Do You Have Eternal Life?

 Do You Have Eternal Life?

We know that there are many of our supporters who give towards our ministry and also pray for us. There are also many others who have great interest in our work here in Nicaragua. We are very thankful for each and every one of you. Recently, the Lord has given me the desire to write on this topic: “Do you have eternal life?” In other words, are you 100% sure that you are a child of God who will spend eternity with God in Heaven? I understand that many who read this come from different religious backgrounds. Despite your religious background or perhaps lack thereof, please consider the message that below.

Many people do not believe that it is possible to for one to know that he will go to Heaven when he dies. Although many religions teach this, the bible very clearly says the opposite. One of the reasons why God gave us the bible was in fact, to give us assurance of our salvation. Consider with me the following passage:

I John 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.”

Here, we see that the purpose of the Apostle John's first epistle was that we could KNOW that we HAVE eternal life. The word “KNOW” implies certainty. There is no doubt. The word “HAVE” implies possession or ownership. The next key word here is “ETERNAL life.” Eternal life does not last for one day, one month, or one year. It lasts for all eternity. This is was the reason why God wrote the letter of First John by the hand of the apostle John. Despite the fact that many religions teach that nobody can be sure, the bible says the opposite. Now, with all respect, I would like to ask you, “Do YOU know that you have eternal life?”

In the following portion of this post, I will explain the basic message of the bible, which is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The word “Gospel” means “good news.” But before we talk about the good news, it is important that we understand the bad news. We will never understand the good news until we have a clear understanding of the bad news. I understand that many preachers and churches do not speak about the bad news... and for good reason. These things are not popular, and nobody likes to hear about these things. Upon hearing the gospel preached by Peter, the Jews were “pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?” It was not until after God had pricked their hearts that they were ready to be saved (Acts 2:37, 47).

So now, we will talk about the “bad news” and why we are in desperate need of salvation.

The Bad News of Sin and Its Effects
1. We have all sinned and are all sinners
I understand that for some people, this may seem like a personal attack. I can assure you that it is not. When the Bible speaks on the topic of sin, it speaks concerning the entire human race. Collectively and individually, we are all sinners. Consider what Jesus said in Mark 10:18.

Mark 10:18 - “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. ”

If we accept the authority of Jesus Christ and the word of God, it is very simple. The only person who ever lived without sin is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that we are not speaking of a relative goodness, but rather an absolute goodness. Some people are relatively good in comparison to others, but the only one who is good by God's standard is Jesus Christ. The bible explains with greater clarity:

Romans 3:10  - “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one...”
Romans 3:12 -  “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. ”
Romans 3:23 - “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

We can see very clearly that the bible teaches that every person has sinned. In most of my life, I have tried to do good and make the right choices, but if I am honest with myself, I know in my heart that God's Word is true and that I have sinned. If you are honest with yourself, do you know this to be true in your life? Many times, we think in terms of relative goodness or relative righteousness, but let us see what else the Bible says about sin.

James 2:10 -  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. ”

There are many people who try to live a good life and try to have good works. Praise God for people like that! We should try to obey God the best that we can. But at the end of the day, we must see what God says. If we have broken God's law in one point, we are guilty of breaking the whole law. For example, I have lied, but I have never committed adultery. Though I may have obeyed some of the Ten Commandments, I have not obeyed them all. As a whole, the Law of God shows me that I am a sinner. As a whole, I have broken God's law. The purpose of God's law was never to be a measuring stick of righteousness with different levels of accomplishment. It was instead to be our teacher, to show us that we are sinners in need of forgiveness and salvation (Galatians 3:23-24). Let us also remember that while God commends good works, good works can never erase sins. If we are honest, we all know that we are sinners and have failed to keep the whole law of God.

1 John 1:8 - “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

If I am a sinner, what does this mean to me? It means that we are all in this together. Despite our best efforts, we still fall short of the glory of God.

2. The Effects of Sin are Separation from God and Death
In the same way that breaking an earthly law has consequences, so does breaking the law of our God. The first way to explain this consequence is as a separation from God.

Isaiah 59:2 - “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

When God made the world, everything was perfect and there was no sin. Man could walk with God and talk with God in the Garden of Eden. However, when Adam and Eve sinned against God, their first reaction was to hide themselves from God. Sin caused a problem between them and God, and their relationship was separated. After God confronted them, they had to leave the presence of God. In the very same manner, our sins separate us from God like a wedge driven between us. King David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me.” And in John 9:31, it says, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners.” In other words, the only prayer that God is interested in hearing is an appeal for forgiveness of our sins through the way that God has provided (we will speak more about this later).

Romans 6:23 - “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ”

Here we see that God states that the wages, or deserved earnings, of sin is death. If you are familiar with the Genesis chapters 2-3, remember that God warned Adam, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. ” In other words, the effects of sin is death. Adam did not physically die the day he ate of that tree, but he did experience a spiritual death as God promised. Many years later, he would physically die. The first effects of sin are spiritual separation from God, which is later followed by a physical death. Physical death is something that all men will face. Why? Because we are all sinners. However, we must remember that we have a body, spirit, and soul. The effects of death do not only affect our physical bodies, but also our spirit and soul.

