Eternal Life (Heaven)

* Spend more time thinking about eternal life

The brevity of life is a theme throughout the books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.  Jesus also spoke about eternal life.  It is ironic that people spend so much time securing their lives on earth but take little or no thought about where they will spend their eternal life.  David realized that amassing riches and busily accomplishing worldly tasks would make no difference in eternity.  Few people understand that their only hope is in the Lord.  (NLT)

Psalm 39:5-6 – My life is longer than the width of my hand.  An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.”  We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.  We heap up wealth for someone else to spend.

* What keeps us from God’s ultimate blessings of eternal life

What keeps us from God’s ultimate blessings (entering his “rest”)?  Ungrateful hearts, not worshiping or submitting to him, hardening our hearts, testing God because of stubborn doubts.  In Hebrews 4:5-11, we are warned not to harden our hearts, but to reject the glamour of sin and anything else that would lead us away from God.(NLT)

Psalm 95:11 – So in my anger I made a vow: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’

* How to get eternal life

How do we get eternal life?  Jesus tells us clearly here–by knowing God the Father himself through his Son, Jesus Christ.  Eternal life requires entering into a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ.  When we admit our sin and turn away from it, Christ’s love lives in us by the Holy Spirit. (NLT)

John 17:3 – [Jesus said] “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

* – Whoever believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  He is all you need.  You don’t need to wait for eternal life because it begins the moment you believe.  You don’t need to work for it because it is already yours.  You don’t need to worry about it because you have been given eternal life by God himself–and it is guaranteed. (NLT)

1 John 5:12 – So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son does not have life.

* How eternal life is different from life now

Some people are repulsed by the idea of eternal life because their lives are miserable.  But eternal life is not an extension of a person’s miserable, mortal life; eternal life is God’s life embodied in Christ given to all believers now as a guarantee that they will live forever.  In eternal life there is no death, sickness, enemy, evil, or sin.  When we don’t know Christ, we make choices as though this life is all we have.  In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity.  Receive this new life by faith and begin to evaluate all that happens from an eternal perspective. (NLT)

John 3:16 – [Jesus said] “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

* Eternal life begins at spiritual rebirth

“Eternal life”–living forever with God–begins when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior.  At that moment, new life begins in you.  It is a completed transaction.  You still will face physical death, but when Christ returns again, your body will be resurrected to live forever. (NLT)

John 5:24 – [Jesus said] “I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life.  They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”

* God is the source of eternal life

There is life in the breath of God.  Man was created but did not come alive until God breathed into him the breath of life.  God’s first breath made man different from all other forms of creation.  Now, through the breath of Jesus, God imparted eternal, spiritual life.  With this in-breathing came the power to do God’s will on earth. (NLT)

John 20:22 – Then he [Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

* Gate to eternal life is narrow

The gate that leads to eternal life is called “narrow.”  This does not mean that it is difficult to become a Christian but that there is only one way to eternal life with God and that only a few decide to walk that road.  Believing in Jesus is the only way to heaven, because he alone died for our sins and made us right before God.  Living his way may not be popular, but it is true and right.  Thank God there is one way!  (NLT)

Matthew 7:13-14 – “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate.  The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way.  But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.

* Comes through faith, not just being good

Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with him.  On “judgment day” only our relationship with Christ–our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him–will matter.  Many people think that if they are “good” people and say religious things, they will be rewarded with eternal life.  In reality, faith in Christ is what will count at the judgement. (NLT)

Matthew 7:21-23 – [Jesus said] “Not all people who sound religious are really godly.  They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven.  On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply, ‘I never knew you.  Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’ ”

* Cling to this life and lose eternal life

This verse is a positive and negative statement of the same truth: Clinging to this life may cause us to forfeit the best from Christ in this world and in the next.  The more we love this life’s rewards (leisure, power, popularity, financial security), the more we will discover how empty they really are.  The best way to enjoy life, therefore, is to loosen our greedy grasp on earthly rewards so that we can be free to follow Christ.  In doing so, we will inherit eternal life and begin at once to experience the benefits of following Christ. (NLT)

Matthew 10:39 – [Jesus said] “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.”

* Security of eternal life

Jesus’ words show that the way to eternal life, though unseen, is secure–as secure as your trust in Jesus.  He has already prepared the way to eternal life.  The only issue that may still be unsettled is your willingness to believe. (NLT)

John 14:1-3 – [Jesus said] “Don’t be troubled.  You trust God; now trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

* Eternal life comes only through Jesus

After many of Jesus’ followers had deserted him, he asked the 12 disciples if they were also going to leave.  Peter replied, “To whom would we go?”  In his straightforward way, Peter answered for all of us–there is no other way.  Though there are many philosophies and self-styled authorities, Jesus alone has the words of eternal life.  People look everywhere for eternal life and miss Christ, the only source.  Stay with him, especially when you are confused or feel alone.  (NLT)

John 6:67-68 – Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you going to leave, too?”  Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go?  You alone have the words that give eternal life.”

