The topic is “Eternal Life” based upon the eternal promise found in 1 John 2:25 “And this is the promise He has promised us, even eternal life!” In this debut broadcast, Jeff explains what Eternal Life is and how to lay hold of it.
This is Jeff Tobler with Eternal Promises. and I want to welcome to the debut broadcast of Eternal Promises. I want to give you a word of encouragement. But first, I’m so excited that you’re with us and I want to personally thank you for joining the broadcast today.
We decided early on to use the 1 John 2:25 as our foundational promise, which is that God has promised every Christ follower eternal life. John writes it this way “And this is the promise He has promised us even Eternal Life!” (1 John 2:25)
The second and equally important promise verse we chose is a promise about God’s promises. Paul, in writing to the Christians in the port city of Corinth reminds the saints that “all of the promises of God in Christ are “YES” and in Him, “AMEN”. (2 Cor 1:20)
You see, there is one condition upon which all of God’s promised blessings rest, and that is the condition that we must be found in an obedient love-faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:!2)
If you are found in Christ, blessings will overtake you and eternal life is yours. However, If you choose not to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you will end up dying in your sins, forfeiting the precious gift of Eternal Life God is offering you.
But even now, you have the wonderful option of running into the strong tower of Jesus’ name today, to hide yourselves in Him and lay hold of the amazingly generous eternal promises of God, including forgiveness of sins by the Blood of Jesus Christ, a restored relationship with your Heavenly Father, and a fresh start at life.
Just thinking about what God has done for us through Jesus Christ brings me great joy and makes me excited about how much God has done and is doing to reach out to all of us and show us His love.
One of the most evident displays of God’s love was sending Jesus Christ. Paul writes:
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
Let’s look at that verse again “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him”
And my hope is that by the end of the show, you will also be exceedingly joyful about how great our God and Savior is.
And during this broadcast we will be exploring
- WHAT Eternal Life is
- And how YOU can receive Eternal Life!
And in the process, we will be mining the scriptures for the rich promises of God relating to Eternal Life… that is, Life in Christ!
FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION
As I was thinking about the whole concept of “Eternal Life”, I was reminded that God’s Word – His message to us – starts off with His creation living in an eternal setting, the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in perfect relationship with the Lord and death, disease, and sickness were nowhere in the picture.
God’s Kingdom was established in the Garden. He was their Lord and they were His people. The lived in a loving, faithful, and obedient relationship.
But all of that changed when Eve was tempted to question what God had said. You see, God had told Adam and by extension, Eve, that they could eat freely of the garden of Eden, except for one tree – the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan, God’s enemy, decided to tempt Eve into thinking the fruit that God said would be bad to eat would really be good. God was telling the Truth. Satan was and is a liar. Sadly, both Adam and Eve believed the lie, and the very thing that God had promised would happen if they ate of the forbidden fruit, happened. Death not only came upon Adam and Eve, but upon ALL mankind. And the perfect intimate relationship man once enjoyed with God was broken and needed a remedy.
All of our sins bring judgment and punishment unless atoned for or paid for. And the punishment for breaking God’s Laws and choosing to have a wicked heart of unbelief toward a loving God is eternal punishment. Remember, we can escape God’s wrath by changing the object of our affection and believing in Jesus, loving Him and living for Him and His will. But until that time, all of those outside of the saving blood of Jesus Christ face the wrath of God and an eternity of torment. I know it sounds harsh, but we all innately understand God’s judgment.
Not only would we need a solution for sin, but God’s Kingdom would once again need to be restored in the hearts of his creation.
This is where the Good News comes in. You see, even while we were under His wrath for breaking His laws and being His enemies, God loved us by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice and offering for every sin and every sinner that has ever lived.
