Scriptures: John 3:16 John 17:3 Luke 16:19-31 Revelation 4:3; 21:19
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
These must be two of the most well-known verses in the whole Bible. They fill us with hope, reassurance and joy. They are statements of fact, not possibility, to all who believe in Christ.
Let us look more closely at what is written.
Those who believe in the only Son of God are promised everlasting, or eternal, life. Conversely, those who do not believe in the only Son of God must, by definition, face the opposite - everlasting, or eternal, death.
Jesus categorically states that eternal life is knowing the only True God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Once again, by definition, the opposite must apply. To not know the only True God and Jesus Christ, His Son, must result in eternal or everlasting death.
There can be no doubt after reading these verses that some form of “being” does not end when our physical life ends; when we take our last breath on this earth, we face eternity. Physical death does not mean obliteration of anyone, whether a follower of Christ or not. It is not and never can be the end of existence.
Jesus told the parable commonly known as the Rich Man and Lazarus. He spoke of the beggar Lazarus being carried to Abraham’s bosom when his body died, and of the rich man being in torment. Jesus could not have made it any clearer, our body will die but we will exist forever, either in eternal joy or eternal torment.
It is God’s heartfelt desire that no-one should face eternal damnation, He cared so much that He freely allowed His Son to become sin and to be brutally murdered in our place, so that we are able to live with Him for all eternity. What He asks of us is that we lay down our lives, that we surrender our will and, most of all, we get to know Him, God.
We have glimpses in our earthly walk of the wonders of God’s creation that are staggering. Flying over the Southern Alps, is wondrous. Seeing the splendour of snow-covered mountains from above is amazing. Or watching the beauty of a multicoloured dawn sky or sunset over the sea is humbling. This creation is intricate, beautiful and temporary. What must the eternal be like? Our minds cannot comprehend it.
In the Book of Revelation, John uses metaphors and grand illustrations to try and describe what he saw on Patmos. The rainbow around the Throne, glowing like an emerald, the walls of the City like precious stones. Like us, he could only use what he already knew to try and describe what it was like. But nothing we have seen or ever could see here on earth can truly describe the beauty and majesty of our eternal home.
Eternal Life is not some future dream, it is a here and now assurance from Jesus Christ. If we know the One True God, develop a deep, precious relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, we begin our Eternal Life now. Life in Eternity is ours, if we believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, repent of our sinful life and are filled with His Life for all of eternity.
Prayer: Abba Father, whatever it takes, we surrender and begin our Eternal Life now through Christ, our Lord and Saviour.