Ezekiel 18:20 - “The soul that sinneth, it shall die...”

After we die, we will all give account and be judged by a Holy God. He will not judge us according to our standards, but according to His standards. According to His standard, we have all sinned and have all fallen short of the glory of God. Some will spend an eternal life in communion with God, and others will face an eternal death. This is the death of the soul, and is called “the lake of fire” or “the second death.” God did not create this place for us, it was created for Satan and his fallen angels. Unfortunately, unless we repent of our sins and God forgives us of our sins, we will follow Satan unto the end.

Revelation 20:10-15 - “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (11)  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12)  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13)  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14)  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15)  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

This time of judgment is called “The Great White Throne Judgment,” and the name is from verse 11. In this judgment, all are judged according to their works (v. 12). In this judgment, there are none saved, and those who appear here are condemned to the lake of fire. This is the end of the road for those who are not saved, do not have eternal life, and have not received forgiveness of their sins. Those who are judged by their works will not be justified (see Gal. 2:16). The Bible says more about who will face the Second Death in the Lake of Fire.

1 Corinthians 6:9 - “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10)  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Revelation 21:8 - “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. ”

The big problem that we have here, is that the Lake of Fire is not a place that is only reserved for the worst of sinners, it is the end place for all sinners who do not receive salvation by the grace of God. Revelation 21:8 includes liars in the group of people who will have their part in the lake of fire. Unfortunately, I have lied many times in my life, and unless there is some other way to be rescued or saved, this is my final destination. Thus far, we have explained the bad news. #1- We are all sinners and have broken the law of God. #2- The effects of sin are separation from God and death, which terminates in the Lake of Fire. PLEASE DO NOT STOP READING. Now that we understand the bad news, we can now fully understand the good news. So many people understand that Jesus died on the cross to save sinners. But the truth of the matter is that Jesus died to save YOU and ME from our sin and from the effects of of our sin, which are hell and death. Since God gave us the Bible so that we can KNOW that we HAVE eternal life, we must study it and be sure about our salvation.

The Good News of Jesus Christ

3. God Loves You and Gave His Only Begotten Son To Save You
This is a truth that  I cannot state enough. Yes, it is true that God hates our sin. However, God loves us. I am not talking about a fuzzy, warm feeling. I am talking about love in action. Perhaps the most famous verse in all of the bible is John 3:16.

John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Despite our sin, God loved us so much that he proved it. He sent his only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Jesus was not murdered.  He could have come down off the cross, but he chose to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Why did he do this? So that we should not perish, but have everlasting life. He died to save us from sin and death. Notice the importance of faith where it says “whomsoever believeth in him.” Let us look at the following verses in the context of John 3:16.

John 3:17  - “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Notice here that the purpose of Jesus was not to condemn the world, but to save it. Verse 18 says that he that does not believe in Jesus is “condemned already.” Notice that the only difference between he that is “already condemned” and he that is “not condemned”. The only difference here is belief or the lack thereof. Many preachers and teachers preach the most popular verses of Scripture, but very few preach the hard truths. The fact is that when Jesus came into the world, the world was already condemned in sin. Those who are not saved are presently living in sin and under the condemnation of sin. However, God still loves them. It didn't say that God loved them so much that he said he would simply give them a pass on Judgment day. It said that he loved them so much that he sent his son Jesus to save us.  How can we be saved from the condemnation of our sin? Verse 18 says, “he that believeth on Him is not condemned.” Clearly, believing on Jesus Christ has a key role in our salvation from this condemnation. But back to the love of God. Many people believe in God but doubt his love because there is much pain, sickness, and death in this world. These are all effects of sin. The very fact that despite our sin and rebellion, God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins is full proof that He loves us.

Romans 5:8 - “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The word “commendeth” essentially means “proved.” Remember that Jesus said, “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus was not all talk, Jesus put it to action. Notice the following verse...

1 Peter 3:18 - “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”

Notice here, that Christ suffered for sins... the just for the unjust. Who is The Just? Jesus Christ. Who are the unjust? That is each and every one of us.  To deny that I am unjust is to simply say that Christ died for someone else, but not me. Christ died in our place for our sins. What was the purpose of this? To bring us to God. Remember that separation between us and God? Sin caused the separation. Jesus died to take away that sin, so that we may have fellowship with God once again like there was before the very first sin.

4. Salvation by Grace through Faith
Understanding why Jesus came is not sufficient to be saved. Some people speak about how all people are children of God. This is not biblical. Jesus died for all people, but only those are redeemed by Jesus Christ are children of God. Jesus said to those who rejected Him, “Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:44). So the question is... “If Jesus died to save me from my sins, then how can I be saved?” Some people think it necessary to be part of a specific church, do a religious exercise, or have their good works outweigh their bad works. These are all teachings of man, not of God. Where must we look for instruction to receive knowledge of salvation? Notice the following verse.

