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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eternal Life

Eternal Life

Eternal life...paradise...heaven...life after death...nirvana...all religions describe their view of the great mystery. But what does the Bible say? Is heaven a place of reward or a state of perfection?

Paul (little one), a servant (dedicated to humble service) of God, and an apostle (one sent out) of Jesus Christ, according to (in regard to) the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after (in regard to) godliness (adoration and obedience toward God) in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:1-2)

Look at the little word, "in". In the Greek it is a preposition meaning superimposition, over, upon, etc. It is properly translated as "on", showing that our faith and knowledge rest upon the promise of eternal life.

In the same letter to Titus, Paul mentions hope, connecting the hope of eternal life with the glorious appearing of Christ.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ...(Titus 2:11-13)

Our future hope is the appearing of Jesus Christ, bringing eternal life. Our confident expectation of eternal life is based on our relationship to Christ...he shares his life with us (inheritance).

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.(Titus 3:7)
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.(Hebrews 9:15)

Jesus described eternal life as simply "life".

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.(Matthew 19:16-17)

There are only two eternal destinies: life or punishment.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.(Matthew 25:46)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(John 3:16)
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.(John 3:36)

Eternal life, heaven, and the kingdom of God all describe the afterlife. (See Mark 10:17-30)

Jesus said that He was the source of eternal life.

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:40) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.(John 5:39)
For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us...(1 John 1:2)
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:11-13)
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself...(John 5:26)

Eternal life is the same as eternal salvation (rescue) or redemption (ransomed).

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;(Hebrews 5:9)

Eternal life is the result of God's judgement (Greek, "krima", decision):

Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.(Hebrews 6:2)

Eternal life is glorious, a state of perfectlon, stability, and strength, surrounded by the lordship of Christ.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory (very apparent) by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect (thoroughly complete), stablish (set fast, secure), strengthen, settle (set on a firm foundation) you. To him be glory and dominion (power) for ever and ever. Amen.(1 Peter 5:10-11)