Chapel Service

Kern County Raceway Park

October 26, 2019

“Eternity In Our Hearts”

Bob Butcher

Question: “What does it mean that we have eternity in our hearts?”

Have you ever heard that statement before?  Do you have any idea what they are talking about?

Answer: Ecclesiastes 3:11 states God has “set eternity in the human heart.” In every human soul is a God-given awareness that there is “something more” than this transient world. And with that awareness of eternity comes a hope that we can one day find a fulfillment not afforded by the “vanity” in this world. Here is a closer look at the verse:

“In the human heart” is an expression representing the mind, soul, or spirit of each person. God places eternity (in Hebrew the word for eternity is: olam) into our heart and soul.


olam refers to God’s placing an eternal longing or sense of eternity in the human heart.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 affirms the idea that humans operate in a different way than other forms of life. We have a sense of eternity in our lives; we possess an innate knowledge that there is something more to life than what we can see and experience in the here and now.

Looking into the larger context of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 helps our understanding of verse 11. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, / and a season for every activity and season under the heavens.” The next seven verses list a series of contrasts:

  • Time to be born and die   
  • love and hate,
  • scattering and gathering,
  • tearing and mending,
  • weeping and laughter.

Any of you remember the December 1965 hit by “The Byrds” called: “Turn, Turn, Turn”?

Then comes Ecclesiastes 3 verse 11, which begins, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” In other words, life is comprised of opposite experiences in balance. God has appointed each experience to its season. Each season is meant to be considered as part of the whole of our life.

Seasons come and go, but does anything in this life truly satisfy us? The answer in Ecclesiastes is, no, all is vanity! (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  Webster’s 1828 definition of vanity is:

VAN’ITY, noun [Latin vanitas, from vanus, vain.]

1. Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity.

2. Fruitless desire or endeavor. – Vanity possesses many who are desirous to know the certainty of things to come.

3. Trifling labor that produces no good.

4. Emptiness; untruth

5. Empty pleasure; vain pursuit; idle show; unsubstantial enjoyment. Sin with vanity has filled the works of men.

6. Ostentation; arrogance.

7. Inflation of mind upon slight grounds; empty pride, inspired by an overweening conceit of one’s personal attainments or decorations. Fools cannot be cured of their vanity – Vanity is the food of fools.


However, through all the ups and downs and fluctuation of our life, we have a glimpse of stability—God has “set eternity in the human heart.”


“Life is but a vapor” (James 4:14), but we know there is something past this life. We have a divinely implanted awareness that our soul lives forever.


That means then that This world is not our home!

There is a far better life coming. YES, He’s got a plan.  And no matter what the best joys and treasures you have experienced in your life so far …they are going to be poor quality in comparison with what God has in store for you then.  Especially since He will be there with you and may I just say that He don’t let anything of poor quality exist around Him, nor will He let any sadness or tears change His plan for you there either. 


Take some time and ponder Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14:


“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to reap,

A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.