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Eternity - What is it?

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posted on May, 6 2008 @ 11:19 AM
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Many years ago I heard someone try to explain eternity like this:

Imagine our planet were made of sandstone. Every million years a bird comes along and removes a single grain of sand. Try to grasp how long it would take to remove the top inch from the entire surface. It boggles the mind. Yet when the bird has removed the entire planet, eternity is no nearer to its end than when the bird first appeared...

Every illustration has its limits, but this is something that I have not been able to get out of my head since I first heard it, decades ago.

If there is life after death, the concept of eternity is something well worth mulling over. A hundred years from now everyone reading this, myself included, will be lying in a grave. Most of us a lot sooner. Our eternal destiny will have begun, whichever way you see it.

What are your thoughts?




posted on May, 6 2008 @ 12:55 PM
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This is true and it will last even longer, same with hell.. but both heaven and hell are nothing more then state of the soul..

people in hell will be rotten forever and people in heaven will be good forvever and have a beautiful soul....

think about what makes us happy here... I want athiest to ponder this because ALOT of people do not understand what heaven is.. Like my brother said once..

" what is it like people standing in a white room doing nothing all day "

you see his mind fathoms happiness as some Xbox games and smokin alittle weed every now and then..

this stuff passes away..

Think about food and stuff that God made that makes us happy here, like an orgasm....

this stuff is a fathom, a literal fathom in comparison to what god is capable of.. the pleasure and joy in heaven we will not be able to imagine and it will last forvever..

the things we do here, like going to play pool, watching a game, playing Xbox which I do sometimes...

it all passes away and it doesn't fill you up, it is just something for a stimulus and for a fast high.....

God wants to give us a spiritual happiness that last forever...


peace.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 01:11 PM
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After Armegeddon and the final Rapture, and after the Millennium, (Christ's 1,000-year reign) there will be one final testing phase, where Satan and his demons will be set loose to test mankind one final time. Those who remain faithful and make it through the final testing phase will live for Eternity. Eternity marks the point in time in which time as we know it will no longer exist.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


eternity is just what it says---------never ending--------G-D's personal name means forever/eternity.I AM (exodus3:14) the Alpha and Omega (revelation1:8) says Yahvah.

when we repent of our sins (1john3:4)and look to the Messiah to help us overcome our human nature and strive to take on G-D's nature of out going concern and care for His creation and creatures we are on the road to eternity.

those that overcome to the end of their present human lives can be born again into the G-D family(john3:3-12)



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 01:26 PM
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" bornagain "

This statement is so TRUE! when God says born again, I know alot of antichristians mock it like.. all the time.. but from experience it is true..

you do not just grow up with love...

I remember before I knew God, man I was lazy, a bum, I didnt want to work, I threw things at people, I beat my animals when mad, I cursed, I would mkae fun of people not caring for their fealings, I never said I love you to family members, my heart was dead, I wanted to do what i wanted and not what god did..

my heart was dead, I was greedy, I didn't want to share food, I didn't want to help homeless people out, I didnt have as much compassion as I do now...



Now comapre that to now..

a literal COMPLETE 360 turn around..... literally..

It's graces...

peace.

[edit on 6-5-2008 by JesusisTruth]



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by ReginaAdonnaAaron
 


Eternity marks the point in time in which time as we know it will no longer exist.


Clearly that makes sense, but as God existed for eternity before the universe was here, i.e. before time began, many people find it helpful to bear in mind that when we leave this realm at death we enter that other realm, which is eternal - yet exists even now.

(Modern man might think in terms of a parallel universe, but that is not right as it implies it is just something like what we know, but somehow separate.)

The problem is that we are creatures of this realm, and without a reference point that makes some kind of sense to us here (e.g. the 'eroding rock' illustration I heard) 'eternity' just sounds like 'a long time'. It is because it is much much more than that that I thought it would be good to hear if anyone can shed more light on the matter than the simple illustration above.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought
Clearly that makes sense, but as God existed for eternity before the universe was here, i.e. before time began, many people find it helpful to bear in mind that when we leave this realm at death we enter that other realm, which is eternal - yet exists even now.


