Faith Encouragement: What Jesus Said About Eternal Life

What Jesus And The Early Apostles
Said About Eternal Life

   

 

The word "gospel" means simply "good news."

God is a fair judge and must punish us for whatever we do wrong. The gospel is the good news that God loves us so much that He came in human form (Jesus) and paid the penalty for our sins!

 

Since God created everything, He has the right to make the rules about what is right and wrong.  Although God is a fair judge and must judge us for our wrongdoing (that is, our sin)...           

 

 

...He is also a loving father who provides a way for us to obtain forgiveness and eternal life with Him.

As the well-known Bible verse says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  (John 3:16) 

 

So God came to earth in the form of a baby, named Jesus.

     

 

 

Jesus grew into a man. Although He was man, he was also God, and knew the future just as God does. 

 

He offered Himself to die for sin in our place by being falsely accused, then suffering and dying on the cross. He died for every one of our sins (past, present, and future) because He knew all about us and our future at the time He died. 

 

    

 

After His crucifixion and subsequent death on the cross, His body was carried to a newly-prepared tomb, owned by a man named Joseph, from Arimathea (which was a city in Judea, a region of southern Israel).

    

 

 

An official Roman seal and guard were placed at the tomb. In order to do this, they were required to verify Jesus' death and bodily entombment. Then, in accordance with procedure, a large stone was rolled over the entrance to the tomb, and a seal was placed over the stone. This tamper-proof seal carried a penalty of death if broken. Even so, the official guard stood watch. 

Despite this, the stone was rolled away three days later. The soldiers fled from the tomb, and witnesses that same morning later confirmed that the tomb was empty; all that remained were intact burial linens, still wrapped as if around a body.

   

 

Though witnesses only saw the empty tomb at first, they would later discover that Jesus was resurrected. Jesus, still showing residual scars from crucifixion, confirmed His bodily presence by eating, drinking, and physically interacting with various groups of disciples. At one point, more than five hundred people witnessed this (consider the evidence for Jesus' resurrection). Jesus spent 40 days interacting with His disciples after His resurrection.

This gospel is not one fact, but three: Not only that Christ died for our sins, but also that He was entombed, AND that He has been raised as well. The resurrection is crucial; apart from His resurrection, His death would have no saving value. "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain--you are still in your sins" is the inspired statement found in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. While other spiritual leaders have lived, taught, and died, Jesus Christ is the only One who died for our sins, has been raised, and now lives as the Savior of the world.

God sent Jesus, so that we could have eternal life with Him, because of His love for us. Again, John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." Everyone, of course, refers to every man, woman and child in the entire world. In a sense, Christianity is the most inclusive faith imaginable.

Salvation is a gift from God that we did not earn. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about them."

 

Why don't people accept such a wonderful gift? There are two primary reasons.

First, we desire to earn our own salvation.  We want God to accept us based on our own merit  We have automatically accepted the idea that we have to earn salvation by being good.  However, that is NOT Christianity.

While going through life trying to do good works under your own power, all the time you're pushing a lifetime's worth of sin uphill. Your load is growing because your wrongdoing is not being forgiven.  In fact, it's simply impossible make it to the top with the amount of weight that needs to be moved.

 

Thankfully, we have the Good News. Look at the end of Hebrews 9:27-28: "And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people."

 

Unlike any other faith, Christianity is NOT about what WE can do; it is about what GOD did. Romans 5:6-8 says "When we were utterly hopeless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though some might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."

In view of our needy moral condition, we must trust that Jesus took our sins upon Himself and paid our penalty at the cross. When we believe in our heart that Jesus took away our sins by doing this, and accept that He saved us, we are immediately adopted as children by a loving God; from that point on we are in God's arms.

     

 

The reason that God can accept believers as His own is because Jesus' gift, His Holy Spirit, resides in them.  God, as judge, looks at those He has forgiven and sees the righteousness of His Son Jesus.

  • Romans 8:1: "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
  • Galatians 4:6: "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father."
  • 1 John 4:13: "Hereby know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit."
  • 1 Corinthians 2:12: "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God." 


So, as Christians, are we challenged to do good works? Surely, but it is not us (in and of ourselves) that do the works, it is the power of Jesus (His Spirit) working through us. Good works cannot earn salvation. Instead they are a result of salvation: Jesus working through us.

