Home
« Home | Next: Age has its virtue »
| Next: Wonderful People »
| Next: BBS (be back soon!) »
| Next: Let us never forget... »
| Next: An Important Distinction »
| Next: What do you believe? »
| Next: Only One »
| Next: Thoughts on personal election »
| Next: For a wonderful friend »
| Next: The Basics of Fellowship »

Thoughts

Topics

Archives


Subscribe

Feed Link

Study Help

Real Help

    Needed Prayers


Links

About

About Kc


Awards

Quotes

    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Eternal Life

One of the greatest blessings that God bestows upon believers is the promise of eternal life. Physical life is wrought in the flesh resulting in a natural birth and a temporal life but the conception of God’s grace through faith in Christ will result a spirit birth and an eternal life.

This life is not dependant on any future point in time and in fact is independent of all future events including, and especially, physical death. It is nothing less than a life that will never end. It comprises the whole future of the redeemed but it is the same life in Christ that all believers exist in here on earth. Many have distorted the promise of life to indicate a future moment when we “go to heaven” but this perversion miserably fails to relate the full extent of the promise and God’s amazing grace. Others relate eternal life to the resurrection but even this event is reserved for those who are already alive with Christ. Eternal life belongs to those who believe the testimony of God’s Spirit concerning His Son Jesus Christ and is not only their eternal hope but is also their present possession. Eternal life exist only in Christ and what other existence there may be apart from Him is only temporal.

God has promised those that believe a life without end and the certainty of this life lies in the certainty of His Word. Some may doubt and consider eternal life dependent on something other than God’s promise. If this were the case then God’s promise would be void. If we claim that eternal life can be lost then, by definition, it is not eternal at all but we know God’s Word is true.

The fact that we will never die does not insure that we will all share the same quality of life. The quality of our life in Christ, both now and in the future, is determined by our faithfulness. While our life is made certain by virtue of God’s Word, our faith is made certain through obedience. If we choose to be disobedient and our faith becomes dead then our life will be empty and void. It is even possible that we could forget that we were ever forgiven. The fullness of our life in Christ is directly proportionate to the degree in which we crucify our flesh and immerse ourselves in Him. We cannot fully enjoy eternal life until we are in a sinless state with even our body being transformed into His likeness.

Labels: ,

45 Comments:

Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

How have you been KC?
Thanks for the reminder of the importance of being faithful and obedient. Blessings to you brother!

9/20/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

KC,
This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it today. In the midst of our trials through sanctification, is is wonderful to be reminded of what we have now, as well as in the future.
God Bless,
Elisa

9/20/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

What wonderful grace!

Thanks for posting this.

9/20/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kitty, we're well just so busy! I've kept up on reading blogs but missed the time to comment too much or to post until today. Thanks sis. ;-)

Sis. Beth thanks so much for the kind words. I'm keeping up with you two as well and 'm always anxious for any news about the stork's future visit! ;-)

Matthew, Amen and thanks for your kindness as well. ;-)

9/20/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger jel said...

hey KC, this is a very good post, and thanks posting it ,

9/20/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cinder said...

Thanks Kc...I really needed this timely reminder about my need to be obedient and truly faithful.

Blessings to you ;D

9/20/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Excellent Post. One of your best.

9/20/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

KC, this is an outstanding description of eternal life.

9/20/2006 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger audrey` said...

Hi KC
Thank you so much for the reminder and reassurance =)

9/21/2006 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Trust and obey for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

A timely reminder of the relationship between faith and life (eternal as well as temporal).

Blessings

9/21/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Bobby said...

"A present possession." I like that. I may write a hymn that stresses this theme.

Great post!

9/21/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jel, your kind words are a blessing to me. Thanks for reading. ;-)

Cinder, I’m so thankful you were blessed in this. I’ve been blessed so many times from your insight and reflections. May God continue to bless you as well dear sister. ;-)

Brian, I am truly encouraged by your evaluation. I think very highly of your opinion brother. ;-)

Preacher, I’m honestly relieved by your approval. ;-)

Audrey, please consider this only a small compensation for the many blessings that Corry and I have in you. ;-)

Pech my dear friend and brother I almost cried at the thought of the many times we’ve sang that hymn together. ;-)

Bobby, welcome and I would be thrilled to read those verses! ;-)

9/21/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

KC,
A good post... keep it up...
Blessings

9/22/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Great post and a difficult subject.

The Christian view of eternal life is unique...no other "religion" subscribes to it.

I'll be posting about this, too, soon. (or maybe that shoulr be too soon).

9/22/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor, thanks so much. I pray God continues to bless you in all He has placed in your life right now.

Joe, it can't be too soon for me! Thanks for your wisdom and encouragement. I pray all is well at the Scoggins home. ;-)

9/22/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Excellent work, KC! You are such a blessing, brother. That was a blessing to read.

9/23/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sis I will consider it the return of a favor and now I only owe you a thousand or so more. ;-) (Still feeling well I pray?)

9/24/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Excellent!

9/25/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger audrey` said...

Hi brother KC

Could you kindly give a tight, warm hug to dearest Corry for me?
Thank you =)

God bless you and Corry.