Agreed... to a certain extent. The Spirit Realm (that other realm you refer to) does exist even now and it exists all around us; not just in some far off place that people refer to as Heaven. Heaven and the Spirit Realm are in fact one in the same. It's actually much more complicated than that... but I digress.

I think that the concept of Eternity is impossible for any human to truly wrap their mind around. To most, it does seem just like a very long time - maybe having faith has a lot to do with it. Personally, I believe that it will be SO much more than that and SO completely different from what we know now that there probably are no words to describe it. But, I also know deep down in my heart that Father will take care of making sure that nobody in creation is bored - I believe it will be His original plan coming into fruition. At last.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by ReginaAdonnaAaron
 

I agree with everything you have said. Indeed the mystery is deep.

I believe the reason the human condition is so full of contradictions (the gift of reason, intelligence, the ability to love and appreciate and to ask 'Why are we here?', etc., yet also tending toward self-destructive excesses, corruption and selfishness, etc.) is that we were actually designed to live in that other, eternal realm, but our ancestors lost the right to be part of it, thinking they had found a better alternative: ignoring our Maker's directions.

That may sound pretty abstract, but I certainly believe it happened exactly like that. What we are left with is a spirit that is part of that realm and a body that imprisons us here. Whereas the body would originally have enabled us to inhabit a perfect physical world, it now traps us in a corrupted physical world. Well, temporarily, anyway.

Death - entering eternity - is therefore a totally wonderful thing for the spirit that has been cleansed of guilt: such a person suddenly finds themselves in an environment with no contradictions and no temptations, as what now utterly satisfies them is all that is left: God Himself, the source of all that is good.

That's why a sinful person who has been cleansed and forgiven through the Cross finds immense peace and joy in prayer - their spirit is able to focus on God, even though the physical senses are still naturally attuned to the physical world in the course of everyday life.

Then again, learning to worship God deep down in your heart while going about your daily business enables us to draw near to Him throughout the day. Eternity in the heart, in the sense of awareness of God, means we bring the spiritual realm where God is now with us wherever we go!

On the train, in the city, driving the car, cooking the dinner - the awareness grows: He's with me here, unceasingly, aware of my worship, and keeping me on the narrow path that leads to life - till he takes me home...


"...whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again - ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life."

Gospel of John 4:14



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 04:19 PM
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To some it's a mystery... to others, it's simply yet to be understood. As for me, I think it will all become very clear, very soon. All in His timing.


You do raise some very interesting points though; I don't think it's abstract at all and could very well explain the human thought process and struggle of spirit against flesh.

Pause4Thought, continue in faith and trust and may Father continue to guide you and bless you; leaning not on your own understanding, but the understanding that comes only from the Holy Spirit. Amen.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 12:47 AM
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Interesting thread. First we need to recognize that eternity is describing a reality that is outside of time. We know that we live in a four dimensional universe the dimensions being: length, width, height, and time. From general relativity we know that space and time are inseparable hence the term "space time". It hard if not impossible to grasp a dimension outside of what we perceive to do so an analogy can help. It is much easier to go down a dimension. Say a two dimensional world where these two live.

_______________________________________________


Now they both live in a 2 dimensional plane but you being a three dimensional being can touch both of them simultaneously independent of their own perceived distance from each other... as well if you pierced their world with your finger, they would just see a big round thing appear from a small dot to a bigger circle, and as you with drew your finger it would go back to a dot and disappear. This is a very simplistic bu useful analogy.

Another way to envision extra dimensions is to unravel a 3d cube into 2d. If you unfold a cube into 2D you get what looks like a cross. Now in Math there is a 4 dimensional shape called a Tesseract. In a famous painting Salvador Dali used an unfolded 4 dimensional tesseract for a cross to represent Jesus mastery over all 4 dimensions.






If you think of God as living outside the dimension of time (eternal) in this way you can get the idea how miracles are possible. The implications are vast.



[edit on 5/7/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by JesusisTruth
I remember before I knew God, man I was lazy, a bum, I didnt want to work, I threw things at people, I beat my animals when mad, I cursed, I would mkae fun of people not caring for their fealings, I never said I love you to family members, my heart was dead, I wanted to do what i wanted and not what god did..

my heart was dead, I was greedy, I didn't want to share food, I didn't want to help homeless people out, I didnt have as much compassion as I do now...


