“Mr. James, the principal would like to talk with you. Can you come down right now, please?” If you think kids get worried about going to the principal’s office, you should see teachers when they get a call like that. I recall all the things I’ve done wrong in the last week. I wonder which parent I should have called that might have a complaint; or which parent I probably shouldn’t have called. I wonder which kid may have said something about my class. I wonder which teacher may have complained about me. I hate that uncertainty of wondering what I did wrong. Very few of us like uncertainty. We want to know the situation. We want to know how to react.
Life is uncertain, though. Too many things happen that are outside of our control. Medical events happen. Situations arise that we couldn’t have foreseen: some good, some bad. We have everything planned to the minute for a big event and weather wreaks havoc on our plans. How uncertain is life? They even have a principle in physics called Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that tells us that we can’t predict, at the sub-atomic level, how specific particles will react. In the midst of our uncertainty, we do have one thing we know for sure. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
It’s interesting that when most Christians see the phrase “eternal life” they immediately think of their home in heaven after they die. I really can’t imagine John having that view of eternal life. John was there when Jesus taught on this earth and Jesus taught about the kingdom of God happening now. True eternity has no beginning, as well as no end, which is why we consider God eternal. Our life is eternal when we become God’s Children by recognizing and accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us. Eternal life is not so much a measurement of how long our lives will be as it is a measurement of the quality of our life because we have accepted His grace. The word believe has a stronger meaning than just the acceptance of knowledge here; the word “believe” deals with a life-changing commitment to God through Jesus Christ.
I wish I could tell you exactly what eternal life will be like for you. In truth, though, God sets us on different paths here on earth. We have different experiences. We meet different people. I can tell you God does that so that we can help others with our experiences. I can’t tell you with certainty what eternal life will look like before we die or after we die; but I can tell you with certainty that if you believe in the name (the whole being of a person) of the Son of God you can be guaranteed that He gives you the opportunity to walk with Him each day. Eternal life is life with a greater purpose than acquiring wealth, fame, or power. Eternal life’s greater purpose is that we have the opportunity to share the love of God with each and every person we meet. Sometimes that means giving a smile to a person who needs it. Sometimes God calls us to a very tangible ministry of love and reconciliation with Him. I can tell you with certainty, though, that once you understand the power of God in your life; once you understand your position in eternal life, you will certainly follow God joyfully.
Lord, this one thing I know: You love me. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin and restore my fellowship with You. Let me live in the sure and certain knowledge that You love me and that You care about the people in this world. Let me love them with Your kind of love.