For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
One of the first things I believed when I became a Christian was that I had eternal life . . . or at least I would have it after I died. John 3:16, the verse that led me into a saving relationship with Jesus, promised that whoever believed in him would not “perish,” but would live forever in heaven with God, or at least that’s what I thought eternal life, sometimes called everlasting life, entailed.
In fact, eternal life is more than life without end. The Greek phrase translated as “eternal life” means, literally, “life of the aeon” or “life of the age to come.” It refers, not just to life without end, but to a new quality of life. Eternal life is the life of God’s future, life as it was meant to be.
As Christians, we begin to experience eternal life even before we die. When we draw near to God and receive his peace, when he heals our broken relationships, when we catch glimpses of God’s justice in the world, we receive a foretaste of the life to come. Moreover, we have the high calling and privilege of participating with God in allowing the world to see eternal life through us. This happens in a multitude of ways as we live each day by God’s guidance and for his glory.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced a foretaste of eternal life? When you envision the life of God’s future, what do you picture? How are you helping others to have a foretaste of eternal life today?
PRAYER: Gracious God, how I thank you for the gift of eternal life. The hope of your future is a marvelous one. It encourages me to hang in there when this life gets hard. Moreover, it gives me a vision for how I might live today.
O Lord, even as I am blessed with a foretaste of the life of the age to come, may I live in such a way that I share this with others. Help me to be a person of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love. May I seek your justice in all my relationships and in every place where I have the ability to make a difference.
May your kingdom come, Lord, even now on this earth, as it is in Heaven! Amen.