestions of what believers will be doing during the latter.
Finally, Google rendered a website with a more academic bent related to the topic of Eternity from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. While the site provided extensive coverage of the topic, including a discussion of “Divine Timelessness,” along with the mention of “temporal entities,” I was unable to discern any information related to activities that might take place by believers.
Finally, referencing the bible itself, in the book of Revelation, John talks about seeing a new heaven and a new earth, and describes a holy city “coming down from God out of heaven.” He writes that the city is made of precious stones and jewels and has “streets of gold.” He declares that the “nations of them which are saved” will walk in the light of it — and adds that there will be no night or day in this city.
However … there is no mention of what people will be doing in this glorious city for … Eternity.
So, considering that “ETERNITY” is a very, very, very long “time” … and considering the lack of information in the bible related to any planned activities … one can’t help but wonder why Christians are so anxious to get there. And even more to the point … what do they think they will be doing … forever?