Points to Ponder: Well It Can't Kill You--Can It?
Points to Ponder
Well It Can't Kill You--Can It?
Imagine having life both before and after you die. If you know that you would someday pass through death, but that it could not pass through you, how might your perspective change? Would you worry as much, or not at all? When set backs come and painful disappointments strike you by surprise, how would you approach them?
If you know that whatever happens in life can't kill you, how then would you live? Jesus gives us this incredible promise: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment; but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24 NKJV)
This crossing over from death to life is present tense. It implies that we enter this earthly existence in a terminal condition. Think of how so much of our life is focused on avoiding our inevitable demise. Why do we have doctors, hospitals, and incredibly expensive health insurance? If cancer strikes, a serious accident happens, or some vital organ stops functioning right, there's death coming up the road to meet us. Money is poured into treatments. Fundraisers bond us together in a war with multiple battlefields where we fight back death. Eventually, death finds a breakthrough and gets us; but how much attention do we give over the years to keeping this enemy at bay?
Yet Jesus says if you hear His words and believe in the One who sent Him--the originator of those words--you HAVE eternal life. Present tense.
Now think--what on earth is eternal? Everything you know in life has a beginning and an ending. The newly paved roads we drive on will wear out and be replaced, as will the car you're driving over it. Your clothes, your house, your body; it all has a beginning and one day an ending. The only "thing" which is eternal is God. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, "the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Eternal life is not just speaking of a long life. It speaks of a quality of life. It is God's life; a level of living which no one on earth can fully comprehend. Finite creatures cannot grasp the fullness of the Infinite (Isaiah 55:8), unless that Infinite One comes and informs us Himself.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us of God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor. 2:12-13)
It is a new level of existence. Jesus promised those who believe in Him that if they love Him through obeying His word, then the Father and He would come to that one and make their home in him (John 14:21-23). The Father and the Son make their home in us by pouring the Holy Spirit into our hearts. As the Lord lives within the believer, that believer can better comprehend what's going on around him.
Listen to the promise of God, which John expresses. Notice there is an unbroken, implied continuity between now and when Christ returns. You have the promise now.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know him. Beloved, now are we children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (I John 3:1-2)
Knowing where you're going then should inspire how you live now, to be holy as He is holy. (Matthew 5:48)
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:3)
That doesn't mean be religious, boring, or self-righteous. It means conform yourself to the higher standard of God's eternal word rather than the temporal fleeting pleasures and flimsy values of a world that's destined for destruction.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the, which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness... (2 Peter 3:10-11)
Again, we refer back to the promise of Jesus in John 5: the believer HAS eternal life. He has crossed over from death to life. And so if we live with that perspective in mind, where does worry fit in? Can anything in this life truly defeat us? If it can't kill you, why let it stop you?
If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)
This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.