"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." (1 John 5:13).
The little book of First John is a book about knowing. Over and over, like a drum-roll, John stresses the fact that we can know. In fact, he says we can know that we know! (1 John 2:3-5). John writes, "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth." (1 John 2:21). I encourage you to read and re-read this little book of five chapters (105 verses). It will help us to have the confidence we need to win the victory over the world. Peter knew he was going to be saved in heaven. Why? How? He said, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved ..." (Acts 15:11). FAITH! "... this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4).
From where did Peter's faith come? It came from the same place as does ours. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17). The Word of God does, indeed, stress the fact that we can know we are saved: that we have eternal life. Sometimes we may doubt, and question, but there is one who is greater than our hearts! "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God." (1 John 3:19-21).
There is a question we need to address, however. We do have eternal life, but do we have it now? Do we presently have eternal life, or do we have it in promise and in hope? Consider the following passages. "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." (Titus 1:2; cf. 1 John 2:25). Paul had eternal life just as John did, just as you and I do, but he said he had it "... in hope ... in promise." He wrote to the Romans and said, "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Romans 8:24-25).
Bible hope is rightly defined as "desire coupled with full expectation." In Jesus Christ we do indeed have " ... hope of glory ..." (Colossians 1:27). We certainly desire to go to heaven for eternity, and we fully expect to go. Why? Because God promised it, and He cannot lie! (Compare Hebrews 6:12-20). This "hope" we have is "... as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast ..." We need to be able to say as did Paul, "... for I believe God." (Acts 27:25). Do you, my brethren? I am not asking you whether you "believe in God"... I am asking you whether you believe God?
The Hebrew writer says that God's promise of eternal life, and His oath which backs up His promise are "two immutable things"! (Hebrews 6:12-20). Immutable means "absolute, unchallengeable, incontrovertible, indisputable, undeniable." As the little boy said, "They are ungetoverable and ungetaroundable!" The Hebrew writer stresses that to obtain the promise from God we must have faith and patience as did Abraham. This again reminds us of Peter's words in Acts 15:11 and John's in 1 John 5:4.
There's something else about what John says concerning eternal life that we need to see. He says that this eternal life that God has given unto us is in Christ as are all spiritual blessings. (1 John 5:11; Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, in order for one to truly have the hope of eternal life, he must be in the Lord. How does one get into Christ? We are baptized into Christ, having believed on Him, repented of our sins, and confessed His sweet name before men. (John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matthew 10:32-33; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:26-27).
Friend, if you are not in Christ, you do not have a hope of the eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised. You are without hope. (Ephesians 2:12). We encourage you to obey the gospel today, for you may not have tomorrow! (2 Corinthians 6:2; James 4:13-14). -P.O. Box 285, Crum, WV 25669.
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