I BELIEVE IN ...THE LIFE EVERLASTING
Death is the end of everything? No, most definitely not! Death is just the end of the beginning!! See the picture below:
Skeptics cannot stand the idea of an endless future life. It horrifies them, for they think it would be so boring! However, ‘boring’ does not apply to the life to come; only ‘indescribable torments’ or ‘unspeakable joys”!
Jesus said, in Matthew 25:46, that after the Final Judgment, some “will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Note that the everlasting punishment is described as “outer darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth and everlasting fire” (v30, 41)
- indescribable torments!
Note that the eternal life is described as “going with the bridegroom to the wedding, entering into the joy of the Lord, inheriting the kingdom” (v10, 23, 34)
- unspeakable joys!
Now, when the Creed speaks of “the life everlasting” it means more than just endless existence all through eternity. Note that demons and lost souls will experience that as much as the elect of God. Rather, the focus here is upon the final joy into which Jesus entered (Hebrews 12:2), and which he promised and prayed that his followers would one day share. “Where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.” “Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory” (John 12:26; 17:24).
Everlasting life is life lived, in our body (resurrected) and soul, in the new heavens and earth, with the Triune God (Father, Son and Spirit) and all His elect.
Everlasting life is not lazing around and getting bored, but worshipping, working, thinking, and communicating, enjoying activity, beauty, people, and God. Recall one of the last stanzas of the hymn “Amazing Grace”:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.
Everlasting life is life centered on Jesus -- But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:22-23)
We (yes, you and I, the silly saved sinners) live, and live happily, and by God’s endless mercy will live happily ever after! In this life, we often say in moments of great enjoyment, “I don’t want this ever to stop”—but it does. Everlasting life, however, is different – it is EVER-lasting!
In writing to the Christians at Thessalonica, Paul talks about this blessed hope and says, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Do you share this hope? All of us will experience an endless life to come. But only some of us will have everlasting life. Will it be you? How do you know? How can you be sure?
Write down the reasons why you believe you have and will experience everlasting life. Then read 1 John and compare what you’ve written against it. Do they match?
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