I don’t know if you have ever stopped to notice, but just about everyone has some premonition of life after death. It does not matter where I have been in the world or the different people that I have encountered in my life, it seems as if most and maybe all have this gut feeling that there is more to our existence than our time now. We should not be surprised that God has revealed much about what happens after death.
I have most recently added Ecclesiastes 3:11 to the Bible memory app that I use. It is interesting, because I cannot recall how it got into my list of verses to be memorized. Most of my verses get added as a result of my daily Bible reading. There are times that I will be impacted by a verse that I will immediately start memorizing it, while most verses that just get added to the queue. Periodically, I then go back through the list of waiting verses and move them into my active list. This is how this verse got into my list.
Solomon writes, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) It is a verse, like many in this portion of Scripture, that offers followers of Jesus a few gems of truth. Recently, I preached through Ecclesiastes, something that I have wanted to do for years. Now, while there are many different perspectives of Solomon’s work, I see it as a testimony of a follower of God that got off track. He deals with a number of temptations and questions that we also wrestle with. But his conclusion is always the same, we need to trust God. And this verse begins with one aspect of God’s working in your life. It reminds us that God “has made everything beautiful in its time.” Now, for those that are followers of Jesus, Paul reminds us of the same truth in Romans. This is a great source of encouragement for the follower going through tough times. A reminder that God can even redeem our failure.
It is the rest of the verse that got me thinking about heaven. “Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart.” There is a reason why human beings have a premonition of heaven, because God wired us for eternity. This would explain the many attempts of religion to address what happens once we die. This should be an encouragement to share our faith. When you hear someone ask a questions or make a comment about spiritual things, like “I’ve been thinking of going back to church?” or a comment about “Praying for something.” Or “Asking for prayer.’ It is a reflection of the truth of Solomon’s words. This is a great opportunity to share what Jesus has done in our lives and point others to God’s Word.
You may have wondered? If God has put eternity into the hearts of mankind, then why are there so many different and conflicting attempts to address death? And Solomon provides the insight, “yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” He reminds us that God has not revealed everything to the natural person. And this reminds us the importance of God’s Word. It is God revealing what we need to know. It is one of the reasons that Jesus is referred to as the Word because he was the living communicator of the way to God.
So what is my thought on heaven? It could be a great open door into sharing Jesus with others. A simple, non-threatening, question like “What do you think happens after a person dies?” will touch on something that all people have questions about. It could be the door for sharing the message of Jesus with that someone in your life.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson