“Eternity seems so far away and there are so many important things to do right now. Why should I think about my eternity?” This is exactly how I thought when I was younger. Now, as a nurse, I have watched many people pass on into their eternity. I have seen people pass from this life calmly and peacefully, and I have seen people, full of fear, wanting to run away from what is meeting them.
Why the difference?
Life on earth
It has become very clear to me that the life that I live here and now, while I am young, decides how my eternity will be. I have seen that people who believed in God and who have lived a good life here on earth, a life of serving others, have died full of peace and often with a smile on their face.
My own dear mother passed away two years ago, and I can still see the look of joy and peace in her eyes as she met her eternity. I am sure that Jesus, whom she loved and served all her life, was there to meet her as she passed from this earth. But there are others who die terrified and full of unrest, and I have noticed that they were people who were miserable here on earth, had fights with family whom they could not forgive, and had lived selfishly all their lives.
After dealing with many different people while they were still alive, I have not been surprised to see how they met their eternity.
A personal life
But then it became serious to me personally. I had to ask myself, “How am I living my life right now?” Because that will decide my eternity. Of course, when I die, I want to go to heaven where there is peace and goodness and love. I can’t expect to live selfishly here on earth, and then go to a heavenly place where people are good and only thinking of how to do good to others! I must live life here on earth in the same way that I want to spend my eternity.
In James 4:8 (NLT) it says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” Now, while I am here on this earth, it’s my chance to come close to God, to “clean” and purify myself from just living for myself. Then He will come close to me, not only here on earth, but I believe that when I face my eternity, He will come to receive me.
When I live for Jesus here on earth and spend my time “cleaning” and purifying myself from selfishness, one of the many benefits, besides the fact that I am certain of a happy and peaceful eternity, is that the fear of death disappears. I know for sure where I am going when my time on earth ends. I know it will be a peaceful and joyful moment when I meet the God that I have listened to and obeyed and learned to love while I have been here on earth.
1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (CEV): “The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true, ‘Death has lost the battle! Where is its victory? Where is its sting?’”