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Active Member
What is the Christian idea of eternity? The NT has some references to things that are considered eternal, and everlasting life (and punishment), but when put all together they don’t seem to provide a consistent picture. It’s unclear to me what is really meant. For example, some passages on the lake of fire say people will burn in it forever, others seem to suggest that people will be consumed by it and hence, presumably, no longer exist.

Is time without end meant? Just time that goes on forever but somehow without the action of entropy? Some Christians say there will be work to do in heaven, and biblical descriptions of God’s actions and goings on in heaven imply action and change, which both imply the passage of time. But I’ve come across the belief that there is an eternal place outside of spacetime. If such a place existed, then how is there any progression in it, without time? How does one thing precede another?

To me so far it just appears to be a feeling, or a longing, for something beyond the everyday, not dissimilar to what Plato was trying to construct with his theory of forms inasmuch as there’s some desire there to nail down something genuinely transcendental and permanent.