Four Truths About Eternal Life
1. God loves you and wants you to have eternal life. He wants you to live with him in heaven forever. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This applies to everyone in the world, no matter how good or bad in the eyes of others they may be.
2. Everyone has sinned, and does not deserve eternal life. ” . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . ” (Romans 3:23). this includes everyone in the world also. Sin, the wilful violation of the spiritual and moral laws of God, is the way of life of each person who has ever been born since the creation of man. Sin means thoughts and actions like lust, adultery, hatred, murder, and all such other violations of God’s laws. As the Ruler of the universe, God has the right to enforce his laws and demand that the penalty for sin be paid — and that penalty is death.
3. Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross, and rose from the dead to provide eternal life. “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved . . . For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . . this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. “I Corinthians 15:1-4,11). This was why Jesus came –not simply to be a great moral teacher and example, although he was the greatest moral teacher the world has ever known — nor simply to heal the minds and bodies of others — though no one else has ever done the miracles he has in the lives of others that he has. The reason that he came was to die, to pay the death penalty for sin. His death on the cross was taking the penalty in our place, and his resurrection proved that the penalty was fully paid, and that sin and death were conquered once and for all..
4. Therefore, eternal life is a gift that you can receive by faith. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast ” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Eternal life is not something that God will force upon anyone — heaven comes to those who choose to receive it in the way that God offers it. The choice to go to heaven in the way that God offers in the Bible is called faith. It is not simply believing that Jesus existed — the Romans who crucified him, and the first century Jews who rejected him knew that. Nor is it simply believing that he is the Son of God — the demons he encountered, and indeed, Satan himself, knows that. Rather, it is trusting in him alone for eternal life, and this faith has a beginning — in that moment when you or I decide that we are going to make him our Savior and Lord for now and for eternity.
If you wish to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray after the manner below. This is not a magic prayer that saves by the mere words, but rather an example of the kind of words that express the kind of commitment that Jesus is looking for. “Almighty God, I know that I have sinned. I have disobeyed you and broken your law. I repent and ask you to forgive me. I believe in Jesus, that he died on the cross for me and rose from the dead, and I receive him as my Lord and Savior. I will love and follow him for all my life. Thank you for giving him to be my Savior. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
Unless otherwise specified, all scripture references are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society and used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Items in brackets delineate the author’s revision of the translation.