 

      
 

 

We all have a choice: Try to "practice religion" by doing good works to try to earn your own salvation, or accept that Jesus paid the price for all your wrongdoing and offers to take your burden upon Himself, allowing God to accept you as His own.

This may not seem like a hard choice to make; however, in addition to wanting to "earn" our own salvation, the second reason people don't accept the wonderful gift of God is because they think God is going to order them around.  In other words, people want to be their own boss and  don't realize that God's love for us is so great that he gently guides us to best choices for our life as the best parent would.

In essence, this is when we desire to be the “god” of our own life. The problem with this, besides the fact that it leads to a self-centered existence, is that it leads to disaster in our relationships. We need to take the cares of others into consideration during life, and Jesus makes this so much more joyful to do.

 

If we believe that Jesus is our Savior, we have the Spirit of Jesus dwelling within us. This situation can be illustrated by imagining a bus in which Jesus and ourselves are both on board. That bus has two ways in which it can operate.

  • The first is when we realize that Jesus is our Savior and his Spirit is inside us, but we continue to try to pilot our own lives, rather than letting him do so. When this happens, our lives may seem temporarily better, but things are still distorted; we worry too much, missing out on joy.
  • The second is when we realize Jesus is our Savior, that his Spirit is within, and we decide to let him drive.

During the day we tend to shift back and forth between the options above.  If we “drive the bus”, we tend to be what others call hypocrites. We are wonderfully saved and adopted by God, but we don't look like Jesus and act like Jesus very much. The more we subject ourselves to the loving will of God, we let the Spirit of His Son, Jesus, pilot our lives..

 

Now, one more follow-up question, for clarification:

If you were to die, stand before God, and He were to say to you, "Why should I let you into my Heaven?”, what would you say? If you say Because I have tried to be good  or perhaps I am better than most  or  Because I love others  then you have missed the main point of God's Good News.  Christians are not defined by good works or family history or church attendance, but instead because they believe Jesus died for us and accept that they are saved only because of what He did (dying sacrifically on the cross), not because of what they did.

If you believe what Jesus said, then you know you have everlasting life. After all, He said, "He who believes in me has everlasting life" (John 6:47). Of course, believing in Him means we believe in Him for what He promises: everlasting life.  A person is not born again if he simply believes that Jesus existed, or that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, or that Jesus is God in the flesh.  Satan himself believes all these things.  A person can believe those things, all of which are true, and yet not believe that simply by faith in Jesus they have eternal life.

 

If you are now sure you have everlasting life, here is a suggested prayer of thanksgiving:

"Lord Jesus, thank you so much: I know that my eternal destiny is no longer a matter of concern. Knowing that I have everlasting life that can never be lost simply by placing faith in you, instead of in my own works, is so liberating. Thanks again for this great gift. I’m open to learning how I can get more out of this new life I have. Please show me a solid Bible-teaching church that can help me grow and become more of the person you created me to be."

 

An enjoyable and much more complete explanation of the way in which a just and loving GOD reaches out to adopt you is found by clicking here   (if you have a primary language other than English, click here).

 

You can return to my site at any time, but matters relating to eternity are frankly more important. God Bless you as you seek Him.

 

Blessings to you in the Name of the Savior, Jesus.

If you have questions, or are seeking further encouragement feel free to email myself or my wife with your name and contact method and we would be delighted to pray with you or encourage you.

Dean Reeves:  DeanReevesMD@gmail.com

Janis Reeves: jzreeves@kc.rr.com

 

For those with questions about the "Trinity" (that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), click here.

(Note: for ease of reading, the translation of the Bible generally offered in all passages above is the New Living Translation.)

K. Dean Reeves, M.D. is a physician and medical researcher in the area of pain caused by arthritis, chronic sprains and chronic strains. His private practice is located in the greater Kansas City area of Roeland Park, Kansas.  He collaborates in research with other locations across the country and internationally, and is licensed in the states of Kansas and Missouri.

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Dr. K. Dean Reeves

No part of this site should be understood to be personal medical advice or instruction in how to perform injection therapy. A decision on treatment requires a good history and full examination and a knowledge of your treatment goals. Treatment decisions should be made in consultation with your personal healthcare professional and/or prolotherapist.