Eternity Changes Everything by Stephen Witmer
The future affects the present, not only the way we feel but the action we take in the meantime. This new book, Eternity Changes Everything by Pastor Stephen Witmer is a deep look into eternity, how we view it from a biblical perspective, and how this can change our life. Written in 12 short chapters, each section is hard hitting with keen insights into the tension believers face between a glorious future awaiting us and the present stain of sin in our lives. Building on Revelation 21 as his key text, Stephen wants us to peer behind the veil and see God’s glorious future in the new heaven and new earth. What turns out to be a quick read is actually a very illuminating and powerfully encouraging book that puts eternity into proper perspective.
Stephen says it rightly near the beginning of the book that, “The best thing about the new creation is God….You are going to enjoy your perfect body with God. You are going to experience a reunion which God attends. He is what makes the perfect future perfect.” (33) No, it will be amazing that no more tears, pain, anguish, and sin will be present. But, let us not fail to forget that God is the one who makes all these remedies possible and alone should get all the glory. Secondly, Stephen’s take on the kingdom of God is very helpful in fleshing out the aspects of the already/not theme in the New Testament. He writes, “So, when Jesus says, “the kingdom has come,” he means it has come through his life and ministry as a whole (including the cross and resurrection). Notice Jesus doesn’t say the kingdom will come. The verb is past tense. It has come.” (40) The kingdom of God is God’s reign and rule coming in the person of Jesus Christ on the Earth. The beauty of this truth is the way that sin has been conquered, evil has been vanquished, and Christ has done it all on earth. Yet, we still feel the ravaging effects of sin and death upon the Earth, but the certainty of their end has been deal with in the past.
The rest of the book deals with such pertinent subjects as patience, restlessness, dealing with the interval time between Christ’s Second Coming, and heaven. The hope Stephen provides is reassuring to believers facing the throes of illness, suffering, and the consequences of sin. This is no book that recounts the angelic harp vision of heaven that some people speak about, but a real down to earth vision of eternity and how God will dwell with men. You will be encouraged and refreshed as you read this wonderful book.
Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and the good book company for the copy of this book in exchange for a review.