Meanderings of a Minister


What Is Eternal Life?
September 9, 2016, 4:40 pm
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What Is Eternal Life?

From as far back as I can remember, I was taught to memorize John 3:16.  I think I can still type it from memory: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Yes, that was King James.  As some people consider this verse, they may be tempted to ask, “What is everlasting life?  Why is that something I would want?”

Fortunately, Jesus answered this question in John 17:3 as He was praying for God’s glory in us.  What?  You didn’t know that Jesus prayed directly for you?  In John 17:20, Jesus said, “I do not ask on behalf of these [disciples] alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word…”  If you are a follower of Christ, how did you hear about Him?  My guess is that you heard something from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or one of the other books of the New Testament.  Jesus prayed for those who would believe in Him because of the words recorded in, spoken by, and shared through His disciples.  As you have heard of Him and been taught in them, He was praying for you.

But, back to John 17:3 and what is this everlasting life?  Jesus defines everlasting or eternal life this way, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  So, what did He say?  Eternal life is knowing God.  The God Who created the universe and beyond.  The God who sustains every living creature throughout the creation.  The God who knows everything, can do anything He desires to do, and is everywhere all at the same time and throughout time.  Eternal life is to know Him!

But Jesus did not stop there.  He said eternal life is to know God, the only true God.  It is also to know Jesus, Whom God has sent to be the Savior of the world.  Eternal life is to know Jesus.  Not to just know about Him.  Many people in hell know about Jesus.  Eternal life is to be connected to, intimate with, and growing in Christ.  The One Who died so you would not have to live forever separated from God.  The only One through Whom runs the way to the Father of Heaven.  The only Name given under Heaven by which we must be saved.  Eternal life is to live connected to Christ from now until and into forever.

So, eternal life is living in relationship with God the Father and God the Son.  Jesus Himself said He would send His Holy Spirit as a comforter and helper to point us to Jesus, so we live in relationship within the Holy Community.  Now THAT is living!

So, how do we receive Eternal life?  According to Jesus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:3) But what does that mean?  You started your physical life at conception.  You started your spiritual life, if indeed you have started to live spiritually, when you surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and begin to follow Him.  You live in relationship with Him and show others the superiority of a life lived in Him.  You no longer live for yourself, but for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15). He comes in and takes up residence on the throne of your heart and life and you live connected with Him from then on for eternity.

That’s eternal life.

So…

Do YOU have eternal life?  If not, why not?  If you do, are you sharing it with others?

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