One question that people often ask me is, “What is eternal life?”
Often when we think of eternal life we think about heaven. We focus on a place.
Is heaven eternal life?
If I’m looking for a definition regarding a matter of faith, I’m always doing to go to the Bible to find it. Regarding the matter of eternal life, Scripture provides us with its clear meaning.
In a prayer to the Father Jesus stated,
This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent — Jesus Christ.John 17:3 (CSB)
Eternal life is not seeing our relative who has passed on. It’s not us going to heaven after we die. It is not about a place that is our destiny as Christ followers. No eternal life is about a person, Jesus Christ.
Eternal life is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We can only know God through Christ. So, Christ is our pursuit. Christ followers spend their lives seeking to know God more through Jesus Christ.
Because eternal life is centered around knowing Christ, heaven would not be heaven apart from Christ. Christ is our focus. If we look forward to heaven, it is because there we will know Christ as we are fully known. One Puritan pastor put it this way,
Heaven itself would not satisfy without Christ.Thomas Watson
So, are you pursuing Christ? Are you running to His Word and to prayer so that you can know Him more? Are you growing in your relationship with Him?
Eternal life begins the minute you turn from your sins and turn to follow Christ.
Are you experiencing eternal life? Do you know Jesus? Will you give you life to Him today?
If you want to know more about this, send me a message.
(Click here for more posts from Tim McKnight.)
Tim is the Director of the Global Center for Youth Ministry and Associate Professor for Youth Ministry & Missions at Anderson University. He is lead pastor/planter of Mosaic Church of Anderson. Tim is also the author of Engaging Generation Z (Kregel Academic), No Better Gospel (Seeds Publishing Group), and the author and editor of Navigating Student Ministry (B&H Academic). His comments do not reflect the views of his employers and are his own personal views on various subjects.