I like to distinguish between humans and God in relation to the duration of our existence. I think this is very important and will serve well to clear up some misconceptions while propelling the mystery of God substantially.
First, God Is not everlasting, he is eternal.
Second, people are not eternal, we are everlasting.
Please note, this is a distinction I make, not one that is necessarily inherent in these terms. Normally they can be used interchangeably.
Briefly, what I mean by this is that God does not exist in time going back an infinite amount of moments and then forward an infinite amount of moments.
God created time in the finite past. It is outside of him. He, in his essence, is in no way bound to time. He exists above time. This means that God, in His essence, does not experience a succession of moments. He exists in an “eternal now.”
This is what I mean when I say God Is eternal.
Next, people are everlasting in that we will exist forever, in time. It looks like this.
We will never be eternal, as God is eternal. Why? Because it would be impossible for us to transcend time. The basic rule is this: once eternal, ‘always eternal, and once time-bound, always timebound.” We could not even peek our heads above the clouds and see timeless eternity for a second. Why? Because if we did, by definition, we would have always had to be eternal since there can be no change in an environment that has no before and after.
This Is why Paul dogmatically expresses that we will never see God (in His essence) because we can’t see God (in His essence). In order to see the essence of God, one must have “always” been eternal and only God, by definition, is eternal. So, in order to see God’s essence, one must be God!
1 Tim 6:16
He alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.
Of course, we will see God In his incarnation, activity, and manifestations just as Moses did and all those who saw Christ. But even as Christ exists in a body, now and for the rest of time, he is not contained by his incarnation.
Latin: finitum non capax infinitum “the finite cannot contain the infinite.”
What a great phrase from the Reformers.
I hope that I have cleared some things up and helped muddy the water where it needed to be muddied. Behold the revelation and the mystery of God! He is ineffable, inscrutable, and holy beyond imagination.
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