Why Is an Eternal Perspective So Important?

"I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity." —John Wesley

Having an eternal perspective is in so many ways the key to living out a true Christ-following life. If we take our cues from the world around us, we’re not going to have that kind of perspective. Everything is viewed in light of the short term: go after this, try to find happiness here, buy this car, have this cup of coffee, go to this clothes store, do these “big payoff” things (which, in reality, don’t enrich the soul). This is the world we live in.

But Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” What will last forever? God’s Word. People. Spending time in God’s Word and investing in people will pay off in eternity and bring me joy and perspective now.

In our ministry, we encourage believers to look at life differently—like Elisha’s servant whose eyes were opened so that he could see the angels around them, protecting them (2 Kings 6). It wasn’t that suddenly those angels were there. They were there all along. It’s just that suddenly he had the eyes to see invisible realities.

Now I’m not saying that we’re going to be seeing angels and demons if we have an eternal perspective! What I am saying is we need to ask God to open our eyes to what’s at stake—to the unseen world and the reality of Heaven, our eternal destination. This life need not be wasted. In small and often unnoticed acts of service to Christ, we can invest this life in eternity, where today’s faithfulness will forever pay rich dividends.

If you’ve placed your faith in Christ and trusted Him for your salvation, this world is the closest thing to Hell you will ever experience. Everything that is wrong in this life will be made right in that place you’ll live in forever, the New Earth. “Thanks, Lord, that the best is yet to be.” That’s my prayer. God will one day clear away sin, death, and sorrow, as surely as builders clear away debris so they can begin new construction.

When you live with eternity in mind, it infuses you with a joy that sustains you in your daily life, even as you face difficult things. Believing that God is working all things together for good (Romans 8:28) takes faith. It takes trust. And it requires an eternal perspective.

Father, you tell us not to fix our eyes on popular culture, not on fleeting accomplishments and wealth, but upon what is eternal, what will still matter a billion years from now. Give us the eyes of faith, and remind us to focus on you, our soon-returning Savior.

Browse more resources on the topic of Heaven, and see Randy’s related books, including Heaven.

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Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries