Tag Archives: eternal life

Give freely

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Ask any child if giving is better than receiving and they’ll most likely strongly disagree. Christmas is fun because of all the receiving, right?

Do you want to live for ever?

Living forever is the ultimate goal.  The secret of immortality has been the quest of man throughout the ages.  In the realm of myth and legend think of the Philosopher’s Stone from which can be produced the elixir of life, or the Holy Grail whose keeper is given eternal life. In the opposite world of fact and science, scientists are always working towards extending our lives and improving our health, and trying to create spontaneous life by themselves.  Needless to say, both the fact and the fiction have failed.

But why do we have problems coming to terms with our mortality anyway?  Why do people want to live forever anyway?  It seems that there is a little something inside most of us that can’t imagine not being there. Call it your mind, your conscience or your ego – its the thing that makes you who you are and its hard to comprehend or accept one’s non existence as a concept.  People also dread losing those around them; they want their friends to live for ever so they can go on enjoying one another’s company, and together experience what life has to offer.

There are people who do come to terms with their finite lifespan; people who fully embrace life as it is. They focus on getting the best out of what they have and trying to partake in as many fulfilling life experiences as they can. I suspect many such people are atheist or agnostic and are simply trying to accept life as they see it.

Other people consider that their legacy truly lives on through their genes in their descendants and that this is the real meaning of living for ever – the continuation of the gene pool.

Some people suffer greatly during this life, with physical or emotional problems or disabilities, and it must be difficult in such circumstances to wish that life continues.  Maybe the end of life in this case is seen as a welcome relief.

However, when Christians talk about eternal life, they are talking about a perfect life that will never end.  They are looking forward to a life without problems and illnesses and disabilities, and without the stress and hassle of life as we know it.  This surely is something to look forward to if indeed it’s a real possibility.

As science and legend have failed us the only viable option left to consider on the quest for eternal life is religion. Many people scoff at the thought that a religious writing can truly offer something that the worlds best scientific minds cannot, but can we really afford to ignore a book that states:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6 : 23

Surely its worth checking out. If what that quote says is true then eternal life is there for the asking. God wants to give it to you.  That’s got to be better than waiting for a scientist to come up with the answer.

So what are you waiting for?  Eternal life may be just around the corner.  Open the Bible and have a look for yourself. The quest has begun …

What does the Resurrection mean to you?

All over the country today Christians are remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Many would say that Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian calendar – although equally there are those who would say that they choose to remember Jesus’ death on a weekly basis when they take Communion.  Whatever your personal opinion there is no denying that the resurrection of Jesus is the crux of our faith, and that we should think about it regularly.

Why exactly is the resurrection so important?  Jesus sacrificed himself and died for our sins.  He was buried, and he was restored to life again.  Because of him, we can ask God for forgiveness for our sins, and Jesus acts as a covering for those sins to bring us closer to God.

The apostle Paul sums it up very neatly:

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)

Not only that but we have the promise of being resurrected ourselves when Jesus returns to the earth:

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23)

Resurrection for me means the hope of eternal life at Jesus’ second coming.  Those who have followed Jesus and God during their lifetimes will then be awoken to eternal life in the kingdom that will be set up on the earth.

Have you ever considered what eternal life means?  I know that someone at work said to me once that they wouldn’t want to live for ever.  But that’s because they are thinking of life in a frail, human body, and life full of human problems, emotional stresses, physical failings, and the problems of those around us.  I can quite understand why such an eternal life would not be appealing.

Life in God’s kingdom will not be like that though.  He has promised us a fantastic life in the kingdom:

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)

Everyone will be healthy and happy, with no human problems to plague them.  We will have the time and energy to give ourselves fully to God.

What will we be doing for all eternity?  We are not told all the details in the Bible.  The Book of Revelation teaches us about the Millennium age, where for 1,000 years we will be helping to rebuild the earth the way God wants it, but it’s quite vague about what happens for the rest of eternity!

All we know is that God will be “all in all.” He will be in everything, and everything will be for him.  We will serve him for ever and ever and we will love to do it!  So this says to me that our life now is about learning to love God, learning to serve God, and learning to love doing those things, so that when the kingdom comes it will be a great joy to do those things for evermore.

So if today you have taken bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus sacrifice, and thought about forgiveness of sins, and the hope of immortality through resurrection, let us also consider as we go about our daily lives how we can learn to serve and love God to the best of our ability, and strive to do everything we can to bring about His Glory on earth.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter.

The wages of sin

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

This is a very well known Bible verse, and one that many of us will have known from childhood.  I know that I personally was given this particular verse as a memory verse at Sunday School many times – and consequently tend to gabble it quickly without really thinking about what the words mean.

I suspect the same is true of many familiar Bible verses, so let’s stop and really think about what this one means afresh.

The wages of sin is death

Wages are what you earn for doing a job.  If I do one hours work I am entitled to one hours pay, so in the context of our phrase, that implies that when we sin, we EARN death.  We deserve it.  Regardless of the many good things we may do in our life, every time we sin (and we all do!) we earn ourselves death.

Of course the problem with earning death is that it’s a one-off thing.  Earning money is different – we can earn a few pounds or dollars one day, and a few more the next.  But once you’ve earned death that’s it, you’ve had it!  So why can’t we earn eternal life to negate it?

There are other religions out there that seem to work on that very basis.  Religions with the concept of reincarnation appear to tot up all one’s bad deeds and weigh them against all one’s good deeds, and the net result determines what position you take within the hierarchy of life forms in your next life.

This is not how God presents life and death to us in the Bible though.  He says that for us eternal life is going to be a gift, and that gift has been provided because He sent His Son to die for our sins.  Because of Jesus, God will forget our sins if we ask him to, and give us eternal life, not because we’ve earned it, but because he WANTS to give it to us.

How thankful I am that I don’t have to earn my eternal life!  I’m pretty sure my bad points would exceed my good points if anyone was counting. 

We should never forget that we don’t deserve eternal life, and we don’t deserve the kingdom that’s coming, but that God in His mercy has seen fit to choose those of us that want to be there.  Make no mistake – he wants us ALL to be there.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9

So let’s thank God for His gift, and try our hardest to be worthy of it, knowing that eternal life is freely given to us and is worth far more than anything we can ever earn.