Some people think that eternal life is what you get after you die. Jesus made it clear, however, that eternal life is something meant to help on this side of death. Yes, eternal life extends through death into all eternity. And for that we shall be eternally grateful (appropriately so). Yet eternal life is meant to be manifested on the earth and we are the ones who are meant to manifest it and benefit from it. Who are we? Human beings. There are no other qualifications required – Jesus died for the whole world.
Jesus defined eternal life very simply in John 17:3: “knowing God.” He didn’t mean just “knowing about” God. Lots of people know about God but aren’t experiencing eternal life. Neither did He mean “praying the sinner’s prayer.” Lots of people have engaged in that exercise, too. But even if it was completely heartfelt, it is one transaction with God and doesn’t constitute the “knowing” that Jesus has in mind here. It is only the beginning of knowing.
The “knowing God” that Jesus is talking about is knowing in the sense of “being aware of.” Jesus himself had eternal life – He was eternal life (1 John 1:2). As we know Jesus – that is, as we stay aware of His surrounding presence through all of creation – we experience eternal life. This includes being aware of His true nature: love, righteousness, peace, joy, gentleness, discipline, and more. Eternal life is a way of life. Some people only attempt to be aware of God at certain times and places. God, however, longs to be experienced continually – that is, eternally. That’s why it’s called eternal life.
Are you aware of Him now?
If you experience eternal life, your days of reading this blog will diminish and end. Let this blog decrease, let Him increase.