Wednesday, September 12, 2018

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Most people talk about heaven and hell in terms of definite destinations but underplay the conditions of life specific to each.   Eternal life as spoken of by our Lord Jesus is about living a life of endless bliss that does not in any respect compare with the fleeting and temporary nature of this life. Just the untenable and taunting conditions of stay in hell put it on a category of its own. Eternal life as portrayed by the words of our Lord Jesus is the God-kind of life. It is limitless, whereas life on earth has a beginning and an end. 

We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the Almighty. Therefore all of us need a Saviour to be assured of eternal life; because it is clear that we do not have the ability to save ourselves.   “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Sin brought about death but God in His bountiful mercy offers grace to humanity. Grace does not take account of our shameful deeds or blatant disobedience of our past lives at a time we did not know God. When we truly repent of our sins, turn our backs on the destructive ways of life that we lived, to embrace the love of God manifested through the sacrifice made for our sins on the cross by God’s Son, we are assured of eternal life. Grace is a free gift from God which cannot be earned; it is undeserved and unmeritedThe way to eternal life is only through Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He declared; “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) “For God so loved the world (people living in it) that He gave His One and Only Son (as a sacrifice) that whoever believes in Him will not perish (die an unnecessary death) but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God is reaching out to His creation not from a pedestal, no! He left His heavenly throne to come and live with us in order to show us how to live. By so doing, He has thrown an open invitation to humanity of His unconditional love -- to take advantage of and cherish. “For God did not send His Son to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)

We have a choice to make as God has put the options plainly before us. There are two separate abodes – heaven and hell -- with one entry point but two different leaders. Each has its own everlasting characteristics. The entry qualifications determine the conditions of stay. When we live a righteous and godly life in obedient faith to the Word of God, we are each entitled to a room in God’s house reserved for His sheep.

The prince of this world, the devil, parades a contrary proposal which he claims to be more rewarding to his followers. Unfortunately, it focuses on the pleasures of this world. Jesus calls that abode ---where the goats will reside -- as eternal damnation. In contrast, those who accept Jesus Christ and honour Him by keeping His words are assured eternal life. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

To those who have professed through their exemplary behaviour the fear (love) of the Lord, “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, He will give eternal life.” (Romans 2:7) To the disobedient, unrighteous and unloving, Jesus observes; “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) That will not be your portion.

Through the shed-blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus that has set us free from the shackles of sin, we [those who believe in Him], have free access to eternal life. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:22) “And this is what he promised us even eternal life. “ (1 John 2:25)

It is time we stop in our tracks to review our relationship with a loving God; it is time we renounce what the world offers and sacrifice our precious time and pleasures on the altar of faith in Jesus Christ; for “... no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18: 29-30)To achieve this requires a life of self-sacrifice. “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”  (John 12:25)

Have faith in Christ. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.”  (John 3:14-15)       

Author: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye