In Eternal Life and Death (Part 2)

We believe those who have remained faithful to Jesus will reign with Him through all eternity and those who reject Him will be eternally separated from Him.

Sin separates us from the life-giving presence of God. The Bible teaches that if people continue on this trajectory apart from God, they’ll experience eternal separation from him (i.e., death/hell).

But how can we experience eternal life in God’s presence?

Remain Faithful. People who believe in King Jesus and remain loyal to him will enter the kingdom of God. Believing means acknowledging Jesus is in charge and then acting like it.

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Whoa! Wait a minute…what’s he talking about?

This verse shouldn’t scare us, but it should make us stop and think. Jesus isn’t saying we can “lose our salvation;” He’s saying, ‘If you call me Lord but don’t actually live like it, you never had salvation to begin with. You never really believed!’

James (Jesus’ half-brother) agrees and tells us that faith without works isn’t faith at all (2:14-26). He’s not advocating salvation by works; he’s agreeing with Paul that when we believe the Good News, the Holy Spirit renews us and transforms us into a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). Remaining faithful to Jesus—following and obeying him—is a natural result of this transformation and results in all kinds of good works (i.e., spiritual fruit; see Galatians 5:16-26).

So, we remain faithful by cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He makes us more like Jesus. The Bible encourages us to stay on track and warns us not to veer off course (see Hebrews 10:19-39).

Reign with Jesus. Finally, the Bible promises that everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus, but those who are in Christ will be declared “not guilty” because Jesus was already judged on their behalf. Redeemed humans who stay the course until the end will live to see a new beginning! We’ll reign with Jesus at the final union of heaven and earth (see Revelation 5:1022:5).

Makes you look at people differently, doesn’t it?

-Josh Masterman