Forever Starts Now

“… forever and ever. Amen.” - Ephesians 3:21

I can remember thinking about “forever” since I was a child. I would think about the world, then zoom my mind out into space; I’d try to think past the stars, into the unknown. I’d squint, looking up at the sky. I’d think, think, think, until my mind was hazy and I gave myself a headache. Then, I remember being afraid. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

Forever doesn’t have to be scary. Because forever isn’t just some destination or location. Forever is a relationship.

We don’t just exist forever. We exist with (or without) someone. And that Someone is Jesus. That reality is both encouraging, and a little bit scary.

We can live eternally in God’s presence or outside of God’s presence, not only in the life to come, but in this life as well. The best thing about Heaven is being with Jesus, and the worst thing about Hell is being without Him.

We have to know Jesus.

That’s the reason why my favorite Bible verse is Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven. Simply calling Me 'Lord' will not be enough. Only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me in heaven. At the end of time, on that day of judgment, many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive demons out of the possessed in Your name? Did we not perform miracles in Your name?' But I will say to them, 'I never knew you. And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!'"

So many times, we’re fixated on figuring out forever, instead of being fixated on knowing Jesus. On loving Jesus. Because, knowing Jesus means knowing His love.

If we don’t want to know Jesus now, how can we possibly want to know him in the future? It is as good as living hell on earth. But, if we want to know Jesus now, maybe that’s when we can experience God’s Kingdom - not only in the future - but right now. How we experience forever starts with how we experience now.

Will you recognize Jesus when you see him, on that Day? Do you recognize Jesus now, when you hear His voice? Do you recognize Him, in the one who is hungry and thirsty - as the stranger, the naked, and the sick (Matthew 25:40-45)? Do you hear the whisper of His Spirit, speaking grace, truth, and conviction?

What is the fruit of knowing Jesus? It’s when you “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… [and] love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40). Experiencing the love of God creates in us a natural response: to love Him back, to live for Him, with Him, and to do His will.

May the Holy Spirit give us the power to grasp the fullness of God’s love. (Ephesians 3:18-19), so that we may be with God now, and in the life to come.

by Kaitlyn Faraghan
Kaitlyn leads worship at our Cherry Hill location. She is passionate about writing and recording music, and has been a part of numerous recording projects; she has released one album and is now working on her second album! In her spare time, you will find her scouting out the best coffee and donuts in South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area.