9/29/2006 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Heres the thought that I'm having. If we thought of 'eternal' life as more speaking about the quality of life, rather than the quantity of life, then we wouldn't have to say that losing this eternal life would be a contradiction to having 'eternal' life.

I hope you understand.

If we didn't think of 'eternal' as being everlasting, but rather as being...full? great? surpassing in excellence?...as proceeding from the eternal Being, the eternal life would necessarily mimick some of the characteristics of that eternal Being. So if one possessed eternal life, they could possess a life that is greater than a non-eternal life. But we could still say that they can lose this eternal life depending upon whatever factors may be argued for the loss of such life...

Just a thought. Why do you think 'eternal' is a descriptor of the quantity of the life rather than the quality. You seem to speak as though it is both, but why cannot it be either/ or?

9/30/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The Scriptures would seem to use the terms everlasting life and eternal life interchangeably.

I would suggest that the idea of posessing eternal life not lasting forever is self-contradictory.

If it is eternal life, it lasts for ever, otherwise it is not eternal.

I do not deny that there is a qualitative aspect to eternal life, but you cannot cut out the quantitative aspect of it without denying the basic meaning of eternality.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

9/30/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I can if you understand eternity as I understand it. If eternity is the absence of time, then it by its very definition would not have ANY quantitative aspect. It would be entirely qualitative. Therefore anything that is 'eternal' would likewise have no quantitative aspect.

I agree this may deny the basic meaning of eternality as you may understand it, that being forever without end, an endless duration of years, but wouldn't that be 'everlasting'? I thought everlasting meant an endless duration of years? Why must the confusing matter occur of using two different words for one definition? Why not say 'everlasting' is the endless duration of years, and 'eternal' is no duration, an absence of time?

10/01/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Adam, do you think that when the Bible refers to eternal life, it refers to something different from what it means when it says everlasting life?

10/01/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I think that when the Bible says 'eternal' life it is referring to something that is different than when WE say 'eternal' and 'everlasting'. Both 'eternal' and 'everlasting' are english words. Both of them were used to apply to different Hebrew words, sometimes interchangeably. Therefore we cannot discuss what the Bible means by the words 'eternal' or 'everlasting' as the Bible doesn't use these words.

10/01/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Do you not think John 11:25-26 supports the conventional notion of everlasting life as 'living forever'?

Your view of everlasting life is similar to notions advanced by one F.E. Raven in the Exclusive Brethren. They were deemed to be heretical by many, though F.E. Raven was an heretic on Christology as well.

God Bless

Matthew

10/01/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger audrey` said...

Hi brother KC

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I'm so happy for you and Corry.
To God be the glory!

10/02/2006 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

I am looking for a new post with pictures!

10/02/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

First, my unaquainted-to-sofysticated-ways friend, I haven't yet given you 'my' view of everlasting life. I have merely been questioning, and probing. Please do not assume that because I argue for something, or against something, that I am for that which I argue for or against that which I argue against. It would be very presumptious and downright insulting. ;)

Secondly, I haven't either argued that everlasting life is not forever. That would be quite silly to argue. It would be like arguing that the past is not past or the color yellow is not yellow. The very meaning of the word 'everlasting' is that it is without end. I recognize this.

The meaning of 'eternal' however, while sometimes used synonymously with 'everlasting' is not necessarily used so. Hence my questioning as to whether 'eternal' is here used as 'everlasting' or as a descriptor of some qualitative element that flows from the Eternal Being.

Thirdly, just because a view is espoused by one or some deemed 'heretical' we shouldn't assume the view is incorrect. Let me offer an example. A high emphasis on missions is mightily important. If you viewed missions as one of the most important things, perhaps the most important thing, in a Christian's life, I would be inclined to agree.

However, this view is held by Brian Mclaren. Argued to be 'heretical' by a lot of Christians because of some of his other views. Should we then think that a high emphasis on missions is incorrect because it is held by a 'heretic? Another short example would be Jesus. He was considered to be blasphemous by the religious crowd, but we know that at least some of His views were correct.

Now, to the Scripture:

Joh 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. (26) Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die--ever. Do you believe this?"

I first want to point out that Jesus calls Himself the 'life'. throwing a huge kink into our normal way of thinking. Normally when we think of 'life' we think of it as something that we do. That living beings do. We 'live', and that which we 'live' is 'life'. Here though Jesus is saying that He is the 'life'. Making us wonder how exactly we 'live' Jesus.

We then need to recognize that Jesus says the believer, even if He dies, will live. Once again making us stop to think whether He is using words in the same way we normally use them. Normally when something dies, they cease to live. And if they live, they are not dead. Jesus though is saying that one can die, and yet live. Redefining 'life' (at least the life He offers, the life that He is) as something that supercedes death, something that is beyond death and wholly other than death.

Jesus then says that everyone who lives and believes in Him, will never die - ever. He says that death will never be encountered by the believer. So these words, I admit, can be taken as giving credence to the 'everlasting' aspect of the life given. However, we needn't then think that every time after nor every time before when 'life' is used that it is only used in this regard.

