What About Eternal Life
 

“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” (I John 5:11, 12).

An old gentleman lay on his death bed.  He had been a church member since childhood.  All his life he had faithfully worked in the church.  He thought he was saved and ready to meet God.

He had just learned that salvation cannot be earned or merited by good character and religion, but that it is a gift, and that to have it, one must receive the Lord Jesus Christ.  And now, when the light dawned upon the old gentleman, he realized that his lifetime of religious activity availed him nothing, and that in spite of it, he was not ready to die.  He had religion, but he didn’t have eternal life.

With trembling lips he spoke of the dreadful fact that he was a good church member—but lost.  Friend, are you religious—but lost?

Eternal life does not mean everlasting existence.  All have that, including the devil, demons, and fallen angels.  You do not have eternal life unless you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, but you do have endless existence, which means you will live on forever, in Heaven or in Hell. When you receive the Son of God as your Lord and Savior, your sins are forgiven, you are saved from Hell, and you have the promise of a home in Heaven.  But eternal life means more than all this; it means you become a “partaker of the divine nature” (II Peter 1:4)—you become a child of God.  Eternal life is the new life that God gives to all who are willing to receive His Son.  It is the life of God imparted to man.

Eternal Life Is Presented as a Gift
“This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life.” You cannot buy it, for “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

You say, “I think if I behave myself and am faithful to my religion, I’ll go to Heaven.” But God says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5).

It is bad manners to insist on paying for a gift.  Suppose you invite me to a delicious steak dinner.  Now if I should insist on paying the bill (which I wouldn’t), you would tell me to take a course in etiquette.

God is offering you His salvation as a gift.  Yet some of you dear readers who pride yourselves on your fine education, your perfect manners, your polish and culture, are positively rude to God.  You are very careful to be courteous to your fellowmen, but instead of receiving the gift of eternal life from the hands of a merciful God, you insult Him by trying to pay, with your good deeds, for the salvation He so graciously offers.  It is the height of ill manners!

An old man with whom I was dealing said to me, “I’m afraid . . . I’m afraid that my bad deeds outweighed my good deeds.”  I said, “Mister, even if your good deeds had outweighed your bad deeds, you would not have the slightest chance of going to Heaven.”

That startled him.  He looked at me in utter amazement.  He thought if his good deeds outweighed his bad deeds, all would be well.  Multiplied thousands believe the same thing.  He thought he could earn, or buy, or merit eternal life by his goodness.  After I showed him that salvation is a gift, he bowed his head and received the Lord Jesus Christ.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Eternal Life Is Presented in a Person   

Religious But Lost!  – Eternal Life is the Present Possession of All Who Have the Son

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