2 Timothy 3:15 - “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Notice here, the bible says that Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures since he was a child. It also states that the Holy Scriptures were able to make him wise unto Salvation. The Scriptures themselves do not save, but give us the wisdom to saved. How? “Through faith which is in Jesus Christ.” Where does this saving faith come from?

Romans 10:17 - “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Despite the fact that many churches and religions claim to be the only way of salvation, the truth is that the only way to be saved is through FAITH in JESUS CHRIST. This faith comes from the word of God. While faith and works have a very, very close connection, if we study the Bible, it is clear that salvation is only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

First, consider that we are saved BY GRACE. Grace is something that we do not deserve. Truth is, we are all sinners and nobody deserves salvation according to his own merit. It is undeserved. Second, notice that we are saved THROUGH FAITH. Faith is the means in which we access this grace and undeserved salvation. Imagine a television set. The television set has no power in it of itself... in order to function properly it needs electricity. Faith is like the electrical cord. In it of itself, it has no power either. It's job is to connect the television to the source of power. In a hypothetical scenario, you could imagine a wall outlet with different plugs. One plug is called “Good works.” You could try putting your faith in this source and plug the cord into it. You will quickly realize that this plug has no power. However, there is another outlet. This one is called “Grace through Jesus Christ.” The moment you put your faith in the right place, and plug the cord (faith) into the right source (Faith in Jesus Christ), you will see the television come to life. Now, there is a clear change in the television. While previously, it would not function the way it was intended, now it can do so because it receives power from the source. Notice in the verse above, the text says that this whole package (Salvation by grace through faith) is the “gift of God.” It is freely given by God to those who place their faith in Jesus Christ.

Biblical salvation is a one time event.. It is the moment when a person becomes part of the family of God. God applies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to our life, takes away our sin, and changes our heart.  It is a spiritual rebirth. In the same manner that we have a date of physical birth, there is also a date in which God saves the soul of a sinner who cries out to God in faith. I do not know the exact date when God saved me because I never wrote it down. However, I do remember the day very clearly. I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ explained to me. I understood that I was a sinner in need of salvation. And most of all, I understood that Jesus died for my sins. That night, as a child praying with my mother, I asked Jesus Christ to save me. Let me ask you- “Is there a specific time and place when you placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone for your salvation?” If you are not sure, don't you think that you should be? Jesus said twice:

Luke 13:3 - “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Luke 13:5 - “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” 

The word repent means to turn around. It is a change of heart and mind. Upon hearing the Gospel, God enables us to respond in repentance. Are we willing to respond in obedience and confess our sins to God, trusting in Jesus Christ alone? Repentance is not merely “I will feel bad and try harder.” I like to explain repentance like this. It is not a work, it is a heart matter. Are you willing to turn from UNBELIEF to BELIEF? Are you willing to stop trusting in YOUR OWN WORKS, and begin trusting in THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST? Are you willing to turn from SIN, and turn to JESUS CHRIST?

Acts 17:30 - “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT: (31)  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

One day, an all-knowing God will judge the world. I hope that you will be ready. Repentance is not something only reserved for the worst sinners in the world. It is something that God commands of all men everywhere. Have you repented and placed your faith in Jesus Christ? Consider the simplicity of the following verses...

Romans 10:8 - “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10)  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Some people trust in a prayer... but prayers don't save. Some people trust in their confessions, but confessions don't save. Some trust in Baptism, Church Membership, and some even believe in faith itself. But faith itself does not save. Within us, there is no hidden power to save ourselves, no matter what we do. Only our Savior, Jesus Christ, can save your soul. What does Jesus Christ want from you? He wants to see genuine FAITH and REPENTANCE in your heart. He wants to hear you call out in faith to be saved. The prayer doesn't save, but the One who answers it does. Have you ever done this before? Is there evidence of God's saving work in your life? We have no guarantee of tomorrow, and I recommend doing it today. We have the following promise...

Romans 10:13 - “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Are You Ready to Receive Eternal Life Through Faith in Jesus Christ?

1. Do you Understand that you are a sinner and need salvation?

2. Do you believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins to save you?

3. Are you willing to turn from your sins (repent) and trust in Christ alone for your salvation?

If you are able to answer “Yes” to the 3 questions listed above, then it sounds like your are ready to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. There are no magic words, just a simple prayer from your heart. God is interested in hearing you call out unto him and responding to His great love for you. Pray something like this:

“Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, that I have broken your law, and that I need to be saved. I believe that you are the Son of God, that you died for me, and that you were raised from the dead on the third day. Today, I am willing to trust in you alone to forgive me of my sins and save me from the effects of sin and death. Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

If you made the decision to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior today, we celebrate your decision. As a born again child of God, God has freed your from the bondage of sin and given you the power to live an obedient life. Although God has done a work in your heart, He wants to continue working in your heart and give you victory over sin and temptations each day. In the same way that we are born into this world as a dependent child, we are also spiritually born in a similar manner. We need help to continue on in this life. We would love to help get you get a good start and help you to grow into a strong, mature believer. Please tell me about your decision with an email sent to . In the following weeks, I plan to make another post with recommended “Next Steps” for those who have recently come to faith in Jesus Christ.

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