Around 422 million results appeared when the phrase “eternal life” was recently Googled. While those numbers reflect great interest in the subject, they also reveal a tsunami of information which includes speculations and false narratives, in addition to biblical truth.

God is the giver of human life, as seen in creation: “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7). But He is also the author of eternal life, which is another dimension of life. He wants to breathe this life into spiritually dead bodies to give its recipients a fullness of life; joyful unity with Him which never ends.

It is God who shows us, with beautiful clarity, what eternal life is. And the unfolding of that truth reveals His willingness and authority to breathe it into willing hearts.

Our “go to” on this is John 17:3, where God the Son is praying to God the Father on our behalf:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

Our world has unfortunately mastered the art of taking the simple truth of what eternal life is and making it out to be a number of things it isn’t:

Complicated;

Something we deserve or can earn; or

Non-existent.

In addition to losing the authenticity of what eternal life is through man-made religion, our society has incorporated eternal life into works of fantasy and fiction. Or determined that if we don’t see or understand it, it just can’t be. Clearly, with roughly 422 million browsing results on the subject, it’s a free-for-all.

But God…

* * *

No matter where our hearts may lead us, we should hold to God’s trustworthy revelations about eternal life in the Bible. So… let’s head back to John 17:3:

“This is eternal life…”  Eternal life is inseparable from God’s character and operates simultaneously outside of time, inside of time, and beyond time. Study of this phrase in it’s Greek root makes it clear eternal life is a present-tense reality and anyone who enters into this life begins an intimate experience with God which goes beyond time (this earthly existence); it has no end.

“…that they may know You…”  Here, we see the Almighty opening the door for natural born sinners (that’s us) to know Him. This knowing goes beyond mere knowledge of God. In Scripture, this word for “know” means to come to know, recognize, perceive—especially through personal experience. Consequently, eternal life cannot be gained through knowledge about God or through futile attempts to measure up to His incomprehensible holiness. It comes through knowing Him personally. This is the wonder of wonders: Eternal life is available to mortals who otherwise have no hope of coming into a lovingly intimate, inseparable relationship with God!

How is it possible to know God in this way? It begins through separating truth from falsehoods about Him, as we see in the next portion of John 17:3:

“…You, the only True God…”  We live in a world of made-up gods, where individuals can shop around, to so speak, until they come up with one that’s “right” for them. If that doesn’t work, we may choose to believe God doesn’t exist. As consistently revealed through His Word and creation, however, God does exist and He is the only True God; He is the Maker and owner of all things (Deuteronomy 4:39; Colossians 1:16). When we experientially know this of God, it’s thrilling! Like being wowed by a beautiful sunset, knowing the lover of your soul made it for your enjoyment and intimacy with Him—and as a testimony of His greatness to the unbelieving world.

“…and Jesus Christ…” To personally know and have relationship with God is to personally know and have relationship with Jesus Christ. We cannot be united with one without the other. Jesus said,

“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)

“…(Jesus Christ) whom You have sent.”  A sinful person cannot presently and eternally be united with God without His intervention. Jesus was the necessary intervention. As completely God and completely man, He alone lived a perfect life before God and, because of this, was able to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. He substituted Himself for us and this satisfied God’s requirements for righteousness for all who put their trust in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Amazing!

Did you notice how Jesus described Himself as the one “whom You have sent”?  Just as people have made-up gods or versions of God, there are fabricated narratives as to who Jesus is and what He has (or hasn’t) done; falsehoods which tragically lead people searching for answers away from eternal life.

But, praise God, He has preserved truth!

And it’s found in the Bible.

* * *

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17)

* * *

Eternal life is beyond anything we can imagine, but not complicated. It cannot be earned; it’s free to anyone who puts their trust in Jesus for it. Just as spiritual life is a reality one can have (eternity with God and all His goodness), spiritual death (an eternity separated from God and all His goodness) is also a reality.

Romans 6:23 tells us bluntly:  We have earned spiritual death and separation from God through sin. Nonetheless (praise Him!), the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So where do we go from here?

If you don’t have assurance of eternal life through faith in Christ, please do what the thief dying on the cross next to Him did: He asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom (Luke 23:39-42). The guilty sinner changed his alliance, choosing to put his faith in Christ. He was, in effect, asking for that new birth into God’s spiritual family (kingdom) and having a relationship with Him forever.

This man had no opportunity to perform good works. There was no church membership or baptism. Just simple belief and a change of heart. And here is what Jesus told him:

“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

* * *

This blog was written to help you or those you care about know the simple truth of what eternal life is. If you haven’t yet asked God to breathe His fullness of life into you (through faith in Jesus Christ as the necessary intervention), please… prayerfully consider doing so today!

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 7:13)

 

 

[Deepest thanks to Dave Gossett, friend and co-author]

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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