Writing a devotional about eternity is a bit like writing an essay about the cosmos. Even those who seriously study it have only a vague idea of what it actually entails. While we may understand the general concept, the details are largely beyond our comprehension. How can finite man begin to grasp a concept so far beyond our understanding?

Fortunately, our heavenly Father has revealed to us everything we need to know about the end times and eternity: that Christ is going to return (1 Thessalonians 4:16), that he will judge the world (Matthew 25:31–46), that Satan will be defeated (Revelation 20:7–10), and that the righteous will live with God forever, while those without Christ will be eternally separated from him.

Many people wonder how a loving God could ever send someone to hell, but it is worth noting that hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41), not for people. Being apart from his people was never part of God’s plan. He has prepared only one place for his people: a place with him.

Only those who refuse to accept God’s gift of grace and forgiveness in Christ will ever have to experience the eternal separation from God and his goodness that is hell. By contrast, those who are in Christ will never know anything but the joy of being eternally reconciled with him once this life is over.

In our day-to-day existence, it is easy to lose sight of both of these realities. The joy of heaven and the bitterness of hell can get lost in the mundane of today. But these are the very realities that keep our lives from being mundane. The reality of our eternal future with Christ — what the Bible calls “hope” — is meant to transform our lives in the here and now by giving us new ways of thinking, new attitudes, and new behaviors. It would be shortsighted to resign the things of heaven to heaven itself and think of eternity as only “someday” rather than today. A continual awareness of — and a gratitude for — our eternal destiny in Christ is paramount to living the life that God has called us to.

Today, if you are in Christ, thank him for the salvation that is yours, and let the gratitude for this amazing reality lead you to pursue a relationship with him that is itself the ultimate goal of our salvation. And may the hope of your eternity in him lead you to live differently today — as expressed so eloquently by musician Charlie Peacock:

Oh, for the eyes to see,
Beyond this flesh and bone,
To my final destination,
To the city I’ll call home.

But it’s crazy to pretend and try to act like
I’m one of the local boys.
Everybody knows
That I’m really just a tourist
Not by accident
But by my own choice.

Still so much of the time I live
Like this spinning ball of land and ocean is my reality complete. Would you say a prayer for a change in me
‘Cause this is what I want
This is what I need

I want to live like heaven is a real place
I want to live like heaven is a real place
In my everyday time and space
I want to live like heaven is a real place.

Today in your life, will you make heaven a real place?