When we ask people that important question we usually get the same answer. It’s living forever in heaven. I believe the Bible has a much broader definition of eternal life. In I John 1:1-2 the disciple John tells us that when Jesus appeared to them and spent three years teaching them that they were WITH eternal life. I John 5:20 tells us, “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 by being IN His Son Jesus Christ. HE IS THE TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE.”
Well, this changes everything. Eternal life is a person. It is Jesus. When I received eternal life at 6 years old, I did not receive just a free ticket to heaven; I received HIM. He gave me His life. I am IN him and He is IN me. (John 14:20). Do you know that Jesus is really IN you and you are really IN Him if you have accepted Him as your Savior? What does that mean? I’m never alone! He feels what I feel! I feel what He feels! He walks with me through EVERY circumstance. He speaks to me. Sometimes through thoughts or nature or people or the Bible or a song or a book. The list can go on and on. You don’t hear him? Ask Him is He in you? Sometimes we just don’t recognize His voice. Sometimes we may have never invited Him in.
As we hear so much talk about the end of the world being right around the corner it seems people want to scare people into making a quick decision to follow Jesus. They have totally missed the point! Becoming a Christian is about a relationship with the God of the Universe who lives in you and makes you totally right with Himself.
You may ask, “Well, what was wrong with myself?” That’s a great question. Again I hear so much talk about turning from your sins and what you must do to deal with sins. But did you know that in the Garden of Eden we were infected by a virus called sin? When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the Bible says sin entered the world and it was passed down to the entire human race. That word sin is a noun. A noun is a person, place or thing. (Check out Genesis 4:7).
Not only was sin passed down but something else happened. Adam and Eve died. They were told, “In the day you eat of this tree you will surely die.” You know the story. The serpent tempted Eve and she and Adam ate. His temptation is the same today. He told them that God was holding out on them and just didn’t want them to be like Him. In other words, they are missing out and can’t trust God. Don’ t listen to God! They did not die physically but spiritually. So the entire human race died spiritually, could no longer relate to God and was infected with a sin nature. Yes that sin nature caused us to head down a deep dark hole of independence from God and evil began to downward spiral in this world but our problem was much bigger than telling a lie or disobeying the law. That was the product of the SIN that infected us. And by the way, the scriptures also say if you have sinned once you are guilty of all sin. God knew people would rely on there goodness instead of Him. So He wanted to clear that up.
So many people get hung up on the fact that they haven’t been that bad. But do you see it’s not about what you have done but about the virus that infected you and every single person when it entered our world. This is why the Bible says, “We must be born again.” John 3. God was not taken by surprise when the world died to Him and became sinners. He already had a plan in place to bring us back into an intimate relationship with Him. He loves us too much to lose us! So in God’s economy He has a “way” that may seem absolutely bizarre to us but it’s HIS way. He made the payment for sins to be blood. And He used animals in the Old Testament to paint a picture of how Jesus was going to come and not just atone for our sin for one year, but He was going to take the penalty and power of sin away forever. That sounds so wonderful but wait, that’s not all! He is also going to take your sin, give you His righteousness and make you forever acceptable to a Holy God. And that’s still not all! He’s going to place Himself inside of you and place you In Him. How can you be any more secure that that?!?!?!
So back to my question, “What is eternal life?” He’s a person named Jesus. I John 5:11,12 says, “God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son, Whoever has the Son, has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” IS JESUS IN YOU? If you are not sure He offers you Himself as a gift by asking you to believe that He truly is the Son of God and that He died on the cross because He loves you and wants to pay your sin debt. When we say yes to the offer of eternal life, we are changed from the inside out. You will have a secure right standing with the God of this Universe forever. Just as a new born baby is born into this world, we are born into God’s kingdom. And just as a new born baby has to grow, we begin to grow into the person called has called us to be. We will stumble and fall and at times fail but we will never ever not be in right standing with our Heavenly Father. NOTHING will separate us from HIM! Nothing! And you begin a journey that will take you places you can’t even imagine.