Good that you found a way to not be like that anymore. Believe it or not, I'm agnostic and I don't do any of those things.

  • I'm not lazy
  • I'm not racist or full of blind hatred (something even the religious people have trouble with)
  • I don't beat animals or people
  • I don't do drugs
  • I can drink in moderation


But I also don't pat myself on the back for it. Instead, I just know that I need to continue being a good person because it's the right thing to do. Not because of the big guy in the sky.


Originally posted by JesusisTruth
Now comapre that to now..

a literal COMPLETE 360 turn around..... literally..


Really?


I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping you would have done a 180.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 01:58 AM
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reply to post by Sublime620
 






Originally posted by JesusisTruth
Now comapre that to now..

a literal COMPLETE 360 turn around..... literally..



Really?

I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping you would have done a 180.


He's just dancing for joy, my friend...



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 04:55 AM
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sublime, so are you perfect? are you sure you are not lazy AT ALL?

you mean to tell me you never had any defects at all growing up?

son you are not perfect, if you say you are you are mistaken..

being (good) to me since I believe in God is not just the right thing to do.. It is also something I direct ALL credit to God since it came from him..

peace.

[edit on 7-5-2008 by JesusisTruth]



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 04:56 AM
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sublime, so are you perfect? are you sure you are not lazy AT ALL?

you mean to tell me you did not have any defects growing up?.

son you are not perfect, if you say you are you are mistaken..

being (good) to me since I believe in God is not just the right thing to do.. It is also something I direct ALL credit to God since it came from him..

peace.

[edit on 7-5-2008 by JesusisTruth]



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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sublime-----what's the point in being a good guy (as you think you might be now) without G-D if in the end when you die------ its all over with?


that is what you believe is it not?------there is no G-D so He will not reward or punish me regardless of my "good" deeds or bad in this life?

i'm 61 years old and from the first i can remember of my childhood ,long before my first day of school/prison punishment,all i could think about was why am i alive?my parents wanted none of that from me and the school/prison system tried their best to beat such nonsense to them out of my head but failed.

i could never have been satisfied as you appear to be in not caring? about such an important matter.

but there again maybe you deep down really do care? otherwise why would you post here in this thread?



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 11:30 AM
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reply to post by JesusisTruth
 


Am I perfect? When the hell did I ever say I was perfect. I just said I don't beat dogs or children.

I don't need to accredit that to God. I did that myself. I didn't have to ask anyone for help.

So I didn't have to ask for help from God. Either that means he favors me and helps me anyone, or that it is possible to still be good without being a suck up.


Possibly he likes people who blaze their own trails just as much.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by Sublime620
 



Good that you found a way to not be like that anymore. Believe it or not, I'm agnostic and I don't do any of those things.

I'm not lazy
I'm not racist or full of blind hatred (something even the religious people have trouble with)
I don't beat animals or people
I don't do drugs
I can drink in moderation

But I also don't pat myself on the back for it. Instead, I just know that I need to continue being a good person because it's the right thing to do. Not because of the big guy in the sky.


Hi again. What you are saying is reasonable, and I find your attitude (as an agnostic) rather refreshing - at least you have no real axe to grind.

To us human beings you are, I reckon, a thoroughly down-to-earth decent type of guy. Clearly the world is a better place for the prevalence of decent people - otherwise society as a whole couldn't function, for a start, not to mention family relationships.

It's all to easy to give the impression that Christians are people who had particularly unpalatable vices that needed dealing with - I'm in danger of doing it when I mention how I once had a violent temper, etc. In reality we're trying to pass on what we believe is God's perspective, as we believe God revealed Himself and His attitudes to particular people in the past in a way he no longer does.

The perspective in question is that we are by nature corrupt to the core - to the gaze of a Being of infinite moral purity. When our motives are weighed even our best deeds are questionable and even well-intentioned deeds are immensely outweighed by our shortcomings. To Him, that is.

