KEYS FOR THE KINGDOM -ETERNAL LIFE
I hope you are well today, feeling good and fighting the good fight of faith. Summer is a season of activity both in nature and in our lives. Can you believe it’s already July? Time really goes by in a flash so in this season of hurry and heat, let’s remember to take a break and sit a spell under the shade of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another great way to find shade from the summer heat is to visit one another. Whether that’s done by phone, text, social media, or sitting on the porch, it’s a refreshing blessing. The Bible says that one of the ways we can be sure we are going to Heaven is that we love each other. (1 John 3:14) It is truly a privileged joy to see you on Sundays in the sanctuary or to know you are worshipping with us over the phone or the internet. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ and sharing your care and lives with others, especially me. Every Sunday is like taking a drink of cold water from the fountain in the hall when we are assembled together to praise God and promote one another.
The summer can also cause a tinge of laziness though. The heat and humidity can sap grace and make excuses for not exercising godliness. Let’s make July the month to intensify contact or communication with each other in the church family. After all, it’s the busiest time for God’s creation, so why not for God’s re-creation? The church manual will help us make contacts, especially to those outside our inner circle of church friends. Just a simple “how are you,” “we miss you,” or “thank you for being you” may be as beneficial as a serene rest stop on an interstate highway. It has been said that if you want to get something done, ask the busiest people; and I’m doing so. The Christian life is built on and around relationships. The two primary relationships are God and His people. This is the reason that all Gods commandments are condensed into two: Loving God with all our soul, mind, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves. These relationships have to be cultivated and one of the greatest modes of cultivating relationships is communication.
Now if your pastor is going to issue such a challenge, it means that I have to get in on the summer activity too; so expect to hear from me this month as well. I always am blessed the most when I see or communicate with you all. After all, we’ll all be together in Heaven very soon. May the Lord prompt and direct us to nurture the joy of eternity by our correspondence with one another and our oneness in Christ.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
Here is the greatest example of our Lord Jesus Christ’s intercessory prayer. He is praying to His Heavenly Father thanking Him for the elect family the Father gave Him, and the power given Him to redeem them. The preceding verse tells us the population of Heaven; “...to as many as thou hast given him.” This verse tells us the purpose and consequences of redemption; eternal life and also what eternal life is; knowing God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Eternal life is an important key to the kingdom because it’s about knowing God. When we know God, we will never die! Do you know God? If you do, it is because Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son died for you and rose again the third day. Jesus told Martha that if she believed in Him, she nor Lazarus would die even if their bodies did.
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” John 11: 25-26
What a person thinks of God is the most important thing about them. That’s because knowing or not knowing has eternal consequences for life or for death. And, we cannot know God unless He reveals Himself to us.
“All things are delivered unto me of my Father and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Matthew 11:27
It’s true, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know! That is a key to life and to eternal life whether it’s ap- plied to God’s kingdom here on Earth right now or in the future Heaven. Eternal life opens any door because it comes to us from Jesus Christ, who is the door.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9
Sometimes in this life it seems as though someone or something slams shut the door in our path and throws awaymthe key. The good news is that we have a wonderful key code that will open any door and negotiate any obstacle in our path. The key is eternal life and the key code is G - G - G (Gift - Glory - Grace).
Gift - Eternal Life Is A Gift.
It is the best gift because it comes from God. It’s an expensive gift because it cost so much. The blood of the precious Lord Jesus, and it’s a durable gift because it lasts forever.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Roman 6:23
Now, how would it look if someone who loves us gave us a special gift and we never used it. What if we never wore it, just let it hang in the closet, never used it, just set it on a shelf, or worse yet, never even opened the package it was presented to us in. The gift giver would feel pretty bad don’t you think? Well, that is just a pinch of what God feels when we neglect His gift of eternal life.
As Christians, heirs of eternal life, we ought to be the happiest people on earth. The gift of eternal life ought to open every disappointment and loss with a bright smile as we keep the end in view. Believers should look at all of life with an end in view—and know that that end is eternity. With such a focus, the heartbreaks and tears only make a prism so that we can see Heaven more clearly.
Glory — Eternal Life Is Glorious!
Eternal life is glorious because it comes from God and manifests His purpose in saving sinners like us; His glory!
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11
The key to dealing with pain and adversity in this life is knowing that this is not all there is. There is another life, a life of glory where there will be no sin, shame or suffering, no tears, tensions or tearing. Furthermore, eternal life forces us to face our trials because our Heavenly Father is shaping, molding and perfecting us for that coming but sure future state. Therefore we can be settled and satisfied even in the most unsettling circumstances because we have a key to open up the “why” of our hurt — God’s glory!
Grace — Eternal Life Is Full Of Grace.
The reason Jesus Christ promises to provide for all our needs is because of eternal life. We must always remember that since God gave us eternal life, we don’t, nor cannot, earn it; He is responsible for us. God is not going to pay such a high price for our souls and then let the devil have us. God’s grace is sufficient grace because it’s eternal grace. Now that ought to comfort us in a world of shortages.
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and stablish you in every good word and work.” II Thessalonians 2: 16-17
The Apostle Paul was blessed to get a first hand view of the fullness of eternal life when he saw the third Heaven. To keep his feet on the ground, God gave him a thorn in the flesh, a problem or pain to remind him that such bliss was for later. Grace is how we get a taste of heaven on Earth. Our earthly woes will soon pass away, but the grace of eternal life provides all we need here to get there.
Eternal life means we always have something to look forward to. And, when it comes our time to die, eternal life will be the key to make the passage easier. No wonder God wants us to focus our attention and affections on things above and not things on Earth.
“Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2”
Yes, indeed, the eternal life key fits every lock. Try it today and see if it doesn’t help you walk closer to God.