TOPIC:"The Life That Will Last Forever"
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
TEXT:St. John 3:31-36
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36, NKJV).
One of the definitions given to the word "life" by Webster is "the state of being alive." But when we give it a meaning we must realize that there are many different levels of life. In this message I am not speaking about life on the physical level, but life on the highest level of all - life in the spiritual. It is the life of God living within the soul of man. The Apostle Paul excitingly describes this new life in these words: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new" (II Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).
One day life on the physical level is going to end. This is what James had in mind when he wrote: "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). The NIV renders it: "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." The NLT has it: "For your life is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone." Physical life is short no matter how long you may happen to live. Life is like a vapor, a mist, a morning fog. What words to describe how fleeting life is for each one of us.
But that is not true of our new life in Christ. It is not only eternal, but it should be abundant. As Jesus declared: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10, NIV). There you have life in all its fullness. That is what is being offered to each one of us in these words of John in our text. I suggest we look at these words a little closer to learn more about the life that will last forever. In this verse we behold four things: The rejection of life, the reception of life, the requirement for having this life, and the retribution that awaits those who will not receive this new life in Christ.
Let's begin with this: We have here the REJECTION of life. John speaks of it in these words: "He who does not believe the Son shall not see life"(v. 36).
Now the whole history of mankind has been that of living one's life without God at the center of it. The Bible name for this tragic situation is sin. Man without belief in Jesus finds himself in a place of alienation and separation from God, which eventually, brings spiritual death. Ever since the Garden of Eden when man decided to go his own way and live his life without God, there has been a restlessness deep within the soul of every man. Saint Augustine expressed this belief when . . .