* This life just the introduction to eternal life

When we don’t know Christ, we make choices as though there were no afterlife.  In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity.  How we live this brief span determines our eternal state.  What we accumulate on earth has no value in gaining eternal life.  Even the highest social or civic honors cannot earn us entrance into heaven.  Evaluate your life-style from an eternal perspective, and you will find your values and decisions changing.  (NLT)

Matthew 16:26 – [Jesus said] “And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?  Is anything worth more than your soul?

* Eternal life includes presence of Holy Spirit

Jesus used the term living water to indicate eternal life.  Here he uses the term to refer to the Holy Spirit.  The two go together.  Wherever the Holy Spirit is accepted, he brings eternal life.  The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus’ followers at Pentecost and has since been available to all who believe in Jesus as Savior. (NLT)

John 7:38 – [Jesus said] “If you believe in me, come and drink!  For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.”

* Our full reward comes then

In the Bible, God gives rewards to his people according to his justice.  In the Old Testament obedience often brought reward in this life, but obedience and immediate reward are not always linked.  If they were, good people would always be rich, and suffering would always be a sign of sin.  As believers, our reward is God’s presence and power through his indwelling Holy Spirit.  Later, in eternity, we will be rewarded for our faith and service.  If material rewards in this life came to us for every faithful deed, we would be tempted to boast about our achievements and act out of wrong motivations.  (NLT)

Matthew 19:27 – Then Peter said to him,” We’ve given up everything to follow you.  What will we get out of it?”

* Can’t earn eternal life

This leader sought reassurance, some way of knowing for sure that he had eternal life.  He wanted Jesus to measure and grade his qualifications, or to give him some task he could do to assure his own immortality.  So Jesus gave him a task–the one thing the rich man knew he could not do.  “Then who in the world can be saved?” the bystanders asked.  “No one can, by his or her own achievements.”  Jesus’ answer implied, “What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.”  Salvation cannot be earned–it is God’s gift.  (NLT)

Luke 18:18 – Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good teacher, what should I do to get eternal life?”

* Becoming acceptable for eternal life

It was customary for wedding guests to be given wedding clothes to wear to the banquet.  It was unthinkable to refuse to wear these clothes.  That would insult the host, who could only assume that the guest was arrogant and thought he didn’t need these clothes, or that he did not want to take part in the wedding celebration.  The wedding clothes picture the righteousness needed to enter God’s Kingdom–the total acceptance in God’s eyes that Christ gives every believer.  Christ has provided these clothes of righteousness for everyone, but each person must choose to put them on in order to enter the King’s banquet (eternal life).  There is an open invitation, but we must be ready. (NLT)

Matthew 22:11-12 – [Jesus said] “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding.  ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’  And the man had no reply.”

* Human views about eternal life are faulty

The Sadducees asked Jesus what marriage would be like in heaven.  Jesus said it was more important to understand God’s power than know what heaven will be like.  In every generation and culture, ideas of eternal life tend to be based on images and experiences of present life.  Jesus answered that these faulty ideas are caused by ignorance of God’s Word.  We must not make up our own ideas about eternity and heaven by thinking of it and God in human terms.  We should concentrate more on our relationship with God than about what heaven will look like.  Eventually we will find out, and it will be far beyond our greatest expectations. (NLT)

Matthew 22:29-30 – Jesus replied, “Your problem is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and don’t know the power of God.  For when the dead rise, they won’t be married.  They will be like the angels in heaven.”

* Relationships in eternal life

Jesus’ statement does not mean that people will not recognize their partners in heaven.  It simply means that we must not think of heaven as an extension of life as we now know it.  Our relationships in this life are limited by time, death, and sin.  We don’t know everything about our resurrection life, but Jesus affirms that relationships will be different from what we are used to here and now. (NLT)

Luke 20:34-35 – Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth.  But that is not the way it will be in the age to come.  For those worthy of being raised from the dead won’t be married then.

