7 Characteristics of Living in the Light of Eternity

by | Dec 27, 2019 | Purpose & Identity

A primary distinctive of the early church and the original apostles was the fact that they were fully apprehended by things of eternal value.

Their lives were lived in such a way that they maintained a passion for the Lord that went far beyond mere religious practice, noble ministry expressions and Christian discipline. Jesus was everything to them, and He had consumed their passions!

They also understood and were apprehended by the declaration of James 4:14b, which says, “For what is your life? It is just a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” This reality governed them and caused them to live for the things that do not fade away with time. Several of them literally gave their lives for the gospel as an expression of their love-based obedience to Jesus and His eternal purposes.

Often in modern church culture, sadly, we learn to acclimate to earthly or carnal surroundings, which in turn become more real to us than the things of eternity. When we fall into the trap and cycle of only living for the temporal, we lose sight of what is valuable and eternal. The tragic result is that we cease to see with a heavenly vision or paradigm and temporal existence dictates our existence, decisions and destiny.

The truth is that all this world has to offer is fleeting and temporary at best. Beyond that, Scripture reveals that it will all fade away eventually. Therefore, what will we invest ourselves in while passing through our vapor of time here on this earth?

The reality of the Christian life and the call of God is one that must be lived in the light of eternity, or it easily becomes a journey of shallowness and selfishness. The apostle Paul considered his earthly existence as nothing in comparison to the eternal rewards for which he was destined. He was completely consumed with knowing Jesus and making Him known, and everything he did and accomplished was predicated on these two primary goals.

Even in the midst of intense persecution, Paul never lost sight of eternity and said this regarding sufferings, “Our light affliction, which lasts but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). He was owned by eternity!

The world and the satisfied religionist look at the lives of those that burn for Jesus and their eternal reward as if they were strange and out of touch with reality. However, to those of us who live with eternity in constant view, the things of this world grow strangely dim, and only intimacy with and complete obedience to the Lord makes sense to us.

The child of God who lives in the revelation of eternity is distinctly aware of the end of their earthly existence and the reality of their works being revealed and reviewed at the judgment seat of Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:10). With this revealed truth, they willingly invest themselves into elements that have eternal results and rewards.

Here are seven characteristics of living in the light of eternity:

  1. The subject of eternity must develop a spiritual reality within the people of God in such a way that what lies beyond this present existence in tabernacles of flesh is more real to us than the element of measured time (see Eph. 2:1-7).
  1. We must adhere to seeing eternally if we are going to effectively minister to a world that is blinded by Satan, sin and self.
  1. To really apprehend eternity is to apprehend God Himself. God in His triune makeup abides and exists in eternity and is not limited to or relegated by the confines of time. Therefore, to be in Him and to have Him in us is the very essence of walking in a realm that is not governed by natural surroundings.
  1. To become a people motivated with unseen riches and eternal rewards causes us to become misfits or strangers in a world given to self-gratification and temporal pleasures.
  1. Our gaze must be continually upward, which in turn will grace us with a motivation that is beyond noble effort or religious energy. We in turn become pilgrims passing through an increment of time that does not and cannot take a hold of us or cause us to lose our eternal focus.
  1. Even though the world and the apathetic church world often look upon us with dismay, we press forward, because we belong to the eternal purposes of God, and in the revelation of this reality, we find our place of existence, purpose and identity.
  1. Our eternal perspective and understanding bring us to a place of absoluteness as well. Even though this absoluteness is viewed as offensive to the world, it is this immovable dynamic alone that ushers in the proper paradigm of Calvary’s cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that the body of Christ will once again become a people with eternal perception. May we embrace the reality that dictated the lives of the early apostles and much of the first-century church.

Closing Quotes

—”This life is just a dressing room for eternity.” —Leonard Ravenhill

—He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” —Jim Elliot

—”Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me to give to each one according to his work—Jesus, Rev. 22:12. {eoa}

Keith Collins is the founder and president of Generation Impact Ministries. He is actively involved in itinerant ministry and writing and speaks in various settings nationally and internationally on a regular basis. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of The Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuel’s Arising: Waking Up to God’s Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon. You can contact Keith via his website at keith-collins.org.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

Read Time: 2 Minutes 23 Seconds In this webinar, Grant Berry discussed the strategy the Lord is releasing for His end-time plans to reform His Ekklesia/church. God is revealing different focuses of this strategy to various parts of the body, especially as it relates...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Read Time: 2 Minutes 42 Seconds It’s very interesting how the Holy Spirit will use things that you’re going through to not only prophesy to you, but also to prophesy over the body of Christ. In listening to other people and hearing what’s been coming out of their...

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...


Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to...
Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own life and health. These same principals hold true for all who read and...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Pin It on Pinterest