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Psalm 37:18 1
18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.

Background 2

The Lord knows the days of the upright. God’s foreknowledge makes Him laugh at the proud, but in the case of the upright God sees a brighter future, and treats them as heirs of salvation. Here is where we, the Christian, gain our comfort: all events are known to our God, and that nothing in our future can surprise Him. No arrow can pierce us by accident, no danger can sneak up on us; over time or in eternity, can any unforeseen problem happen to us. Simply stated, God knows all.

Our future is constructed by a continual development of the good things which God has laid up in store for us (set aside), and our inheritance will be for ever. God’s inheritance does not fade away. It is such that none can deprive us of it, and our inheritance is preserved, so that no one can destroy it. Eternity has this peculiar attribute:: what we have on earth is safe enough, but what we will have in heaven is ours without end.

Items for Discussion

  • Have you thought about “forever?” How would you explain it to someone?
  • When do you think forever starts: Now; At Death; When Jesus Returns? Explain your choice.
  • What are the unique attributes of “inheritance?”
  • While we all must accept our imperfection before God, how would you describe the term “Blameless?”
  • What does it mean to you to spend your days under the Lord’s care?

 

John 5:24
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

1 John 5:11
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Background

Our Lord declared his authority and character, as the Messiah. The time will come when the dead will hear his voice, as the Son of God, and live. Our Lord first refers to his raising those who were dead to sin, to gaining a newness of life, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then to His raising the dead in their graves.

The office of Judge of all mankind, can only be exercised by one who has all knowledge,, power and authority. Our roll, to  believe His testimony. Therefore, if we place our faith and hope in God, we are not condemned. Our prayers is that Christ’s voice reach the hearts of those dead in sin; that they may  repent, and prepare for their crossing into eternity.

3The Greek word for eternal is aionios. It means far more than simply lasting for ever. A life which lasted for ever might well be a curse and not a blessing, an intolerable burden and not a shining gift. There is only one person to whom aionios may properly be applied and that is God. In the real sense of the term it is God alone who possesses and inhabits eternity. Eternal life is, therefore, nothing other than the life of God himself.

We are promised is a share in the very life of God. In God there is peace and, therefore, eternal life means serenity. It means a life liberated from the fears which haunt the human situation. In God there is power and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of frustration. It means a life filled with the power of God and, therefore, victorious over circumstance. In God there is holiness and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of sin. It means a life clad with the purity of God and armed against the soiling infections of the world. In God there is love and, therefore, eternal life means the end of bitterness and hatred. It means a life which has the love of God in its heart and the undefeatable love of man in all its feelings and in all its action. In God there is life and, therefore eternal life means the defeat of death. It means a life which is indestructible because it has in it the indestructibility of God himself.

It is John’s conviction that such a life comes through Jesus Christ and in no other way. Why should that be? If eternal life is the life of God, it means that we can possess that life only when we know God and are enabled to approach Him and rest in Him. We can do these two things only in Jesus Christ. The Son alone fully knows the Father and, therefore, only He can fully reveal to us what God is like. As John had it in his gospel: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made him known” (John 1:18). And Jesus Christ alone can bring us to God. It is in Him that there is open to us the new and living way into the presence of God (Hebrews 10:19-23). We may take a simple analogy. If we wish to meet someone whom we do not know and who moves in a completely different circle from our own, we can achieve that meeting only by finding someone who knows him and is willing to introduce us to him. That is what Jesus does for us in regard to God. Eternal life is the life of God and we can find that life only through Jesus Christ.

It is most unfortunate that in the English language, we don’t have a specific word for this. In Chinese culture it is “guān xì (关系).” The phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is well known in Western business circles due to the fact that having the right contacts can provide a great deal of assistance in advancing one’s career and closing important business deals. This idea takes on a much greater significance within China, in which business organizations and social circles are often nepotistic in nature. That is, relationships do not merely supplement an individual’s effectiveness in business and dealings in everyday life; instead, relationships form the foundations upon which business and society are built upon.

Items for Discussion

  • How do you feel about someone who does not believe in life after death? Why? What to you tell them?
  • Scripture is clear, no Jesus, no eternal life – How do you feel about that?
  • If you consider the upside of the prior question, how do you feel about anyone with a relationship with Jesus being assured of eternal life?
  • How do “good works” differ from being “blameless?”

Discussion Challenge

  • Why is it so hard to think about and discuss eternity and eternal life? What should the Church be doing to help us improve the dialogue?
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