* How Jesus proved existence of eternal life

Because the Sadducees accepted only the Pentateuch as God’s divine Word, Jesus answered them from the book of Exodus.  God would not have said, “I am the God of your ancestors–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” if God thought of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as dead.  From God’s perspective, they are alive.  Jesus’ use of the present tense pointed to the resurrection and the eternal life that all believers enjoy in him. (NLT)

Matthew 22:31-32 – [Jesus said] “But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead–haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures?  Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, ‘I am the God of Abrahm, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’  So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”

* Rich promises of eternal life

There are few verses in Scripture that describe eternal life, but these few verses are rich with promises.  Here Jesus says, “I am going to prepare a place for you,” and “I will come and get you.”  We can look forward to eternal life because Jesus has promised it to all who believe in him.  Although the details of eternity are unknown, we need not fear because Jesus is preparing for us and will spend eternity with us. (NLT)

John 14:2-3 – [Jesus said] “There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

* Those who do God’s will find eternal life

Paul says that those who patiently and persistently do God’s will find eternal life.  He is not contradicting his previous statement that salvation comes by faith alone.  We are not saved by good deeds, but when we commit our life fully to God, we want to please him and do his will.  As such, our good deeds are a grateful response to what God has done, not a prerequisite to earning his favor. (NLT)

Romans 2:7 – He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.

* We have eternity in us now

The Holy Spirit within us is our guarantee that God will give us an everlasting body at the resurrection.  We have eternity in us now!  This truth should give us great courage and patience to endure anything we might have to experience. (NLT)

2 Corinthians 5:5 – God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

* What eternal life involves

This is probably an early Christian hymn.  God is faithful to his children, and although we may suffer great hardships here, God promises that someday we will live eternally with him.  What will this involve?  It means believers will live in Christ’s Kingdom, and that we will share in the administration of that Kingdom.  This truth comforted Paul as he went through suffering and death.  Are you facing hardships?  Don’t turn away from God–he promises you a wonderful future with him.  (NLT)

2 Timothy 2:11-13 – This is a true saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him.  If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.  If we deny him, he will deny us.  If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful for he cannot deny himself.

* Choose what is lasting over what is temporary

Laodicea was known for its great wealth; Christ told the Laodiceans to buy their gold from him (real spiritual treasures.  The city was proud of its cloth and dyeing industries; Christ told them to purchase white garments from him (his righteousness).  Laodicea prided itself on its precious eye ointment that healed many eye problems; Christ told them to get medicine from him to heal their eyes so they could see the truth.  Christ was showing the Laodiceans that true value was not in material possessions but in a right relationship with God.  Their possessions and achievements were valueless compared with the everlasting future of Christ’s Kingdom. (NLT)

Revelations 3:18 – [Jesus said] “I advise you to buy gold from me–gold that has been purified by fire.  then you will be rich.  And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness.  And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.”

* God will create a new earth in eternity

The earth as we know it will not last forever, but after God’s great judgment, he will create a new earth.  God had also promised Isaiah that he would create a new and eternal earth.  The sea in John’s time was viewed as dangerous and changeable.  It was also the source of the beast.  We don’t know how the new earth will look or where it will be, but God and his followers–those whose names are written in the Book of Life–will be united to live there forever.  Will you be there? (NLT)

Revelations 21:1 – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared.  And the sea was also gone.

* What eternal life will be like

Have you ever wondered what eternity will be like?  The “holy city, the new Jerusalem” is described as the place where God will “remove all . . . sorrows.”  Forevermore, there will be mo death, sorrow, crying, or pain.  What a wonderful truth!  No matter what you are going through, it’s not the last word–God has written the final chapter, and it is about true fulfillment and eternal joy for those who love him.  We do not know as much as we would like, but it is enough to know that eternity with God will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine. (NLT)

Revelations 21:3-4 – I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people!  He will live with them, and they will be his people.  God himself will be with them.  He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  For the old world and its evils are gone forever.”

* Blessings of eternal life

The “cowards” are not those who are fainthearted in their faith or who sometimes doubt or question but those who turn back from following God.  They are not brave enough to stand up for Christ; they are not humble enough to accept his authority over their lives.  they are put in the same list as the unbelieving, the corrupt, the murderers, the immoral, the idolaters, the liars, and those practicing magic arts.

People who are victorious “endure to the end.”  They will receive the blessings that God promised: (1) eating from the tree of life, (2) escaping from the lake of fire, (3) receiving a special name, (4) having authority over the nations, (5) being included in the Book of Life, (6) being a pillar in God’s spiritual temple, and (7) sitting with Christ on his throne.  Those who can endure the testing of evil and remain faithful will be rewarded by God. (NLT)

Revelations 21:7-8 – All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.  but cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars–their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.  This is the second death.”

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

BLESSINGS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/blessings/

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love,
and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find
answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation
you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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