Of Eternal Life
Getting here means you are truly seeking for what is best for you. You might ask, “who doesn’t”? Know what? That’s what God wants for you too: the best – Eternal life!
Perhaps you want it but you don’t know what eternal life really means: Eternal life is to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent. As the word of God says:
“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 how to obtain eternal life. Please be patient to read this to the end:
A fact of life is that death is a debt every human being owns and must pay. It does not matter whether a person believes in death or not, when it is the time of death no one can claim not to be ready, no one can postpone or reschedule death, no one knows when, where and how death would come. But come it must. At some point in time, you must leave this life and world:
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19).
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27).
After death, is God’s judgment:
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16).
When you die in this world there is no coming back here in any shape or form; you just wake up in the next world where you then face God’s judgment. And there is only one of two places to be: heaven or hell. No two places could be more different! Where would you like to be when the inevitable death comes to you: heaven or hell?
Before you say “I don’t believe in that stuff” please spare a few minutes to read this through for it is a matter of life or death.
The Holy Bible says that it’s only while still alive that you can make decisions. When you die, whatever decision you made before you die will be binding in the next world. You have the power to make that decision to go to heaven and be sure about it while alive and here now.
The Holy Bible also teaches that:
God created the world and everything in it for His pleasure and His glory.God is sovereign over all His creation.
What God has determined to do He will do.
But you have a choice in the matter. Choose right by activating the option to change your current situation, and be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ now. To activate your right choice and be on your way to receiving eternal life, the scriptures teach the following steps:
1. The First Step: You must agree with God and admit that you are a sinner.
Did I hear you say you are not a sinner because you never harmed anybody and you do good things for and to others?
Well, hear this: the true living God who created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27) evaluated man after the fall of man and as man began to reproduce himself and to multiply on earth. God’s evaluation reports on different occasions say that man has failed God for man has become evil:
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5).
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Only the true God who created man knows the heart of man and the summary of His reports on man is found in Romans 3:23 which say:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
The word “all“ includes you and the whole of the human race. So that you may be doubly sure, same fact is affirmed in Romans 3:10:
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”
God is only too aware that man would look towards other means for justification, especially good works. He lets you know, this is not enough in Isaiah 64:6:
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
2. The second step: You must accept that you own the same penalty as all sinners do.
Oh yes! Like other things in life, sin has a consequence, albeit, a serious one – death. It is important that you realise that you cannot separate your decisions and your actions from their consequences. God determined the penalty for sin a long time ago:
“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4).
Indeed earlier than that he made the first man He created to know this:
Sin is doing anything that God has forbidden or that is against or contrary to God.
God told the first man:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).
Perhaps you are still asking why you can’t pay in other currencies like good works, behaving nicely, turning a new leaf, especially seeing you are the new good kid around the block? Well, God, to whom all must answer to, again leaves no one in doubt as seen in Romans 6:23a
“For the wages of sin is death”
The death being spoken of here is not the death of leaving this world but the death that occurs after we leave this world. It is the spiritual death which is separation from God and His holy angels and punishment in hell that is spoken of here.
Our seventy or so years on this earth are only a very small fraction of our life in eternity. That eternity can be spent in heaven with God or in hell with the devil, his angels and demons.
Oh yeah! There is both heaven and hell.
Hell was created for the devil and his angels. It is a very hot place and full of pain and other forms of torment. The people there will be conscious but will not be able to do anything about their pain.
We live in the period of grace now. The Holy Spirit is working on men to be reconciled to God:
“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8).
And as many as will respond shall be saved for the word of God says:
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Now you have the great opportunity to decide not to go to hell but to go to heaven.
Again remember: once you die and leave this world, there is nothing you or anyone alive can do to change whatever decision you have made before you die.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7).
The following works, without genuine repentance of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ, cannot save you or grant you ‘eternal life’:
- Your membership of a church or denomination small or big,
- Your being a powerful and influential member of society,
- Being born into a Christian home or of Christian parentage,
- Your environment, how you have been ill-treated by others, hypocritical behaviour of many “so-called” Christians will never be an enough excuse. The blame game will fail woefully before God for God knows everything!
