Tuesday, December 2, 2014

We Need to Know that We Have Eternal Life

We need to know that nothing can separate us from our Savior Jesus:

  • Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

Paul argued that if we truly know that we are eternally safe in our Savior, we can be bold, ever “more than conquerors!” Why? Because we know that nothing can separate us from our Savior Jesus.

This is what gave King David confidence:

  • I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol [the grave], or let your holy one [the Messiah] see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:7-11)
David proclaimed that “my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” What had produced such gladness and rejoicing? He confessed that it was “the Lord who gives me counsel.” What instruction did the Lord give him that made the difference? The Lord revealed to him that he would outlive the grave.

However, David’s joy wasn’t simply a matter of knowing that he was guaranteed eternal life. He was guaranteed a glorious eternal life, one where there would be “fullness of joy… pleasures forevermore.”

Even more, these joys and pleasures were to be based on the most incredible love relationship in “your presence.” It will not be impersonal, as if joy and pleasure can be impersonal. This joy cannot be embedded within a relation-less universal consciousness where there is no other. No! These joys will be relational, based in love, in an eternal marriage that far surpasses any earthly marriage.

What is the “presence” of the Lord? Our God is cryptic in this regard. However, elsewhere, God distinguishes Himself from His Presence:

  • I will send an angel before you [Israel], and I will drive out the Canaanites… but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people… And he [God] said [to Moses], “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:2-3, 14; also 23:20-21)
Mysteriously, God would be present through His Presence (His Angel, His “Holy One) so that He would “give you [Israel] rest.” This is the very rest we find in His Messiah, the Holy One.

The Book of Hebrews instructs us to “Run with endurance the race [with its struggles] that is set before us.” But from where does this endurance - this confidence in eternal life - come? How can we have endurance if we are not confident that our Savior will never leave us? We can’t! However, Scripture equates the hope and expectation of Jesus with our guaranteed hope:

  • Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2) 
Jesus is to be our example. We need to confidently look to Him and know that Jesus’ unshakable hope, which had enabled Him to endure, is also our hope and expectation! Only with this assurance can we look to Him!

We will be with Him forevermore. This was the very hope that the Lord had revealed to David. The Holy One would not remain in the grave. Neither would David!

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