I.M.A.G.E. is an acronym for what it means to be made in the image of God. Today Pastor Miles talked about the Eternal part of our God image.
I ndividually unique
M oral mirror
A uthority to rule
G od’s friend
(1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 13:12 , 2 Corinthians 3:1)
1. I - We will perfectly reflect the unique aspect of God we were created individually to display. Revelation 2:17
Here on earth, we experience daily struggles to learn and express who we are, but in heaven we will be perfectly the people God created us to be.
What does it mean to have eternal salvation in heaven? For followers of Christ, this means that every aspect of our God image will finally be perfected. Many times we think of eternity as “unlimited duration,” but it is also a condition. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we have entered into eternity and are on our way to Forever. Here on earth, we experience daily struggles to learn and express who we are, but in heaven we will be perfectly the people God created us to be. We get glimpses of finding our niche and fulfilling our purposes while on earth, but in heaven it will all be complete.
2. M - We will perfectly reflect God’s morality. 1 Peter 1:16
In His Word, God calls us to be holy as He is holy. Because God is the only example of true righteousness, He defines morality and calls us to reflect that. This means that we belong to Him, we listen to His voice, and we receive counsel from His Word. While on earth, we struggle to maintain this perfect following of truth, in heaven we will be able to perfectly reflect God’s morality.
3. A - We will perfectly exercise the authority we are given in heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:3
John 3:16, Ecclesiastes 3:11, 1 John 3:2-3
The Bible tells us that we will rule with Christ in heaven, but how will we rule with Christ if we can’t even settle a small dispute here? (1 Corinthians 6:3) We must learn how to handle matters now so that we can be given authority later.
All of us experience the consequences of our earlier actions, and heaven is this way as well. The Bible tells us that our rewards and responsibilities in heaven will be based on our faithfulness here on earth.
4. G - We will perfectly walk in relationship with God. Revelation 21:3-4
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
This whole earth will eventually pass away and be replaced, and God Himself will be with us in perfect communion. Our earthly lives serve to sanctify us in a gradual process so that we may eventually realize this perfect relationship with our God.
5. E - We will perfectly and forever exist with God. John 17:2-23, John 12:25
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”John 12:25
Jesus tells us that if we are hung up on having life our way, then we will lose our lives. He will honor our desire not to be with Him. But if we realize that God’s desires, rewards, and purposes surpass our own on earth and we are willing to entrust our lives to Him, then He will honor that and will spend eternity with us.
Are you willing to believe Him and entrust your earthly life to Him in order to gain eternity?