“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”(Revelation 22:13)
The text before us is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ’s title as the Alpha and the Omega. These are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, which indicates to the readers that God holds the title not for being the very first of all creation; not the very last of creation either. God was not created by anyone. But that God is the founder; in its very essence the victor beyond the Alpha and the Omega. He is the source of life and the source of the end of life. He holds that title because it is His right because in essence, if I may say this in simple terms, God is Eternal.
To speak of God’s eternity is simply to say that God is without end. When we mention that God is eternal or infinite we relate Him with time.
For creation to be finite and limited presupposes that there is a being, the creator who is infinite and eternal.
I think in order to understand how we can comprehend to a certain degree, that which is eternal, we must ask two very important questions:
What is time?
A.A Hodge wrote “Time is limited duration, measured by succession, either of thought or motion. It is distinguished in reference to our perceptions into past, present, and future”. Everything is boundaries of time. A person, an object or a creature or a planet is bound to time. It cannot go beyond death; and it cannot go beyond living. And time also because of this fact is limited compared to God. Here is now the question that we need to ask secondly:
What it is, it’s relation to eternity?
Answer: Eternity goes beyond time because it is limitless (it has no end and no beginning). Time on the other hand is limited. But for us to try to begin to comprehend that fact is very difficult. We see things and reason things in a finite way and cannot take in that which is transcended to us.
However we can know what we can know.
In some texts of Scripture, Isaiah 41:4 we read “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?” what God is saying to the Jews through Isaiah is, ‘is there anyone who holds to what I hold? Who is there that you may compare and relate to?’. It is an exclusive statement, because then He concludes “I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he”.
For God there is no past, present and future. Since He is not restricted by the power of time and since He is a being who is eternal, then these terms of time only relate to God’s creatures and creation. We have a beginning and an end which is related to time. We are related to time because we are restricted by time. God on the other hand does not have an end and a beginning. Our bodies are made of finite cells that die, our bodies perish, grow old and are buried so we won’t give a bad smell to our neighbors who are alive. God on the other hand, does not have a bodily form for He is a Spirit. We can’t compare God with anyone and even ourselves. God is timeless. In fact He Lord’s over time and is always perfect and absolute. He never needs to grow old beginning from young age. He never needs use any medication to make His health better unlike us.
For God, everything that He knows is present to Him. God has seen everything and knows everything, thus God is omniscient. He is all knowing because He is Eternal. He is Eternal therefore He is All Powerful. He is Lord over all things, including time itself. Even time cannot touch the very essence of His being. Therefore as it is written, God said to the people “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God”(Isaiah 44:6).
How can this truth of God’s Eternity encourage the sinner or the Christian in this life?
Well consider first the words of God in Isaiah 45:17 “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end”.
What God offers to those who humbly come to Him is an eternal salvation. It is not something that can be wasted after using it. It’s not something that will last only a certain period of time. No, God promises an everlasting salvation, because He Himself is everlasting/ eternal. In 1 Peter we read “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”(1 Peter 1:4). Those who know God, have this out of the abundant mercy of God. But those who don’t know Him and who are under His judgement will face the consequences of eternal and everlasting damnation.
This is the negative. Since God is eternal, since He offer everlasting salvation to those who are saved; it is equally so when those who reject Him will suffer eternal punishment in Hell. Jehovah Witnesses’s do not believe that it is necessary for God to punish someone by sending them to an eternal torment and damn them to Hell. But see that would go against the very essence of God’s nature that He is an infinite eternal being. And that sin is the very core than makes God agitated and angry that He desires it to be done with forever. And since He desires that will, then those who are of sin, born in sin, slaves to sin, who love there sin will receive everlasting damnation and torment.