Christ didn’t come to do away with sinful acts, but to do away with the power of sin in our lives. He promised to give us a new heart, new desires that match His desires. He promised not only to impute righteousness – which meant we would be declared righteous on account of Jesus’ righteousness – but also that He would IMPART righteous to all those who remain in Him. This impartation of righteousness is a promise found all throughout the bible, such as the apostle John stating:
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:3-10)
Here’s a more amplified translation from the VOICE that does an excellent job of showing John’s meaning:
All those who focus their hopes on Him and His coming seek to purify themselves just as He is pure.
Everyone who lives a life of habitual sin is living in moral anarchy. That’s what sin is. You realize that He came to eradicate sins, that there is not the slightest bit of sin in Him. The ones who live in an intimate relationship with Him do not persist in sin, but anyone who persists in sin has not seen and does not know the real Jesus.
Children, don’t let anyone pull one over on you. The one doing the right thing is just imitating Jesus, the Righteous One.
The one persisting in sin belongs to the diabolical one, who has been all about sin from the beginning. That is why the Son of God came into our world:to destroy the plague of destruction inflicted on the world by the diabolical one.
Everyone who has been born into God’s family avoids sin as a lifestyle because the genes of God’s children come from God Himself. Therefore, a child of God can’t live a life of persistent sin. So it is not hard to figure out who are the children of God and who are the children of the diabolical one:those who lack right standing and those who don’t show love for one another do not belong to God. (1 John 3-10 VOICE)
So we see that in the beginning, God was the source of all life and no only that, but eternal life. The picture of Eden is one of paradise with a Tree of Life in the midst of the garden. However, after the disobedience of Adam and Eve, they lost access to the Tree of Life. God doesn’t allow them to eat of that tree anymore.
But if we look all the way to the end of God’s message to us, in the book of Revelation we see a similar picture – that is, we see a tree of life that is now given to those who overcome.
As you read through the two accounts – one of death entering into the world because of sin and other of life entering in the world because of Jesus’ paying for sin – you can start to see the beautiful theme of redemption that is woven through God’s Word.
The Promise of Redemption and Restoration
So, eternal life is two fold: Eternal Life is on the one hand the privilege of being acquitted of all of our sin and, on the other, receiving a restored relationship with God through Christ.
Because the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses of from all sin, those in Christ have the promise of having their names written in the Lamb’s book of Life which saves us from the second death and from the Lake of Fire. Let’s read about it:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Contrast that day with those who have their names written in the Lamb’s book of Life
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:22-27)
Now, if you noticed, having your name written in the Book of Life is associated with a changed life and the promise of Eternal Life!
Let’s turn to the last chapter in Revelation to see a warning about our place in the Book of Life:
“…and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19)
The point is IF we’re willing to walk a surrendered life to God’s will, pleasing rather than grieving the Holy Spirit, being lawful rather than lawless, we will be changed. We will be different. And we will glorify God in our bodies, our minds, and our spirit.
After all, Paul admonishes the Corinthians of this by saying:
Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
And in another place:
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
And to Christian’s living in Thessalonica (Greece):
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
Yes, all things are possible with God, but with man it is impossible. Our faith must be active, living, and intimate with God through Christ. Because the one who comes to God must believe that He is (that He exists), and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
Did you hear what God has promised us? If we seek Him will all of our being, He will reward us!
Eternal life is simply the Christ Life – Christ in us, the hope of glory! It is a supernatural existence that we in large part experience now and in fullness then.
What NOT to do…
But let’s be sure we understand how we obtain Eternal Life. A young man came to Jesus requesting Eternal Life. Let’s find out what happened:
From Matthew 19:16-26 (NKJV)
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’
‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
We could spend hours on this exchange between the man and Jesus, but let’s look at the heart of the matter. Jesus was challenging the man to something much bigger than keeping a few commandments. No, Jesus was challenging the man to do something much more radical and life changing. “Follow Me” The riches of that man’s life consisted of that man wanting to live for himself rather than for God.
The same picture is found in Matthew 25 when Jesus is speaking of the Day when we all will stand before Him and give account of what we have done (or not done) in His name.
From Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJV)
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
If anyone is in Christ, they are a NEW Creation!
You see, believing without some tangible change in our attitudes and actions is not an adequate response to the incredible price the Lord purchased us for and for the Truth that God said the New Covenant is one that would be different than those who brought reproach against the name of the Lord in the Old Covenant. The promise is that He would cause us or make us to walk in His commandments.
How can anyone say that He is in us and are now born of His Spirit – resurrected to newness of Life being born again – and yet not walk just like He walked?
Both Paul and John would be telling you the same thing today. In fact, they have already said it. Paul, to the Ephesians writes:
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-22)
And John in his epistle writes:
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6)
Now, I want to share with you that, if you have not changed the course of your life by turning to the Lord with a broken heart over sinfully living for yourself rather than for God, the first step is to simply come to God and confess who and where your are and ask Him to forgive you and to receive you. If you are sincere, He will do it and, if you desire Him to be your all in all, He will change you. But you must be willing. Then you will be able to imitate Him as you learn about His character, His ways.
But if you are one who is professing to be a believer in Jesus and your life doesn’t reflect what we read in the scriptures, I urge you to simply repent. If you were truly born again and had walked closely with the Lord, I want to strongly encourage you by the mercies of God to go back to your first love to present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And to stop being conformed to this world, and start again to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
Rather, I urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you have learned how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments have been given through the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the unbelieving world who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother or sister in the Lord in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such. It’s simple. God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-7)
And at the same time the Lord has given us everything we need to live godly and righteously in this present time through the giving of His holy Spirit, His holy Word, and His abundant energizing grace and tender mercies. His love is extravagant and His spiritual provisions for us are unending. It’s up to us whether we will use what He’s given us to bring glory to His name or not.
Remember, He’s for us to succeed!
He wants us to make it across the finish line having ended well. He has paid the highest price that we would be His people, and He would be our God. So let’s lay hold of the promises God has promised us. Let’s live as though it truly is better to be absent from the Body and present with the Lord.
I encourage you to be a Kingdom Christian, as strangers and pilgrims passing through a foreign land, strictly adhering to the will of God in your life, knowing that He is pleased with those who have a heart that is fixed on Him and His will being done on earth as it is in Heaven, and in being a part of establishing His Kingdom on this earth, one person at a time.
If you are not reading the Bible, I encourage you to make it a regular discipline. Read several chapters a day – it’s not difficult. But don’t stop with just reading the Word. We must internalize His Word and put it into action. Otherwise, those of us who read or hear the Word of God and do not actually DO His Word are deceived into thinking that we are obeying God.
Make no mistake, Jesus said, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” Luke 8:21 (NKJV)
In fact, to the Jewish leaders he said:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39 –John 5:40)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (John 6:47-64)
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:9ff)
Let’s look at one more promise of life and a warning if we don’t choose life through the Lifegiver, Jesus Christ:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:24-29)
The Age Old Question: Life or Death? We choose.
All of this comes back to the age old question that God has been putting before every generation: choose this day whom you will serve. Choose life or death.
I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life… (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
I hope you’ve seen that what we do in this short earthly life will impact how and where we spend eternity. But more than that, I hope you have seen the beauty of God, the awesome open door into His Kingdom He’s providing each one of us by becoming disciples of His Son Jesus.
Local Worship Services
As a reminder, we are offering Saturday services for the community at St Clair Christian Church at 6pm every Saturday. We have live worship and praise, relevant teaching series, and we come to fellowship in the Spirit and with one another. I want to personally invite you to join us! That’s at St. Clair Christian Church off Hwy TT in Saint Clair. You can find all upcoming events and services online at eternalpromises.org/events.
And that’s a Word of Promise today to you from Eternal Promises. I’m Jeff Tobler, and I want to encourage you to seek the Lord while He may be found, because if you seek Him with all of your heart, the promise of God is that you will find Him.