“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
When you read the words “eternal life”, what comes to mind? What is your definition? If you thought living forever… as in something that’s in the future, then you are mistaken. Most of us think that the phrase “eternal life” is really just living forever. But is that why Jesus came? Just so we can live forever together with Him? I believe there is more to it than that.
1 John 5:11 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
This is where we get the idea that we can have a grasp on “forever” right now. This is why you hear people say that we can have eternal life now. But what does that mean? Is it like a “get out of jail free” card? Something that we have and then when the moment comes we turn it in in exchange for forever?
I don’t believe one bit that Jesus came just so that when the time comes, we will live forever. He cares about how we live right now.
John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Could it be that eternal life is something that we live out today? What would eternal life look like if it was lived out in our lives today? If you have eternal life right now, is your life reflecting the things that are eternal? This is a question we must take hold of and think about for a little while.
I have always felt that God doesn’t simply want to save us, but that we are also to demonstrate to the world that we are His peculiar people.
Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”
Deuteronomy 14:2 “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
Deuteronomy 26:18 “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;”
Psalm 135:4 “For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure”
Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;”
Can we agree that God wants us to stand out from the world? Can we agree that God wants us to be devoted to Him?
Eternal life is more than just living forever. Eternal life is a lifestyle that shuns evil. Eternal life is a lifestyle that is always thinking about His love for us and responding in action. Eternal life is lived out right now.
What I am sharing with you is not understood by everyone. Some seem to think that when they get “saved” that they don’t worry about what they do anymore and there is nothing they can do to lose their salvation. So their life reflects one that is not wholly devoted to God. One foot in the world… one foot in heaven. But God says that no one can serve two masters.
Eternal life is fairly simple. It is truly knowing who God is and understanding what He has done for us. When that is grasped completely, then your life reflects that knowledge. Your life lives for God. You see, we are to live a life that is eternal right now… serving God completely. Because in heaven, that is how it will be.
Listen and hear what Jesus says is the definition of eternal life:
John 17:1-3 “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
The bottom line is that God wants us to live a life that is eternal right now. Are you up to it? Is it really too much to ask from a God that loves us so much that He took on our sin and burdens so that we don’t have to… A God that decided to drink the cup of wrath without mixture so that we wouldn’t have to.
So if you believe that He is who He says He is and that He can take away your sins from you… That He can lift you up in this world and take care of whatever you are troubled with… could you live a life that is eternal for Him? You can’t do it alone. You can do it with His strength, though. He is ready to help you.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”