I think Jesus is giving us a two fold understanding of the life given. Perhaps a threefold understanding (calling Himself the 'life' gives a great understanding and a different aspect than normally understood.)

He says first that this life is still held and maintained by the believer even if death comes upon them. Death normally chases away or consumes life, yet the life given to the Israel of God considers death superfluous and does not feel its sting.

God then says that this 'life' given is a life that is maintained for an indefinite duration. Even when death does come, and does take away this earthly life and normal way of living, the true life of the believer still lives and is not affected by the momentary attempt of death to snuff out the Israel of God.

He first gives an understanding of the qualitative aspect of eternal life, and then gives an understanding of the quantitative understanding of everlasting life.

10/02/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Nunzia said...

Such a great reminder!! Im sorry I've been MIA for a while. I've finally got around to posting again and hopefully will be back soon! So glad you are still fighting the good fight in the blogosphere! God's Grace!

10/02/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger jel said...

Morning KC,

how are things going in your part of the world! :)


take care
God's blessings

10/02/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks for explaining your views.

I was not accusing you of holding heretical views; I was just showing off my expertise at Brethren history. Sorry.

God Bless

Matthew

10/02/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Adam, if "eternal" is qualitive rather than quantitive, how would this apply to the scriptures that describe God as being "eternal"?

10/02/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

It would apply very well actually. The whole idea of me saying that 'eternal life' is a qualitative life by virtue of it proceeding from the Father, who is eternal, would be solidified. The 'eternal' God would describe a qualitative aspect of the LORD rather than a duration of His life.

10/03/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Would that interpretation not undermine the scriptural premise upon which we base the concept of God being infinite?

10/03/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Only if you think that God must have an infinite existence within time. If we think of God outside of time, hence having no elongated period of existing within time, then one needn't think of God as everlasting to think of God as infinite. We can think of God's power as infinite, and God's holiness as infinite. And God's love and wrath and very being as infinite, without having to confine God to a temporal existence wherein He existence for an infinite period.

10/03/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

We generally do think of God as being outside time. I believe the term that describes that is "eternal". ;-)

While I would agree with you that "eternal" does carry with it a qualitive connotation that "everlasting" does not, I still think that by definition "eternal" is descriptive of the quantity of God's existence.

10/03/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

Wow -- I hadn't checked out this site in a few days. Good discussion.

10/04/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Hey, KC, just wanted to drop by and say hello and that we are missing your wisdom.

God bless.

10/10/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor thanks for your kindness. ;-)

To all,

Thank you for your thoughts and comments. Please forgive my absence and failure to respond. We've recently married off two of our daughters and that coupled with life at 90 (miles per hour that is) has kept me from the blogs. I hope to return to posting soon. ;-)

In the mean time please remember those who are on the mission field at present. Some we love are there for an extended period while others are on short but fruitful trips. May God continue to bless and keep each one.

10/11/2006 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Nice to see you again, Kc.

I shall hopefully be having my short mission trip in January, the Lord willing.

God Bless

Matthew

10/11/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger señor jefe said...

Sofyst,

As beings who exist within the confines of time, isn't it fair to say that we cannot truly conceptualize 'eternity' as you define it, because of our limited view, within the confines of our single-dimension existence within time?

You say "'eternal' is no duration, an absence of time?" I believe eternity has no relation to time from God's perspective, therefore our limitations are distinctly apparent when we must use the word "time", to begin with.

I think your point takes on more substance if "eternal" can be defined without reference to the concept of time (is that impossible from a human perspective?). If that can be done, then I believe God's perspective on eternity can be grasped (ie- It's much easier for a Being who exists in 17 dimensions to conceive 3-dimensional life, than it is for a 3-dimensional being to conceptualize 17-dimensional life...)

That being said, I agree with your delineation between eternal and everlasting life. Really interesting discussion!

Oh, and great original post, kc...

10/14/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

I am thankful for eternal life through Christ Jesus.

10/16/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Senor, I was attempting to define 'eternal' without reference to time. That was my point entirely. I like that you saw that. I think that 'everlasting' deals with time, and 'eternal' deals with something else. It is like the difference between length and weight ( I think). One deals with how long or wide somethign is, while the other one deals with how heavy something is.

10/17/2006 01:57:00 AM  
Blogger señor jefe said...

Yeah. The rub of the whole thing is that because we're IN time, we really cannot conceive a "time-less" concept.

Just another reminder to me that I'm not God (no matter how hard I try...)

10/18/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew, I’ve been keeping up and I’m so thankful for your opportunities and, even though selfishness would wish you here in the states, through faith I can see how it could be that God has prepared you perfectly for Japan. I have confidence and great hope for you but I will continue in prayer.

Jeff it’s so good to see you and I hope you’ll have a blog up and running again soon. Thanks for participating in the discussion. Again I apologize for being mostly absent.

Ryan, Amen! And may God bless and keep you. You know our hope and prayers for you.

Adam, my dear friend I apologize to you especially for failing to engage in the discussion. I think you’ve pressed us all to dig deeper and I hope to be able to respond soon. I do have several thoughts on your comments but I want to give them all due consideration.

10/19/2006 02:50:00 AM  

Post a Comment