I wanted to ask a question about whether you are happy as a Christian, but decided to make a statement rather. As a Christian, you are happy in Jesus because of the radical change that has taken place! He saved you, forgiving you of all your sins, justifying you before His Father so that legally you are guiltless because of His precious blood sacrifice which gives you peace with God. You are no longer God’s enemy. Reconciliation has taken place. Yes … you are happy in Jesus Christ … how else … you cannot be unhappy because of what Jesus did for you! You see … all this points to the reality of Eternal Life! Eternal Life is the fifth Precious Blessing of the Believer. There are at least two things that come to mind when thinking of Eternal Life.
Jesus Christ is Eternal Life.
1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
Like with his Gospel, John starts his letter by presenting the credential of Jesus. He was from the beginning … meaning this is the Eternal One he is writing about. Then he refers to Jesus as the Word of life. In his Gospel Jesus is the Word, from the beginning being with God and is God (See John 1:1). He then declares that they the Gospel preachers presented “the eternal life” to their hearers and this “eternal life” was with the Father and who also appeared to them. John is saying Jesus is Eternal Life and remember if the Son is, so is the Father and the Holy Spirit. When thinking about Eternal Life it is proper to know that Jesus is Eternal Life. Put another way, before He gives or distributes eternal life, He is Eternal Life. He is not just the source … He is Eternal Life.
1Jn 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
This in mind blowing! Who is Jesus? “The true God and eternal Life.”
Jesus is the source of Eternal Life. Because He is Eternal Life He is able to provide eternal life to those He chooses and pleases to give it. How does He do this?
What is Eternal Life? The first idea is “a quantity of life”, meaning, like with God, life is continuous, endless … never ending. That is the first thing eternal means. The second idea is “quality of life”. Remember, this is life with God, in God’s Home … doing life in true holiness and righteousness. It is a life hard to imagine because even though released from sin, our faculties are still limited by our previous life. The best would be to see a life without sin and without the effects of sin. A life resembling God’s presence in the Garden before our first parents sinned.
Eternal Life is God’s gift to those who surrender their hearts to Jesus and live under His Lordship and Reign.
1 Joh 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Eternal Life is a gift from God. None deserve it. No one can buy it. No one can work for it. It is God’s gift to those who confess Jesus is Lord, seek pardon for their sin and prove their seriousness through repentance.
Eternal Life is preached before it is received.
1 Joh 1:2 we proclaim to you the eternal life.
Before the gift can be given, it needs to be heard and understood. The Gospel is dynamic. Under inspiration, Paul writes:
Ro 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
The Gospel is powerful. Once heard and understood and believed it is life transforming, but it needs to be heard before it can be received.
Eternal Life is promised to all the faithful in Christ!
1Jn 2:25 And this is what he promised us—even eternal life.
For every sincere and genuine believer Eternal Life is promised by God. God cannot turn back on His Word. What He promises He fulfills. Every true Christian will know and have Eternal Life.
Eternal Life brings you assurance of salvation.
1Jn 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
One of the worst struggles a Christian could experience is the lack of assurance of heaven. John says that what has been written (or heard and explained) to believers must give them the assurance of knowing they have Eternal Life.
Eternal Life starts the moment you believe! It is not just futuristic. It is present and forever! From the moment you believe Eternal Life is yours!
Eternal Life carries with it an old age question:
Mt 19:16 “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
To this young man, Jesus responded saying “keep the Commandments”. Boastfully, the young man says he did, with Jesus responding to give away his wealth. He could not separate from his great wealth, proving he fell at the 1st, 2nd and 10th Commandment … “other gods, graven image and coveting”. You see, true faith in Jesus and genuine repentance means getting rid of all the other gods (be it material, imagination or self-creation).
Eternal Life carries with it a serious, urgent warning. Read through Matthew 25:31-46. This sobering story ends:
Mt 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Here you see two “eternals”. The one finds punishment and the other life. Another ways of looking at this is in Romans 6:
Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Surely any sensible person would want to have and enjoy the gift of God … “Eternal Life” … yet so many want the wages of sin! They want eternal punishment. They want everlasting death which is eternal darkness, punishment and agony! These are those on the Broad Road:
Mt 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Why do the majority travel on that Broad Road, through the Wide Gate with only a few finding the Small Gate on the Narrow Road that leads to life? Friend, have you found the small gate yet? If not, please come and find it in Jesus, your only hope of Eternal Life.
Blessed Lord, we Your people long, looking forward to the quality and quantity Eternal Life gives through Jesus. Thank You that we are able to enjoy Eternal Life in part here and now but we do look for its fulfilment. Amen.