- A life-time of dedication to good causes and massive charity works,
- Testimony of goodness and generosity given concerning you by all around you,
- Large foundations and endowment funds,
- Irregular or regular large financial donations to churches or good causes,
- An elaborate burial ceremony, Giant marble and gold tombstone and other monuments,
- Elaborate prayers for the dead by so called powerful men and women of God,
- Regular or irregular memorial religious services and long prayers at your tomb by those you left behind,
- and other things that people do will do you no good after you die.
This is because once you die, the decision you made while living as to your destination after this life can’t be altered by anybody on earth.
When you die you don’t become a star in the sky, you do not become an angel neither can you watch over those you left behind in this world. You are gone, really gone and have nothing to do with and are unable to do anything to affect anybody this world again!
Remember going to hell is being separated from God and spending the rest of eternity in torment. It is perishing. This is the real death.
3. Step three: You must accept that you can’t pay the price to set yourself free from the death penalty
I know you think a prisoner is someone within the four walls of a physical prison. But for a fact there are many prisoners who are walking apparently freely on the streets of the cities of the world: they are prisoners to sin for the sinner is a prisoner to sin.
The natural man is held captive by sin and everything about him is corrupted by the sin nature.
However most of these prisoners of sin even deny they are prisoners and would therefore not make any effort to be set free neither would they consider any offer of help to set them free. The fact still remains though that just as a prisoner in a physical prison cannot set himself free, the prisoner of sin cannot set himself free from that prison of sin. Every sinner has the death penalty hanging over his head and is obviously not in a position to pay.
But remember that when God finished creating you, He said you were good. The only thing that was not good about you was you being alone (Genesis 2:18). God redressed that loneliness by creating a help meet for man – a companion to fellowship with all the time. But with the advent of sin man began to feel lonely even with a marriage companion, even when surrounded by many friends, even when he seems to be having all the world at his feet. This is because the most important of all relationships: the relationship with the one true living God has been broken by sin.
However, as his workmanship, the sheep of His pasture (Ps 95:7) that God created to fellowship with, He loved and still loves man including you. God still wants His fellowship with man to be restored but sin question must be dealt with. God found a way to solve the sin problem in the life of man without violating His character by tempering His justice with His mercy. God solved the problem by providing His dear Son Jesus Christ to die in the place of man. You are worth so much to Him and His love for you so great that He gave you His best: Jesus Christ.
The bible in John 3:16 says,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
To buttress this truth of God’s love, the truth is reiterated in Rom 5:8
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Remember, you can only be saved through grace by faith only and not through works.
If I can’t pay, then what do I do next you say? Alright, come along with me.
4. Step four: You must agree with God that Jesus Christ stood in your place and paid the penalty for your sin
The righteous God set a high price and paid it. You see, man was perfect when he was first created. To be restored to that perfect state, God needed a perfect replacement like the first Adam. God found such a person in His only begotten son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was in this world as flesh but did not sin:
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He came to take man away from God’s wrath not by begging God to forgive the death penalty, but by being the price Himself.
So the bible rightly says:
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).
And so we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ:
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7).
Thus Jesus Christ is the only way back to God for anyone who desires to be reconciled with God:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
Jesus Christ is the only foundation God has provided for rebuilding His relationship with fallen man hence the bible says:
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Reading the bible one cannot but come to the conclusion that God has gone to extraordinary length to prove His love for us human beings. He loves us but hates sin and wherever it is found. Again, remember the witness of the word of God:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Roman 5:8).
God’s desire from the days of old to our days remains the same; God does not want you or anyone to perish:
“For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezekiel 18:32).
“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11).
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
God has therefore made provision for us to live through Jesus Christ:
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
And God provided Himself the high priest who shed his own blood, though He had no sin,
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).
It is through Jesus Christ that God’s ultimate gift : eternal life, gets to us,
Romans 6:23b “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
5. Step five: You must appropriate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to your life by faith.
This is a very crucial step.
Let me illustrate: If you are an average person owing a debt you cannot pay. You suddenly receive a letter that a long forgotten relation has just made a large sum of money available to you as a token of his love. The sum of money involved is such that not only will you easily offset all your debt, but for the rest of your life you will be a multimillionaire. In addition, several generations of your posterity will never know poverty and lack again.
