International Secretary's Column : Eternity in their hearts (ECCLESIASTES 3:11)
by Commissioner Lalkiamlova
In Romans 2:6-11 Paul says that God will give to each person according to what he has done at the final day. To those who by persistence in doing good, seek glory, honour, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favouritism.
God, through Moses, gave laws to the Jews for them to follow in their daily life so that he himself would be glorified and they would be blessed for their part. The law was very detailed for them and the instruction to teach their children was very obvious for any Jew. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up [Deuteronomy 6:7]. So it is not wrong on the part of God to use the law to judge any Jew. The judgement for any Jew will then be according to the law given to him.
In the same way Gentiles also will also be judged. One may question why they should be judged as there was no law given to them such as there was to the Jews. On what will the judgement be based? Paul answered this question when he said “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them” [Romans 2:14-15]. The book of Ecclesiastes says “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end [3:11]. Romans 1:20-21 says: For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Paul says in Acts 17:26 that “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us …”. In spite of the insight given by God for every nation Paul says “there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God, All have turned away, they have together become worthless” [Romans 3:11-12].
Therefore, the judgement at the final day will be by His son Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews in 1:1 says “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the universe”… He has given all judgement to him. Therefore, for everyone, the most important thing for the final days is Faith in Christ through whom everyone will be judged – Are you ready?
Commissioner Lalkiamlova is the International Secretary of South Asia zone, London