This conversation with my 4-yr old girl took place one night after our bedtime prayers …
“Do you believe in Jesus?” I asked.
“Yes,” came her reply without any hesitation.
“That’s good,” I said, “So what do you have now?”
“Er … eternal life?” she said with her eyes wide open.
“That’s right!” I said.
“Do you know what eternal life is?” I asked.
“Errr (thinking really hard) ……………. no.”
Although my little girl had the right answer, she didn’t have the slightest clue what the promise of eternal life meant at all. Interestingly, even adult Christians are none the wiser. Having grown up with a believe-in-Jesus-die-and-go-to-heaven theology, many have the idea that eternal life is not for now but for a time when they die. That cannot be further from the truth.
In John 17:3, Jesus Himself declared, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Eternal life is having a real and intimate relationship with God, one that can only be experienced through Jesus Christ His Son. Because of disobedience and sin, Man lost fellowship with God, his creator, and this resulted in death (Gen 2:17). That this fellowship might be restored and life given back to Man, God sent Jesus to die for Man’s sins and to re-open the way back to God. By believing in Jesus, we can now know God personally and intimately again. And in knowing God, we have life again because God Himself is the Originator, Giver and Sustainer of Life!
Jesus came that we might have life in all its abundance (Jn 10:10b)! That’s what eternal life is all about! It is life in its fullness the moment we come into a right relationship with God through Jesus. This can be experienced and had right now right here as we walk on earth. Having a revelation of this truth really blessed me as I discovered the fullness of God’s call, purpose, provision, joy and hope in my own life.
For too long, I had also inaccurately believed that eternal life only began after I died. As such, eternal life meant nothing to me other than a promise to live forever. How wrong I was! Once my relationship with God was corrected and my purposes were aligned with His, eternal life for me began right away. No longer was I going to allow the thief to steal, kill and destroy the life that God desires me to have. Nor will I be deceived into thinking it is something for later and not now.
Day by day, I am discovering new truths and new wonders of every spiritual blessing in Christ already laid up for me in heavenly places (Eph 1:3). Moment by moment, I am walking in the plans that God has for me, plans of good and not of evil, plans that give me a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). Everyday for me is now the first day of eternal life lived to its fullest in fellowship and communion with God!
Are you still waiting for eternity to experience eternal life? Then you are missing out on what God has for you. Make it a point to really know Him, to love Him and to serve Him, and enter into all He has for you. And this is eternal life!