This morning I was listening to my Christian music playlist on my iPod while I was getting ready for the day. A song I have only heard a few times came on and at first I didn’t recognize it. It is by the Australian Christian rock band Revive from the recently released CD Blink. It’s called “Welcome to Eternity.” The first verse and chorus are:
Oh we sat around and talked for hours
About our dreams and the future in our power
Oh such fools we were
To ever think that this was it
To think ourselves as permanent
And forget the immanent
And inside the tears rose
As I pray for your soul
Oh what can I say?
To make sure that you believe
On the day you receive
Your welcome to eternity
Before the line “Oh such fools we were” I was crying uncontrollably. My heart was aching and I felt this terrible burden in my soul.
You see, I have several very old friends who don’t know Jesus as their Savior. They know what I believe, but they have chosen a different path. I want to share the joy of my faith with them, I want to know what I can say to make sure they believe when they receive their welcome to eternity, but the words never come. But I do pray for them regularly and earnestly.
God has given all of us freewill, including my friends. In our society today, we are supposed to just let people believe what they want to and not try to “impose our beliefs” on others. But I wonder, if my friends were walking towards a cliff, about to fall off, and I knew it but they had chosen to believe land would continue on across the chasm ahead, wouldn’t I tell them? Wouldn’t I warn them? Wouldn’t I feel it was so urgent that they be saved from this danger that I would call out, “Stop, wait, don’t go that way!”
As a Christian, I feel this same sense of urgency about the direction my non-Christian friends have taken. The older I get, the closer we get to our “welcome to eternity,” the greater the urgency. I grieve over the thought of spending that eternity without some of my best and dearest friends. The time I get to spend with them in this short life is not enough. It’s just not enough.
King Solomon wrote: “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11. Writing before the cross, Solomon went on to say, “So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” Ecclesiastes 3:12-13. This side of the cross, the human heart still longs for eternity. At least I know mine does. And I long for that eternity in the company of all of my friends and family. So I will continue to pray for their souls and perhaps God will give me the right words to share with them.