Eternal Life

by Terry Wane Benton

Jesus is the truth, and Jesus affirms that eternal life is real and the most special thing any of us could have in our possession. However, notice that it is not merely about possessing and claiming to believe the scriptures. The Jews possessed the scriptures of the Old Testament and claimed to believe them, but Jesus made this probing statement to them:

"But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life" (John 5:38-40 NKJV).

How could they read and claim to believe the Scriptures and not believe in Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6)? They ignored the scriptures, which clearly indicate they did not “have His word abiding in you.” You don’t keep His word and let the major prophecies of Jesus slip away from you. Nor can we have His word abiding in us when we are selective about which scriptures we will believe.

They thought they had eternal life just because they “search the scriptures.” But being someone who searches the scriptures is not enough to bring eternal life into your possession. You must believe the One those scriptures are pointing you to. Since the scriptures “testify of Jesus,” we must let them do their intended job of bringing us to Jesus. Earlier, John pointed out that “He came unto His own (the Jews) and His own received Him not” (John 1:11). Will possessing and searching scriptures give you eternal life? Not if you don’t let the significant passages that point you to Jesus abide in you to the point that they bring you to Jesus.

Knowing major sections of scriptures but missing the fact that all the scriptures are teaching us to know God in Jesus and failing to come in repentance to Him and baptism into union with Him (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-6) means that you merely “think you have eternal life” but you really don’t.

Religious people may even call Jesus “Lord” (Matthew 7:21f) and still fail to have eternal life because coming to Jesus for life involves a commitment to doing the will of God. Coming to Jesus means you are ready to let Him be your Savior and Lord. You can’t just formulate an imaginary version of a “Jesus” (III Corinthians 11:3-4), one that fits what you want to believe about Him, and still legitimately “think you have eternal life.” You must put down all preconceived ideas and come to the real Jesus, the One verified and described by all the Scriptures.

Come to the One testified to by the Holy Spirit in all the Scriptures, and you will receive the most prized guarantee of “eternal life.” This is immortality in the presence of God in glory forever. Eternal life in an immortal body that does not tire, hurt, drain your energy, and cause you to lust for fleshly things of sin. Eternal life of bliss and glory forever. It is worth searching the Scriptures because if you let them, they will bring you to Jesus in total commitment to Him.

Only foolish people would neglect this great opportunity. But you are wise, aren’t you?

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