The letter contains all the details of the bank and the procedure to claim the money: Present yourself physically to the manager of the bank, open your mouth to tell him you are the long lost relation and that you are in debt beyond what you can ever pay, that you are now ready to claim the money by saying: “I own a debt I can never repay. I will pay off all my debt and never own anyone again. I am very grateful to my uncle who left this money for me and will henceforth honour his memory by walking as he walked.” And proto! The money becomes yours. This is the only way you can claim the money. The letter ends.
Potentially you are rich now but in reality the money is still in the bank, and you are not rich until you follow the procedure stated in your benefactor’s letter. In fact you can still die a poor person and highly in debt if you refuse to follow what that letter says to do to claim the money. You can for example question the sincerity of the person who left the money for you or the genuineness of the letter. You can even decide that the process of claiming the money is too demanding and refuse to follow through. But if you follow the instructions in the letter, then in reality, you suddenly become a super-rich person with the world at your feet.
There is a letter with better promises than the one in this story; the Holy Bible, written to you by God your creator. The quotations you have been reading are excerpts from it.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
We have assurance that if we believe and take Him at His word, He will accept us and deliver on all His promises. Hear this:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
And this: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
For the Lord Jesus Christ has the power to make you a child of God,
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).
Remember, He is NOT one of the ways. But JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6).
Hence, it is pertinent here to remember these scriptures:
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18).
“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:35-36).
And because of this He keeps knocking at the door of your heart.
You should trust Jesus Christ for your salvation now.
This decision can only and must be taken before you leave this life.
Very importantly, you don’t know when, where and how you will leave this earth for the afterlife.
Again, hear His loving and heart-rending call for your attention:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
The Lord is very serious and doesn’t want you to miss this precious opportunity. I see you have come to that all-time classic of all questions among human beings:
“Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37), and I hear you ask:
“What Shall I do now?”
The answer is equally a classic:
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
And it is as in:
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).
For the work of God is: “that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29).
Believe God’s report concerning you: You are a sinner before God and have come short of His glory. You are therefore an enemy of God who is dangerously under His soon-to-be-revealed wrath which is to be visited upon all the disobedient.
Do remember that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb.10:31).
However, no matter how much or heavy your sin burden may be God has made a way available for you to be reconciled to Him. He gave His Son Jesus Christ to die in your place for your sins. You now need to trust Jesus Christ for salvation from your sin and its consequences.
6. Arise now and believe that Jesus Christ has died for you by trusting Him for your salvation.
Trusting Him for your salvation makes Him become your Saviour and Lord.
Do this NOW.
You should pray and trust Him for your salvation now. But your prayer to and your trusting in Him must be genuine. If you want to pray here is a possible example:
Dear Lord Jesus, I now know and accept that I am a sinner. I deserve to pay the penalty for my sins, but realize that I don’t have the means to pay. I agree and accept that You came to the world and died in my place and thus paid for my sins. From this moment, I trust You for my salvation and as my Lord. I will Trust, Depend and Obey You in everything for the rest of my life. Thank you my Saviour and Lord, Amen.
If you genuinely believe in Him and trust Jesus Christ for your salvation the word of God that is says you are now born-again; and a bona fide child of God.
But PLEASE, PLEASE, REMEMBER, this is just the beginning of your new life as a child of God. Salvation is the first stage in your receipt of eternal life. You must from now on obey the Lord and seek to increase in your knowledge of Him.
Whatever you do, you must continue earnestly on your spiritual journey by making time for the Lord and His interests.
We suggest you start your new life by starting along with the following:
- Begin to attend a bible-believing church around you
- Fellowship with other believers as you have opportunity
- Pray daily for others and yourself
- Read your bible daily asking for the Holy Spirit to explain the word of God to you
- Witness to others about Jesus Christ
- Visit this site often as you will find helpful materials to encourage you in your faith walk
The mark of a true and genuinely saved person on who has received the gift of eternal life and on the way to final glorification is persistent and continuous obedience to the whole of the Word of God in ALL circumstances.
May our Lord Jesus Christ guide and uphold you in Jesus’ name, Amen.