The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Eternal Life: Duration? Relation!"
When thinking of eternal life, what comes to mind? For many, duration constitutes the first answer, that is, those who have eternal life will live forever. This is true, as the most familiar of all Bible verses blessedly proclaims.
"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" (John 3:16).
For beings who innately long for longevity, the wonder of a life lived forever provides a joyful contemplation. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God offers to the trusting heart the prospects of "life everlasting" (I Timothy 1:16).
Such blessedness, however, bows before another prospect that defines and offers the greater hope and expectation:
"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
In our Savior's words just before His suffering on the cross of Calvary, we see that eternal life actually involves relation more than duration. Who we will know rather than how long we will live constitutes the true essence of life forevermore. The word "know" in Christ's statement above is translated from the Greek word "ginosko," meaning intimate knowledge, as opposed to mere understanding or awareness. Thus, eternal life glimmers with the prospect of loving relationship and fellowship with a Being more gloriously winsome than even the most devoted human heart has begun to imagine. "In Thy presence is fullness of joy. At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). Yes, who we will know far transcends how long we will live - this is the prospect of perpetual communion with God that promises to believers His everloving heart in His everlasting Heaven. "God… is my portion forever" (Psalm 73:26).
To know the Father and Son forever, as revealed by the Holy Spirit - this is eternal life in its primary meaning. For believers, such life has already begun because we already know "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19). Indeed, note the Apostle John's affirmation that believers already possess eternal life, that is, we already know the Lord who is Himself the joy of both our now and our everlasting forever…
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
(I John 5:13)
"God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Weekly Memory Verse
Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.