Eternal vs. Temporal

If we’re going to create a gospel pattern in our lives, we’re in desperate need to change how we view our lives. Our perspectives will shape what is most important to us, and what’s most important to us will determine our actions. We can either choose an eternal perspective or the temporal one that dominates our culture.

We can remind ourselves of the value of eternity by looking at the BREVITY of life, the BROKEN promises of this world, and by knowing where we BELONG.


James 4:14
“yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” 

Life is so short, that James compares it to a mist or a vapor. Think of the steam that comes from a hot cup of coffee in the morning. In one moment, it’s there and gone the next. We need to remind ourselves that life is short. Thinking about death, pain or the loss of a loved one can be difficult to grasp and because of that, we tend to focus on the temporary things in life as it’s easier to deal with.

We need to fight to value the hope that God has for us, rather than valuing the temporary things that are in front of us.


We need to realize that the promises in this world are all broken. Whether its pleasure, recognition, popularity, or money; the pursuit of those things will always leave you wanting more. No matter how much you have, if those are the most important things in your life, you will wake up feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Why is this? It’s because we try to seek after those things to give us everlasting joy when our hearts were created for joy elsewhere. Worldly pleasure is fleeting. One moment we are satisfied, but when that person/place/thing no longer brings the satisfaction it once did, we move on to something else. We need everlasting joy that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Through the promises of God, and setting our perspective on the eternal, our deepest desires of love, joy, and peace are all met.

1 John 2:15-17
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”


The final reason to live for the eternal is that this is not our home. Consider Abraham, a man who trusted the promises of God, instead of the promises of this world. Hebrew 11:10 says, For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. Abraham looked forward because he knew he wasn’t home. We too need to live our lives in such a way that we look forward to the eternal inheritance that we have in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:18
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

It’s not natural to pursue the invisible above the visible, so we should expect to be tempted to wanting the temporal perspective. Examine your perspective and the things that you make important in your life. Your perspective will determine whether or not you can rejoice at the various trials that come your way. Your perspective will determine how you live your life.

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