Sunday, September 20, 2009


Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. John 17:2-4

When I recently read this passage I was really struck by something. Look closely: Jesus tells us that eternal life equals knowing God and His Son, Jesus Christ. So, conversely, eternal death is not knowing God and Christ.

So, when God promised that humanity would "surely die" if they ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:15), this was the heart of that consequence - that eternal death eternity of not knowing God. This was the deserved outcome of sin.

I guess what is striking me here is this - don't most of us usually associate eternal life with being happy in heaven forever, and eternal punishment as the misery of a literal hell (Luke 16:22-24)? These are both real and true, but this passage of scripture, along with my own journey with Jesus, are showing me that while heaven is certainly the final destination of believers in Jesus Christ, it is also here, in the knowing Him.

When I talk to my girls about God's salvation through Jesus, I tell them that trusting Christ for the forgiveness of our sins results in two big things (and countless other good things): it brings peace and friendship with God on this side of the grave, and of course the hope and promise of eternity with Him in His heaven when our bodies die.

What a sad fact, and one that should arouse our compassion for those who don't know Jesus as Savior, to think of so many walking through daily life without the heaven of fellowship with God, of the purpose that serving Him gives! And an even more sobering thought is to ponder what eternity away from the presence of Living, Loving God will be like. God help us to rescue the perishing, and care for the dying! (Jude 1:23, and also Fanny Crosby's hymn)

We should pray for each other, that the Lord will give us bold words of loving obedience to spread His gospel to those around us (Acts 4:29). I do pray for you who are reading this right now!

And if you're visiting this spot today and you know that you don't have Jesus as your Savior...if you need and want to have eternal life, that is, knowing God and His Son Jesus, here is a link to another post I've written on knowing Him. May He continue to draw you to Himself and give you faith.

To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Photos: Indian Paintbrush wildflowers on a perfect day

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