Our belief is that instead of leaving us to our own devices to live and even die in that state He found a way to free us from the grip of a corrupt nature and implant one that finds its satisfaction in moral purity alone. That is the essence of Heaven, and that's why we pass on what Jesus taught about the need to be born again - it's the implantation of a new nature, and as a consequence Heaven is a home we long for and this world is a foreign land that irks us.

So many people spend their lives avoiding thought about death, and assume the greatest satisfaction comes from living a life whose reward is contained in this life. My testimony is that a life whose reward only comes beyond the grave - in eternity - is unspeakably more satisfying than the former!

I'm not living to try to please 'The Man Upstairs', I'm living to try to thank Him for what happened on the day of the crucifixion of His Son, for my eternal good.

It's actually the nature that we inherited that alienates us from God - the addiction we have for what God defines as wrong - which we need to be freed from. The wrong we do is just a reflection of what's going on inside us. So when JIT says he used to do this and that, and I say I was freed from this and that, what we are really talking about is being delivered from the root cause.

It's not easy to get this across, but it is one of the defining differences between the Christian faith and other faiths. I attempted to sum it up here

www.abovetopsecret.com...

recently.

This explains why Christ used to hang out with obvious and even notorious 'sinners'. They knew very well they weren't living God's way, and were therefore aware of the privilege of having a true prophet from God in their midst.

Others, who thought of themselves as not especially sinful, either listened to Him as a form of entertainment or just didn't realise the value of mercy and forgiveness from God.

Some went even further and thought of themselves as a cut above the rest. Interestingly they tried to adhere to everything they read in the (OT) Bible. Yet Christ shunned them: they were so blind to their corrupt hearts that they ridiculed the offer of mercy and forgiveness!



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 06:25 PM
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I have seen eternity described like this:
This is our life time on earth.
.
This is eternity. --------------------------------------->
Picture the dashes as a solid line that goes on forever (represented by the arrow at the end)


[edit on 8-5-2008 by RedmoonMWC]



posted on May, 9 2008 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by RedmoonMWC
 


Welcome Redmoon. Nice to have some fresh blood.

I can't help wondering where you saw that illustration. On another chatroom thread, perhaps?

You have addressed the time-length issue. What are your thoughts on the nature of eternity outside this entire space/time continuum (which, I have argued elsewhere, is just God's temporary project).

Here is some food for thought to begin the process of looking at eternity from this angle:

It has been suggested that the material universe we inhabit, including the fabric of space itself, may actually be globular. If so, an never-ending line will eventually just meet up with itself anyway. While you could argue going on and on round in circles is a form of eternal progression, when you think about it it's just repetition. Eternity beyond the grave wouldn't involve repetition, even on that scale. It's pretty mind-boggling. (And I don't claim to comprehend it.)

Even if the above scenario isn't true, once this universe packs up, so does the line. Eternity is bafflingly 'beyond' and 'outside'!



posted on May, 11 2008 @ 11:50 PM
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I think that most of our problems with eternity, as well as with free will vs. predestiny, stem from our own limited viewpoint.

A famous physicist once said that the history of the universe is like a parade going through downtown; we are little children peeping through our parents legs as the parade passes. One moment, we see a row of marching trumpeteers. Then trombonists. Finally, the tubas in the back of the band. then we see horses and flags. Maybe some floats.

We are confused into thinking that when we see the tuba-players, then the trumpets and trombones no longer exist. Then, when we see horses, we only have a dim memories of tubas, and say that such things only exist in our minds now.

But God sees it all at once, like a person watching the same parade from atop a tall building. For him, the trumpeters are equally real, equally alive, as much as the horsemen or the tubists, or even the floats and circus animals that don't even exist for us yet.

For God, all of history is equally real, equally alive equally . . . . now, for want of a better term. When we put on immortality, we will see things from the same vantage point; we'll have the discernment required to attend God as he passes judgement



I Corinthians 6:3

Do you not know that we will judge angels? . . .



The only way some of us who are reading such things can fulfill that with any fairness will be if we have put on immortality to the extent that we can share a bit of the Divine One's world view.

.

[edit on 11-5-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



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