By Charles Wages
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne.”
God’s existence spans all the ages—in fact, He is the designer of all the ages. John wrote earlier: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
We accept the tremendous truth that God is and that He is eternal, in spite of the fact that the human mind cannot grasp or contain its magnitude. Yet, it becomes so wonderful and so personal when coupled with the truth that He has given this eternal life, through the Lord Jesus Christ, to all who believe the divine record of His Son.
“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.” (John 3:16)
It was in God’s eternal purpose to give eternal life to those who believe. The Lord Jesus in His prayer to the Father, in John 17:1-3, said,
“Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”
Another remarkable thing about God giving man eternal life is that eternal life is a present reality not just a future dream or wish. That is the reason why a person really begins to “live” when they receive the Lord Jesus as personal Saviour. One of the most assuring and heart-warming verses in the Bible is the one recorded in John 5:24 where Jesus said,
“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.”
Another comforting truth to embrace is that God has prepared an eternal home for those who trust Him. Paul, under inspiration, wrote to believers of this present age or dispensation,
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor, 5:1)
Notice that this “house” is specified as being “eternal in the heavens.” Also, we notice that the Scripture emphasized, “we have a building.” M. R. Vincent states in his book, Word Studies in the New Testament, that, “the building from God is an actual possession in virtue of the believers union with Christ. It is just as we say of a minor, before he comes into possession of his property, that he has so much.”
In view of the above truths, we, as believers, should “lay hold” on this wonderful eternal life. In other words, to grasp it in order to use it for God’s glory. There are many believers who, of course, have eternal life, but they have never taken hold of this fact and used this abundant life for God’s glory and their good. This word “lay hold” is used of those who “laid hold” of Simon who was to carry the cross of Jesus. He was divinely ordained to do this work of God. We should fully recognize and acknowledge the eternal life that God has given us. How different we would be, and how more fully we would live if we all would “lay hold” of eternal life!
We must see that it is “Christ in us” that makes us eternal. It is His life, not ours. It is He who enables us to live “abundantly” (John 10:10). It is the Lord Jesus that makes heaven, home. A little boy was asked, “What makes your house a home?” Quickly the little boy answered, as he put his arms around his mother, “It’s my mom!” Well, we all should know, that it is the blessed Saviour who has given us eternal life and the “home” in heaven will be blessed and eternal because He is there.