As I was working around the house this morning and thinking about various things
an old song, "Never Grow Old," came to mind. One line of that song runs,
"In a land where we’ll never grow old." As I thought about that, it began
to dawn on me that I couldn't remember anywhere in the scripture where it specifically
says that we will never grow old in heaven or eternity!
We are promised
eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.
6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1John 5:13 These things have I written unto you
that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal
life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
are told that time shall be no more.
10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up
his hand to heaven, 6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created
heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein
are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time
are told of the New Jerusalem that there will be no night there.
22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light
of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever
as far as I can recall, there is no promise that we will "never grow old,"
specifically in those terms.
Before you panic about that, or scoff at
that, please keep reading.
It Does Say
It is a
curious thing that in our human way of thinking, we have interpreted the end of
time and eternal life as an absence of aging. Of course, to us aging is associated
exclusively with decay to a greater or lesser degree. So, when we think of eternal
life, we are inclined to think of it as being eternally young. This is probably
a natural conclusion for us. But, several searches in Sword Searcher seemed to
turn up virtually no verses to support this idea! If this is an inaccurate assumption
how can we reconcile eternal life with aging?
Some other thoughts came
to mind in thinking about that.
First of all, I think it is interesting
to consider a couple of descriptions we have of God Almighty and the Lord Jesus
The first is in Daniel 7:9, I beheld till
the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was
white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was
like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Here Daniel the prophet describes the Lord God at the final judgment
as being the "Ancient of days". His hair is said
to be like pure wool, which is white. He appears to be a very aged "person" from
this description, and yet, as the Judge of all the earth (Gen. 18:25), He is obviously
all powerful at the same time.
The second passage describes John's vision
of the Lord Jesus when he received the book of Revelations on the Isle of Patmos.
1:12-16 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I
saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one
like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about
the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white
like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And
his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as
the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of
his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun
shineth in his strength.
recognized Him as being like unto the Son of man, but He was very much different
from when John had last seen Him. However, when Christ Jesus speaks in verse 18
this is cleared up in case there is any doubt.
1:17-18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right
hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I
am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and
have the keys of hell and of death.
see again a description of God, this time the Son, as having hair that is white
like wool. Here it is distinguished as being as white as snow.
number of years ago I remember hearing a preacher discussing this passage and
saying that the Lord's hair appeared white because the light was so intense that
it overpowered the color. This is not what the passage clearly says, however.
Another preacher thinks that we will be 33-year-old males when Christ
comes for His church because that was His physical age when He left this earth,
and "...we know that, when
he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John
These may sound like nice ideas, and maybe they are correct.
I don't know. But, the previous passages clearly describe God the Father and Son
as having white hair, and it is hard to escape that title in Daniel - "the
Ancient of days." That means aged, old.
As humans we have a dread
of aging. To us it means running down; losing strength and health and vigor; losing
abilities and mobility; decay and ultimately death.
But, notice the
description of Christ Jesus given by John. Here we see Him with hair as white
as snow, and yet His eyes were a flame of fire, his feet like fine brass and His
voice as many waters. In verse 16 His countenance was as the sun shining. This
is not a picture of decay or debility. It is a picture of power, vigor and ultimate
Also, I think it is of
interest to remember that aging was not specifically mentioned when the
curse came upon Adam and Eve after they sinned. They were given death
and a lot of sorrows and struggles to deal with, but it does not appear that
aging was one of them. It makes me wonder if God intended man to age
in the first place - just not to decay and die.
Now think with me about this. What would it be like if we
could age without losing our health? How would it be to grow older and wiser,
but not weaker; not more feeble? How would it be to grow ancient, but to maintain
strength and vigor?
There are a couple of curious examples of this in
the scriptures; men who actually grew old upon this earth, and yet did not grow
feeble or ill.
First of all, we have Moses. When his work was done and
his time came to die we read of him in Deuteronomy 34:7,
And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim,
nor his natural force abated.
Moses lived a long, long life by
today's standards, and yet we find him with clear vision and the same vigor he
had had all his life!
