“…the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
This passage tells of two realities: visible and invisible. Visible reality is temporary: “the things which are seen are temporal.” Invisible reality is eternal: “the things which are not seen are eternal.”
First there’s reality we see with our eyes. We see things that are man-made and natural. We see houses and cars and buildings. When you patrol, you probably see run-down, boarded-up houses and buildings that are an eyesore. They attract scrappers and drug users and can be a hiding place for criminals. One house had a “NO COPPER” notice spray-painted on it so scrappers wouldn’t come in to tear out the pipes.
You may also see old houses that have been renovated. A group of beautifully-renovated old houses is a great eye-catcher. So is a rebuilt 1950’s muscle car. One day, though, even those beautiful houses and cars will be no more. Even trees, mountains and hills will one day be gone: “the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). That’s the reality we see with our eyes.
There’s also reality we can’t see with our eyes, but with a microscope. People with no interest in God may say things like, “If I can’t see it, I won’t believe in it!” That’s willful ignorance. Louis Pasteur didn’t think like that. He was a scientist and wanted to learn about things beyond what he could see. The Bible is very pro-science. Daniel the prophet was “cunning in knowledge, and understanding science” (Daniel 1:4). Heating food to eliminate harmful bacteria is called pasteurization which was named after Louis Pasteur.
Dr. Joseph Lister learned from Pasteur’s work and revolutionized antiseptic techniques in surgery, and surgical survival rates skyrocketed because of Dr. Lister (Listerine is named after him). Lister was also a Christian, a Bible believer. Microscopic reality is reality, but one day it, too, will be gone. Even things in space will one day be no more: “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise” (2 Peter 3:10).
Finally, there’s invisible reality, reality that’s eternal. God is unseen: “No man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18). Yet He’s real and eternal: “The eternal God is thy refuge” (Deuteronomy 33:27). Some may say, “If there is a God, He should reveal Himself.”—He already has. Romans 1:20 says, “For the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” God reveals Himself through the things He has made. God’s creation tells us He is eternal, very powerful, and sovereign over all.
However, there’s much more God wants us to know about Him. He wants us to be “increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). That’s why He gave us the Bible. It doesn’t tell everything about God, but it tells us what we need to know. If some people want to be willfully ignorant about God, He allows them to be: “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38).
Most importantly, the Bible tells how to have God’s forgiveness for our sins. If we’re honest, we know we’ve said and done wrong things. The Bible tells us how to have God’s forgiveness for sins through Jesus Christ and an eternal home in heaven, not in hell. Now if earth has beautiful sights, and it does, how much more beautiful heaven must be! “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Please don’t be willfully ignorant about God. To see how to have your sins forgiven and a home in heaven, please click “Helpful Links” and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the main menu.
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822