Receiving Eternal Life

(John 17:1-5)

eternity
Receiving Eternal Life

It has been mankind’s wish and desire to be able to live forever since the earliest of times. In days gone by there were wild stories about seeking and trying to find the fountain of youth, which of course never existed. Receiving eternal life through such methods was and always will be a myth.

It has been the dream of fiction writers and especially sci-fi writers for many years. In fact many futuristic sci-fi stories have as background to the main plot the ability to prolong life for hundreds if not thousands of years. But it is all just fiction and receiving eternal life is only wishes, dreams and stories.

Science is Not the Answer

Modern science has likewise dreamed of eternity seeking to overcome death through medical and scientific research. They seek new drugs and methods to prolong life and to end sickness and diseases that take life. And while they have achieved the eradication of many diseases and are able to prolong life a few extra years, often the quality of that life is diminished through poor physical condition, weak bodies, muscle loss and a lack of mental acuity.

Science then looked to prolong life by processes like cryogenic freezing. When a person dies they quickly freeze the body in the vain hope that some time in the future the condition that killed that person can be cured and they can be brought back to life again. Sometimes just the head of a person is frozen on the assumption that if science can solve the problem of death, they will be able to grow a new body too.

Again these are just pipe-dreams to receiving eternal life, but they show how determined man is to find the “magic bullet” that will lead to eternity. And yet if they were to listen to Jesus they would know that we already have the way to eternal life.

Jesus Said I Am the Way

Jesus said in John 14:6,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

Do you want to know the truth about the pathway to eternal life? Then follow the words of Jesus. He said above that “I am the way.” The way to what? He is the way to eternal life and He speaks the truth. The way to eternal life is to follow the way of Jesus in the words of truth that He has given to mankind.

Unlike science which is stumbling in the dark and unable to ever see the way of life, Jesus as the Son of God is the Author of Life, as He is called in Acts 3:15. Jesus wrote the book on eternal life, and He gave it to us in the form of the Bible. The Bible is the textbook for reaching and finding the truth of God through Jesus Christ and leads us on the pathway to eternal life.

Best of all, it costs nothing to receive it. Unlike cryogenic freezing which is affordable only to multi-millionaires, eternal life is a free gift from God to those who seek Him and follow Jesus Christ. Receiving eternal life is open to every person on the face of the earth, if they will just seek God and find Him. Then Jesus will show them the way.

Receiving Eternal Life

How do we receive eternal life? We can see in the words of this section of scripture what Jesus had to say in verses 1-3.

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee,
2 since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

Jesus is praying to the Father about returning home to Him. We note that Jesus has almost completed His course on earth at this time, and is ready to leave. And in these words He speaks of receiving eternal life.

In verse 2 we see that the Father has given the Son “…power over all flesh.” He did this for Jesus conquered the flesh. He lived His life on earth in exactly the same conditions as the rest of mankind, subject to the temptations of the devil and hostilities from the people of the world, and yet He did not sin…ever. That is why He had “power over all flesh” because He contained the flesh and through self-control and the power of the Holy Spirit overcame the flesh of man.

And now Jesus offers us power over the flesh through the teachings of the New Covenant. He teaches us to have faith in Him and in God, to repent of our sins, be baptised in His name and to receive the Holy Spirit. In a nutshell this is the pathway to receiving eternal life in Jesus Christ.

First we have faith to be able to believe and accept the teachings of Christ. Then we repent of our old ways to change the way we think, which is what the Greek word translated as “repentance” actually means. Then we are baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to be born again as new creations and the children of God, set free from our sins, set free from the law and as cleansed and empty vessels ready for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. And when we receive the Holy Spirit, He commences the work of changing us ever so gradually into the image of Jesus Christ and God for He teaches us the way of the love of God and walking in the spirit to overcome the flesh.

This is the pathway to eternal life, and it all starts as Jesus said in verse 2 & 3 above. That we know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom God sent to give us this great opportunity. Let us seek Him out and receive the blessings that He has offered including receiving eternal life.

(Photo sourced from This Blooming Life original from the National Museum of Australia)

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