“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, English Standard Version)
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, New Living Translation)
The second of those verses is probably one of the first verses that many of us learned in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. It is probably the most well-known, most memorized, most repeated of the 31,102 verses in the Bible. (I did not count them. I found that on Wikipedia, so it must be right.)
And rightfully so. There is no greater promise. There is no greater love. But what does it really mean? Is it about living forever in heaven in the sweet by and by?
Yes. And no.
Eternal life will continue in the future, but we are not waiting until we die to experience it. In the prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17, He said that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus whom God sent. In other words, once you know God personally through faith in Jesus, you are no longer waiting for eternal life. You have it!
Eternal life will absolutely get better the longer it lasts. That’s why you really can’t have your best life now. But the life you have NOW in Jesus is as eternal as it gets.
Wouldn’t it be cool to see a sign at a sporting event that said, “John 17:3?” Sometimes I just want to mess with people.
Question: How deeply are you experiencing eternal life NOW?
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your perspective.