The Eternity of God – Lesson 2
Four sections to the study of each attribute:
does it mean to us
Perhaps the eternity of God is the attribute of God most
difficult to understand.
We can somewhat conceive of never having an ending, but it
is nearly incomprehensible to think of no beginning.
We naturally think of beginning, developing, and ending. God
has none of these.
What does the eternity of God mean? It means that God has no
beginning or end. Nothing came before God and nothing will outlast Him; He is
the alpha and omega—the first and the last. God is not limited by time but
exists outside of time’s constraints. He simultaneously exists in all of time.
God knows the future because He is already there.
The first five words in the Bible sets the tone for the rest
of Scripture, “In the beginning God created…” God created what?—everything
including time. It was in the beginning of everything.
Isaiah 57:15, “For thus says the high and exalted One
Who dwells in eternity,
whose name is Holy,
‘I dwell on a high and
And also with the
contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the
spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart
of the contrite.’”
Key phrase, “dwells in eternity.” Not just that God
remembers the past and knows the future but that He dwells and exists in all of
time simultaneously. Thus He witnesses every moment in all of history all at
once. The word “dwells” in the Hebrew has the sense of “to lay oneself down,”
“to abide,” “to pitch one’s tent.”
analogies of God’s eternity
I exist in one point in time. God simultaneously exists across all of
time and before.
You can see that God is outside of time whereas I am in one
small segment of time.
Two views of a parade.
I can see one slice of a parade;
that which is passing by directly in front of me.
God can see the entire parade at once.
In the same way, I only see the present; whereas God sees all
of time and history simultaneously.
Existence in time
At any given moment I exist in a thin slice of time.
At any given moment God exists in all of time.
We pass through time; God exists in all of time at once.
We are like a boat cutting through a small part of the
ocean; God is like the planet that ocean is in.
An example of how time does not affect God is the book of
Revelation. John was on the island of Patmos when he was taken in the Spirit to
see future events that spanned over a thousand years. God did not give John a
movie presentation of what the future would be like; He actually took him
there. John’s book is unique in that he did not write as a prophet (as one who
was told about the future) but rather as a witness. He was told to record not
just what he heard but also what he saw. His witness spanned not only time but
also space as he saw events both in Heaven and on the Earth. And then God brought
him back to the present time.
God’s eternity proves His self-sufficiency. Before God
created anything there was no space, no matter, no time. It was just God.
does not affect God
“Do you not know? Have you not
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired
His understanding is inscrutable.”
At the end of the day we are tired. Sometimes we just
collapse into a chair. Nothing that God does wears Him out. Even at the end of
the six days of creation God rested not because He was tired from all of that
work but because He wanted to give us an example.
God determines something it is forever
Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in
The principles that God states in the Bible will last
forever. There is nothing unforeseen in the future that will cause God to need
to change them.
Also, what God says never limits Him. For example, God says
in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God will never come up
against the situation where someone will confess their sins but God will say,
“Gee, I really don’t wait to forgive them but I guess that I have to because I
promised.” The Scriptures are not merely something that God says but are
expressions of who and what He is. When God forgives us because we have
confessed our sins it is not just because God promised to—although that is
indeed true—but even more so, because that is what God wants to do. “Thus says
the Lord” has authority not just because God said it but because it is
consistent with who God is.
Romans 7:12, “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment
is holy and righteous and good. “
The Law is holy not because God made the Law holy but
because God is holy and the Law is an expression of God.
The commandment is righteous because God is righteous.
The commandment is good because God is good.
When we write something it generally flows out of our
imagination and creativity. When God wrote the Bible it flowed from all that He
is. It does not merely convey His thoughts; it conveys His being, who He is. And
this is why we can trust the Bible.
We must take the Bible seriously because God takes it
seriously. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
requires an eternal God
10:11-12, “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time
the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one
sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD”
2:13-14, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our
transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of
decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the
way, having nailed it to the cross.”
53:4-5, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He
Yet we ourselves esteemed
Smitten of God, and
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our
The chastening for our
well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we
who has ever and will ever live (try to imagine billions of dots on this
rectangle, each one representing a person):
If God were not eternal then Jesus could not have paid for
sins that were committed after the crucifixion. But because God exists all
throughout time, He is able to then concentrate all of those actual and real
sins into one very brief moment in time. If God is not eternal then we cannot
Time will take two different courses in men’s lives. For
those in Hell, it will become their prison as they will spend it in utter
anguish and pain. Eternity will become their main tormentor since it will
destroy any hope of relief. Yet, for those in Heaven, it will be our freedom as
it will give us the hop of being with and worshipping God forever. We will
forever say, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and
honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Revelation 5:13) How sweet the
thought of being forever with our God and with His people, to gaze upon His
face with no more the threat of sin and to bow with all the host of heaven in
wonderful adoration. This is a hope and a destiny cherished by all the people
Because God is eternal He does not have to scramble to help
us out when there is a crisis. Thus we can believe that great promise in Romans
8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Because
God can operate outside of time He is able to comfort and help us in ways that
we cannot imagine. He is never caught off guard and then must rush to set up
triage. Several years earlier He might have brought certain people into our
lives to help us for that moment of crisis. Or He had the pastor’s preaching
schedule work out so that the sermon that we need to hear is delivered on that
one Sunday that we need it the most.
He knew before we were even born what temptations will
attack us and what hurts we will suffer. Therefore, many events in our lives
might be preparing us for those difficult times that are ahead. God does not
always just lift us out of trying circumstances; sometimes He wants us to
persevere through them until we reach the end. The latter develops greater
character, trust, and spiritual stamina. Those qualities are developed over
time and God can weave circumstances, people, health, finances, etc. through
our lives in order to prepare us for those difficult times. Of course, we may
fail to utilize those resources and will instead struggle and be bitter but
that is not God’s fault.
Do you believe that God does not have the time for you? Do
you think that there are many other more important people or events occurring
that require God’s attention? God exists outside of time. He can be
simultaneously and fully concentrated on each and every person including you.
You can have His undivided attention not because He is ignoring everyone else
but because He is not restricted by time. Time does not matter to Him but you
always matter to Him.
Is God confused about the best route to take in a given
situation? You are praying about whether or not to marry that person or to take
that job. God does not rely on statistics to determine the best solution. He
knows what will be the precise outcome of whatever you choose because He is
already there. He knows that every one of His promises will be faithful because
He already sees the outcome of every person who has believed them and of those
who have disobeyed.
In addition to the ones discussed above, what are some other assurances
that God’s eternity means to us?
If God has always existed then who created God?
By contemplating God’s eternity how can that help us through a trial?
The concept that God exists outside of time is hard to grasp. Is there
any kind of visualization or analogy that can help someone understand this?
It has been said that God created time. If that is the case then what
existed before time was created?
How can a God who exists outside of time be involved in each moment of
my life when I am confined by time?
God is eternal. When we are born we will live forever. What is the
What are some things that we can do to get to know God better?
How can someone always exist without ever being born?
Peggy is always nervous about the future. If you mention
some situation to her, she will always think of the worst possible outcome and
get uptight about it. This not only fills her with anxiety but also puts a damper
on any plans or ideas that someone else suggests. One time someone suggested a
church picnic at the nearby park and she responded, “That park has a playground
and children can get hurt on those and then the church will get sued. And then
there’s the bugs and what if it rains?” Is there anything about God’s character
and perhaps particularly His eternity that you can use to help alleviate
Peggy’s chronic fears?