Eternal life: Now or Future?

Church family: As summertime rounds the corner and comes into full view, we start getting excited because our summer plans will soon be a reality and we eagerly look forward to breaking the routine of the school year, and sometimes we just want a break from the grueling work schedule, the sports practices and games, and even the colder weather! And all of this is good because God gives us different seasons for different purposes and breaking from the routine is part of that design (Eccl. 3:1).

For the next couple of Sundays, we will be taking a break from our study of Romans to dig into the Gospel of John, specifically Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer found in John 17. Pastor Steve and Stacey will be taking a much-needed break to spend time with his parents and also enjoy their own time together as a couple. We have a great privilege to pray for them during this time, and I encourage us to take full advantage of that!

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer corresponds so wonderfully with Romans 9 and this passage in John will naturally shed some light on the incredible truths that Pastor Steve has uncovered for us in Romans. And one of those incomprehensible truths is the eternal life that we have in Jesus Christ. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3). One of the ways we can understand eternal life is by knowing what it doesn’t mean. Eternal life is NOT a goal to be achieved. Eternal life is NOT the “ends” to a “means”. Eternal life in Christ is NOT something future and distant. Eternal life is NOT a destination after death. Eternal life is NOT just the next “level to be unlocked.” So what is it?

The eternal life that is ours in Jesus Christ is absolutely the beautiful truth that we will live forever in the presence of God Himself, yes. And it’s so much more than that. It is also the abundant, spiritual life that we live in the here-and-now that affects every aspect of who we are as followers of Christ. Our eternal life isn’t merely the fact of our destination when we die, but it is the intimacy we enjoy with God the Father and with Jesus Christ and His Spirit right here on earth. Today. This moment. Right now. Eternal life IS a relationship with the One Himself who IS eternal. Eternal life IS the spiritual realization of being forgiven and so loved that our only right response is a deep desire to know this personal God who would forgive and love this much. Eternal life is finally having the blinders removed, and seeing clearly for the first time that it is not only possible to know that there is a God, but a 100% guarantee to know this God!

As we gather together this Sunday for worship, David Love will unfold the first part of John 17 for us, and then we will spend time worshipping and celebrating Communion as a body of believers who have been given eternal life in Christ Jesus.

I look forward to worshipping our eternal God together with you all this Sunday, Kyle.

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