Have you ever thought about life after death? Have you ever wondered what eternal life means for you and I? Is it a simple act of dying and living in eternity [living without end] for all? Could there be more to the meaning of eternal life?
This is not as simple as one may think. Truth? Only the righteous will inherit eternal life.
In John 3:16, scriptures tell us whoever believes in the Lord, Jesus Christ shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
Do you understand eternal life does not belong to the wicked? There’s another phrase that the wicked would carry throughout eternity and it doesn’t mean life. Jesus stated “whoever beliefs in Him shall not perish.” The word [perish] means to die or be destroyed; to pass away or disappear; to suffer destruction or ruin: to suffer spiritual death. Does the phrase eternal damnation sound familiar?
The wicked will disappear from the presence of God and the righteous will inherit the kingdom and receive eternal life. How can we determine the righteous from the wicked?
Jesus explains this quite well in the book of Matthew 25:31-46.
The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the [c]holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer [d]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
We must understand eternal life is not a simple act for all who dies and lives in eternity but eternal life is an inheritance from the Father in Heaven for all who believes in His Son Jesus Christ and all who are willing to pick up their cross daily, to die to self and live righteously before the Father.
If you died today, would you inherit eternal life or would you assume that all is well and take a chance on Jesus placing you on His left side? While we have a chance to get things right, let's seek after righteousness so that we may have eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Rev. Kathryn Gore