In the book of Joshua, we find Caleb the son of
Jephunneh, a contemporary of Moses, recounting the Lord's promises to give him
the land that he had trodden in the promised land.
14:10-11 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty
and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children
of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore
and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the
day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength
now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
was also not a young man. He was forty when he went in to spy out the land with
the other 11 men, Josh. 14:7; he was 85 when he said this. Yet he tells us that
he was as strong then as he had been at 40, even to go to war!
Lord seems to have performed a miracle for these two men in keeping them from
aging in our sense of the word while they still grew old in years.
but not surprisingly considering these passages, the Lord thinks highly of the
hoary head - or the white haired head.
19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old
man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Jews under Moses' covenant were commanded to honor those with white hair and to
show them deference.
16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the
way of righteousness.
find here, though, that the hoary head is only a crown if it be found in the way
of righteousness; which is fitting in God's order of things.
letter to Philemon, Paul did not refer to his apostleship in asking a favor of
Philemon. He referred instead to love, to his age, and to his position as a prisoner
of the Lord.
1:9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul
the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
is an indication here that being aged was an honor, as it should be from what
we've already read in the scriptures. In a true sense Paul was an elder at this
Last of all, there is a very interesting passage which I feel
has to do with the final restoration of Jerusalem in the Kingdom reign of Christ.
8:2-8 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy,
and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned
unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called
a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. Thus
saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets
of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets
of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. Thus
saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this
people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD
of hosts. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the
east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall
dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their
God, in truth and in righteousness.
has not yet been a city of truth, nor has it been the mountain of the Lord of
hosts as a holy mountain. They also have not been the Lord's people, and He their
God, in truth and righteousness for a long, long time! Thus, I feel that this
passage refers to a time that is yet to come. But, what is a promise and hope
for them given here? That old men and women shall dwell in the streets of Jerusalem
along with boys and girls playing!
The promise of a restored and righteous
Jerusalem includes both youth and old age!
Let it be clear that I do not know if my thoughts on this are entirely
correct. We may continue to age in eternity in a different sense from how we use
the term "age" in this physically limited earth. But, we may also be
eternally young as many have thought and said before. Either way, there are a
couple of conclusions we can make from all of this.
First, it does not
matter if we are old or young in terms of eternity. From the appearance of the
Lord Himself we may age or appear aged, but we will not be feeble nor weak nor
unhealthy in any way. The wisdom and honor of being ancient may be a privilege
that we too will share, but we shall also share His power of eternal life!
Because of this, we can also conclude that old age is not something to fear.
Our present bodies may decay and fail and lose strength, but our eternal bodies
will not, even if they do age in the perfect sense of that idea. This is something
that is hard to grasp while we are still in the body of this death (Rom. 7:24-25),
but in all truth, for us to live is Christ and to die is gain (Php. 1:21)!
Secondly, we know that there must be a change, whether we are eternally "young"
or whether we attain unto the status of "ancient".
Corinthians 15:51-57 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this
mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put
on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be
brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The
sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks
be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
us, the sting of aging is the death of the physical body. Because dying starts
long before we actually are laid in a coffin, we are constantly reminded as we
age that "final" death is ultimately approaching. I think that this
is the reason that we view aging and old age as a curse rather than a privilege.
Thus, we assume that in heaven and in eternity we shall be forever young, that
it is "a land where we never grow old." Apparently this may not be true, and yet,
if it is not we have no need to fear the aging there because it does not mean
decay and death as it does to us in this life!
Swift to its close ebbs
out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
and decay in all around I see:
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!
Henry F. Lyte
Of that great priest, Melchisedec we read that he was
Without father, without mother, without descent, having
neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God;
abideth a priest continually. Hebrews 7:3
Though we cannot be without beginning of days, and we will have an end of
life on this earth one way or another, yet we shall be like Melchisedec in one
way: we shall be made like unto the Son of God.
John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what
we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for
we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth
himself, even as he is pure.
hope is in the Lord! He has the power to give us that endless life of eternity.
Whether it be aging without decay, or not, we shall be "alive
for evermore" even as our Lord is.
17:2-3 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal
life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might
know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and
this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath
not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe
on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and
that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.