7436 - Eternal Life - Obedience - 1 John 2:17


Audio transcript

Friend, it’s always a joy to have an opportunity to discuss God’s Word together.

Today we want to contemplate “eternal life.” The verse which prompts this thought is 1 John 2:17.

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

This verse completes the words of warning which God gives through John in the previous two verses. In these verses John exhorts people –– even Christians –– not to enter into a love affair with the world system. The word ‘world’ comes from the Greek “kosmos.” This is not a reference to the planet earth; but rather speaks of the world system. The world system is refined, cultured, religious and sometimes glamorous. It offers pleasures, and activities which do not please God. The general attitude of the world system is anti-God and anti-Christ. The ruler over the world system is Satan along with his fallen angels and demons.

Now, let’s focus on those words, “the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Forever is the same as eternal. And obedience is a key to obtaining it.

When Jesus was on earth the crowd asked Him one day, “What must we do to do the work God requires? (John 6;28).” Basically they were asking, “what does God want from us? What are we supposed to be doing?”

In answer to this question Jesus said, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. (John 6:29).”

Another time Jesus said; “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24.)” Many times Scripture tells us that one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Jesus explains that when one believes – the moment a sinner agrees with God about his sin and his great need, and places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – at that moment he is born from eternal death into eternal life. It occurs the moment of applied faith. Not later. He passes from darkness into light, from hopelessness into hope, from death to life in an instant of time – an accomplished fact. Eternal life begins at that moment.

Friend, how long is eternity? Perhaps you can imagine back to the founding of the United States, slightly more than 200 years. Seems like a long time, but that’s very short in eternity. One may strive to think back to when Jesus came to earth – about 2000 years ago. Now that’s much longer, but only a short time in eternity. A well known song proclaims that when we’ve been in heaven 10,000 years we’ve no less days to sing His praise than when we first began. Eternity is a long time! And friend, I choose to live eternal life instead of following the world system and existing in eternal death. There’s no comparison of quality between the two.

Titus 1:2 gives us an encouraging thought. It says, “...the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie promised before the beginning of time.”
You see, eternal life was promised to those who would believe in Jesus Christ before the beginning of time and those who enter into it by faith in Jesus will enjoy unbroken fellowship with Triune God for eternity, and will never tire or grow weary in this glorious relationship. Doesn’t that truth make you want to shout, even though we cannot presently comprehend what our activities will include.

Once again let’s review. A sinner who comes to Jesus and exercises faith in all He did and said, receives eternal life as a gift. There is no other way. Not by good deeds or works. Entry cannot be bought. Even saintly parents cannot secure entry for an unbelieving child. Each person must believe. Then they are given and do posses eternal life.

Now that’s good news.