What does it mean to live forever and ever
by Elvira Tan, Focus on the Family Singapore
Our little ones have trouble understanding things that they cannot see. Well, even many adults struggle with comprehending things that are unseen and when it comes to the concept of time, we wreck our brains for ways to describe it to our young ones. For instance, we might tell our toddlers that they need to wait three more “sleeps” before they can go to a friend’s birthday party. No surprise then that answering their questions on what eternity entails can prove to be challenging.
The key thing to impress upon them is that God has planned for us a life with Him for all time in Heaven after our life on Earth. In addition, how we live life on Earth should be different from others who do not know Him.
Here are some tips on sharing about what living with God forever and ever means and how this should affect how we live life on earth:
Seize the moment
Be alert to opportunities to talk about eternal life with God to your children. It could possibly be when you are helping them cope with the loss of a dear loved one or when family or friends are seriously ill. Share with them that life on Earth is for a period of time but our true home is in Heaven with God where we will live with him always. There is no end to life with Him.
Go back to the Word
Tell our kids that there’s much more to Heaven than what is illustrated in cartoons. Pick out Bible verses for example, from Revelation 21 which can help you describe to them what eternal life in Heaven looks like. You might want to get them to draw on paper what is being described of Heaven in the Bible and discuss what the Bible says about why it is a perfect place to be. The main idea to emphasize is that eternal life with God means that all things will be made perfect by Him. There will be no pain or suffering but joy that cannot be described or imagined.
However, we cannot share about Heaven without talking about Hell as well. It can be described as a dark place that is full of pain and sorrow that will never end. It is the exact opposite of Heaven and those who are there will never ever get to be with God and will feel all alone always.
Explain what it takes to be with God for all time
Our children need to know that only those who believe in Jesus will get to enjoy life for all time with Him in Heaven. Eternal life is a gift from God because of His great love for us according to John 3:16 and no acts of kindness or any form of doing good will help us obtain this gift.
Describe what it’s like living a life of faith with eternity in mind
Share Matthew 6:19-21 with the kids. Tell them what it means to store treasures not on earth but in heaven. Talk about how pleasing our ways will be to God when we choose to live life that show we trust and obey Him in all things.
Understandably, explaining eternity to our young ones can prove to be daunting. There will certainly be things that will be difficult for them to grasp but as we prayerfully read His Word and lean on His spirit to guide us, we will be able to discern how to wisely share more about eternity with our children in ways that they understand.
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