Time Heaven Eternity and God

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  August 1, 2015

God is eternal, everlasting, and never-ending. Christians faithfully look to the day when, by the blessing of the Cross, we may not only join God in the eternal realm, but will also rejoin with our loved ones in the blessing of everlasting life. This is the ultimate blessing of heaven for Christians, however it is sometimes difficult to explain what it means.
Eternity—that is the infinite existence of God—is easily understood when God it is remembered that God is also the omnipotent creator of all things. That means that is fully all-powerful and that includes the creation of time itself.
As humans, we see time as linear. That is, we look across the span of time and see that time is unrelentingly constant—it never changes and always moves forward in history. (Einstein’s understanding of special relativity does alter the concept of time significantly, but it ultimately does not change the constant forward progress of time even as it does alter the relative experience of time.) This constant, forward progression of time is where humanity is bound to a reality to which God is most definitely not bound. God is above and beyond time.
As the creator, God created both time and physical space. There are clues to this reality in the opening verses of Scripture. In the first day of Creation as God separated the light from darkness, the light came to be known as day and the darkness to be night. On the fourth day of creation, God calls for the existence of the stars, moon, planets, and sun to be indicators and measures of the passage of time, thus beginning humanity’s understanding of the linear progression of time.
Another way of looking at the rather complex concept of heaven and eternity is to turn to the theory of dimensionality. We understand that we live in three dimensions—up / down, left / right, and forward / backward. Imagine, however, a two-dimensional world. In this imaginary universe, there is no such thing as up or down. Everything is completely flat and all the inhabitants of this flat universe enjoy life without the slightest notion of the existence of a third dimension. As a creature of the three-dimensional world, you would be able to look into every aspect of the flat universe and literally see everything all at once. Plus, the flat creatures would have no way of perceiving your presence unless you reached out in some manner.
Now imagine that you had the opportunity to communicate with one of the two-dimensional creatures. If you simply said hello, the flat creature would hear your voice as both coming from all around, and simultaneously within, his own flat body. He would have no choice but to wonder about this unexplainable supernatural experience of a disembodied voice completely surrounding him.
Taking the imaginary introduction of two different universes a step forward, imagine you then reached down into his flat universe and lifted him out of that realm and into the third dimension. He would now have the same view of his universe as you always had. After a brief introduction to the third dimension—which would no doubt leave the flat guy profoundly confused and disoriented—you return him to his universe to tell his friends where he had been. Yet, without any language to describe “up” he would have no way to adequately share his vision.
One way of envisioning heaven is as the fourth dimension. It is a real place that does not exist somewhere far away, but one that is all around us and completely beyond us all at the same time. Time also loses its linear progression as it becomes a reality that God can see all at once, from beyond any perceptual limitation of our three dimensions—dimensions that God created.