Let’s see what we can discover about this thing we call Eternal Life. What kind of things can we put in our traveling case for this journey called life?
The best place to start is probably with the ‘Who.’ Exactly who can acquire a ticket into Eternal Life? Really, what is the point in reading the rest of this if it isn’t something I can obtain right? There is lots of scripture used in this study, but to keep it looking clean, they are not individually referenced here, so be sure to click on the links to read all the scripture used.
A scripture many, many people can quote is John 3:16. Let me give you a hint, “For God so loved the world that ….” Were you able to finish it? And if you’ve heard it, you may have also heard the “whosoever” line. But is there any other scripture which talks about the “whosoever” people? Even the disciples wondered this. One advantage they had over us is they could just ask Jesus, and they did. And guess what His answer was …
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Well, gee, thank you so much Jesus! That was very helpful – NOT! Is there any more help for answering this question? Sure there is! Let’s take a look. Here is what we find:
- “if any man”
- “all men”
- “all them”
Okay, so if you belong to one of those, keep reading. If not, well, um, yeah.
Now let’s establish the how. We already know it is impossible with man, so exactly how can we get it. ? Here is what we find:
- “Son of Man”
- “through Him” (Jesus)
- through “the door” (Jesus)
- “Lord Jesus Christ”
- “His Son” (Jesus)
- “Lord Jesus”
- “Christ Jesus”
- “none othername under heaven” (Jesus)
- “in whom we trusted” (Christ)
- “Jesus Christ our Lord”
- “through His blood” (Jesus)
Doesn’t seem to be any question on how. It’s only through Jesus Christ. So we know who can have, and how we get it – well sort of. We know we get it from or through Jesus Christ, but its still a little vague on exactly how it happens. There has to be something on our part, so what could that be? Here is what we find:
- “endure to the end”
- “enter in” the door (Jesus)
- “hear”, “believe”
- “call on the name of the Lord”
- “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”
- “confess with the mouth”, “believe with the heart that God has raised Him from the dead”
- “by persistence in doing good seek [unseen but certain heavenly] glory, honor, and immortality”
- “obey Him” [Jesus)
It almost all boils down to believe in Jesus Christ and what he has done, call upon Him, and obey Him. Are there things we can do that will keep us from getting this? Here is what we find things like:
- not exceeding “the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees”
- not having “peace with all men and holiness”
- not “believing the Son”
- not loving, “hating a brother or sister”
- “immoral, impure or greedy person”, “idolater”
- not doing “the will of the Father” [God]
- “unwilling to come to Me” [Jesus]
There are other things listed, but this does establish there are things we do that can keep us from receiving this gift.
Something important to remember at this point is, none of this is through us – it’s all through Jesus Christ and God. Remember, it is impossible with man. A few versus to keep in mind are:
Ephesians 2:8 (AMP)
8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;
Titus 3:5 (AMP)
5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
It’s a GIFT. A gift given out of compassion and mercy. And this gift is sustained through a relationship with Christ. We can’t do this on our own, it’s impossible.
We have the who and the how, as well as the how not, let’s find out exactly what we get. Here is what we find:
- “saved from … sins”
- “saved from the wrath”
- “saved and to come into the knowledge of the truth”
- “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”
- “eternal salvation”
- “remission of sins that are past”
- “eternal life”
- “free from sin”
- “crown of righteousness”
- “justified freely”
- “sealed unto the day of redemption”
- “redemption,” “forgiveness of sins”
- “eternal inheritance”
One question many ask is, can the free gift be taken from us? Look at the list again. We see words like ‘sealed,’ and ‘eternal.’ The are strong words. Words that seem to have no end.
Let’s talk about a gift. Auntie Bee gives you a gift, it’s free. No reason, no occasion. She gives it just because she loves you – even though you are a little stinker and tracked mud across her floors!
So how would it come about where this gift would no longer be in your possession? Think about it.
Theft! Oh boy! That would just be terrible, but it could happen. Someone could come along and take it from you. Worse yet, they might swindle, trick, bamboozle you into handing it right over to them. So now your free gift is gone. (1 Timothy 4)
Break! AHHHH! Maybe you break it, maybe someone else does. Things don’t typically break when they are used in the manner they were designed for. It’s usually when we try to do something with it that we shouldn’t. Or we don’t follow the directions. We may break them a few times, but if we start breaking them over and over, eventually, our gift we love so much will end up in the trash — gone. (Hebrews10)
Toss it! Over time we aren’t as interested in it. So we just toss it out. Maybe it’s too much work to take care of. Or it’s lost it’s appeal. We become bored with it. Could be it isn’t everything we thought it would be, so we just toss it. Or, maybe we give it away to someone else. It’s not ours anymore, it’s gone. (Hebrews 6)
Loose it! Over time we don’t pay as much attention to it. We spend less and less time with it. We forget about it. Until one day, we don’t even think about it. And who knows where it ends up – like those socks in the dryer – you put two in and one comes out. Poof – it vanishes – gone. (Matthew 7)
Anger! Maybe we get so mad at Auntie Bee for something that we smash it! She’s so mean, she didn’t do what I wanted, wasn’t there for me, didn’t treat me the way I wanted her to! Bam! Smash! Crush! Gone! (2 Peter 2, Hebrews 3)
Rejection! Maybe you never even took it because you are such a brat! It wasn’t the color or size you wanted. Maybe the branding didn’t look good to you. Or maybe you knew someone else who had one, and they weren’t very nice so you don’t want one either. Auntie Bee has to take it back with her – Gone! (Luke 12, John 15)
Take back? What are the chances of Auntie Bee will come back and take the gift from you? Can you even imagine that? She just shows up one day and says, “I shouldn’t have given that gift to you, give it back to me.” NO! It just doesn’t really happen. Well, maybe sometimes, but it really isn’t part of what we would expect.
If you look at the scriptures listed at the end – they describe all of these instances. But we don’t see God coming in and snatching back. He’s just like Auntie Bee – He offers you a gift – FREE gift – it’s up to you whether you take it or keep it.
We don’t earn the gift. All we have to do is accept it, unwrap it, and care for it. We are ALL Free2Live Eternally – we just have to accept the gift, recognize it’s value, and care for it.
Let’s end with this scripture and let Paul have the last words:
25-29 I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house. Before it’s all over, there will be a complete Israel. As it is written,
A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion;
he’ll clean house in Jacob.
And this is my commitment to my people:
removal of their sins.
From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.
30-32 There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you. Nowthey are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in. In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.
33-36 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.
Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
In pulling this study together, I researched every instance in the New Testament of the words: Saved, Salvation, Righteousness, Redemption, Everlasting, Inheritance, and Kingdom of Heaven. I will share the Word Flow Charts after they have been formatted.