Eternal life! Where does it start?
Many people including Christians believe that eternal life is just living forever and it starts once we die. Of course, that is part of it, but all humans will live forever, but it all depends on where their end destinations will be, heaven or hell? In (John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Jesus said that eternal life is in knowing the one true God through Jesus Christ. Once you come into that knowledge of Christ, then you can have eternal life here on earth. The word ‘know’ in the Greek in this verse is “ginōskō”. This word means more than intuitive knowledge but experientially knowing Christ. Therefore, this does denote a mere intellectual knowledge of Christ but an intimate and close personal relationship with Christ, which is truly knowing Christ.
Eternal life is a present tense possession, it can be received and enjoyed right here on earth, it does not have to be realised only after we die. (John 3:36) “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 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Too many Christians are waiting for eternal life to be realised after death, when Christ has promised us abundant life here on Earth. (John 10:10) “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” This does not mean a life void of problems, but a life full of everlasting joy and peace in the midst of every circumstance.
If a person does not understand the true meaning of eternal life, they will never grasp the importance of knowing and growing in Christ, and they would never fully comprehend the relationship that Christ has for us and has made available for us to experience right here on Earth.
Christ died to bring us back into relationship and fellowship with God that Adam once had in Eden. (Genesis 3:8) “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Christ did not just die to save us from the torment of hell and to forgive us of our sin. Of course, that is part of the package of salvation; however, it is not the most important reason. Forgiveness of sins of course, cannot be by-passed, because without the forgiveness of sins, there would be no relationship. Sin was a barrier to that relationship that God craved with His creation, and by Jesus taking away our sins and removing the veil, human race was able to come back into harmony with God our Father through Jesus. We were and still are created for relationship and communion with God. (Revelation 4:11) “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
(1Timothy 2:4) “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
1John 5:13 “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.”
Knowledge of Christ= Eternal Life
Therefore, the aim of salvation is relationship. You got it. Great stuff, okay let us move one. Once we have that initial knowledge of Christ, we then move into a growing relationship, and it has to be consummated with prayer (The primary purpose of prayer, read it here: http://truspire.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/the-primary-purpose-of-prayer/ ) constant and frequent communion with God, the more you fellowship in God’s presence the deeper your relationship gets with the Lord.
In this newfound relationship with Christ Jesus, we have to grow more and more in glory, truth, wisdom, faith, love and knowledge to attain to perfection.
1Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
2Peter3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
These scriptures suggest that we as believers should earnestly desire to grow in the knowledge of grace and truth of Christ, this thus effects how much of an abundant life one has on this earth. The more knowledge of Christ the more abundant life you have on earth. It is sad to say that many Christians are going to miss what eternal life is all about on earth, and wait until they receive it once they die and go heaven. Then they will realise that they could have tasted the Lord right here on Earth (1Peter 2:3).