Eternal Life: Living forever, or something more?

Eternal Life: the least understood phrase in the church today?

Maybe not, but possibly.

I believe these two simple words have been very much misunderstood in the church today. Not that it has been missed, ignored, or even wrongly interpreted, but instead it has only been partially interpreted and defined in our age.

We are all aware that, being washed in the Blood of Jesus, and having the promise of the Holy Spirit, “guaranteeing that which is to come”, that we will live forever with Jesus Christ in glory. This is a promise of God to His children, that we may dwell in the “New Jerusalem”. And this is what many take as the meaning of “eternal life” that Jesus spoke so freely of. However, I believe that this is only a small piece of a much greater, and much more blessed reality.

A Spring of Living Water Welling Up…

Jesus met with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He asks her, “Will you give Me a drink?” The woman, being a Samaritan who do not associate with Jews, replies, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. How is it that You ask me for a drink?” So not only was this person a Samaritan, but a woman at that. In that time it would have been considered a taboo for a Jew male to interact with a Samaritan female! But nonetheless, Jesus responds. “If you knew the gift of God and who is is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” Of course, this woman had no clue who she was speaking to.

Then comes Jesus’ most beautiful, most life-filled response. This response is such a glorious summary of who He is, what He did, and how that changes the lives of you and me. It even explains how you and I are to live the Christian life while on earth.

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water that I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

In my estimation, this passage simply doesn’t make much sense if “eternal life” is reduced to only living forever in Heaven. Though that is a part of it, that is not the full reality.

The full reality is that Jesus Christ is the Living Water. He is the Eternal Life that is a spring welling up, pouring out, quenching thirst, and giving life to men and women. He is that life. The “spring of living water welling up to eternal life” is the very substance that holds all life together; the very thing that created all things, and lives in all things: Jesus Christ.

Yes, you have a deep spring of Life living within you. This Life, or living water, is the most fertile substance on earth. But it isn’t just a substance, or a thing–it’s a Person.

Jesus Christ isn’t this figure, this it that lives in Heaven that tells you and I what to do all day every day. He isn’t someone who just created a bunch of plant and animal life, earth and soil, stars and sky, that simply places you and me here to live to the best of our finite ability. No, that would make us like pets, and we simply are not that!

No, He is the God that not only created all things, but He is the very essence of His creation. He dwells within His creation and He is the life that causes trees to grow, stars to shine, and air to breath. He is all and in all.

The very Person that causes this life, the very Person that gave air to breath, lives inside of us once we believe. He comes to dwell in such a way that causes us to be springs, vessels, reservoirs of living water. This living water is something that at any second, any hour of the day, in any situation, we can draw from. This is what it means to “never thirst”. We are never in lack of any of the infinite riches that are in Christ.

We just have to learn how to use a bucket to draw from this well.

The Glory of the Church

So, eternal life isn’t just a neat phrase to describe living forever. No, it is the life that is in Jesus Christ, the life that is Jesus Christ. For His life is eternal, for He is eternal. That water has been shared with you and me. We may drink of Him at any moment. We may share and partake of this life as well. Not only for our own needs, but for others as well.

We may share this water that is within us to others. This is the task of the church and this is the glory of the church: to make Christ manifest and expressed by sharing the living water with one another and with those around us. This is at the very heart of the Father, that is, to make Christ known and visible here on earth. It is a very interesting thing to ponder that humans long so much to be in Heaven while God longs to be made known and visible on earth (I won’t go any further with that thought, I’ll leave that one to you 🙂 )

So think about that next time you see or hear the phrase “eternal life.” Don’t think only of living forever, but think of Him!

Amen.

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24 thoughts on “Eternal Life: Living forever, or something more?

Add yours

  1. Beautiful truth Michael, and you state it so eloquently. And this is truly God’s plan to touch the world through us for “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38. This living water flowing out of us, is what draws the thirsty to the only One who will satisfy.

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  2. Excellent post, Michael! Great add-on, Lisa :). We have a deep well of the Spirit within our innermost being. But, He wants to expand and grow and saturate us to the point that He overflows out of us as a River.

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  3. Great post, Michael. We definitely need a revitalization of this concept in our day. Mostly to see it is not a concept at all but a Person, a living inward experience!

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  4. Amen, Michael. He is the Eternal Now. On Earth as it is in Heaven-eternal life is for now too. It is both duration and quality. And it flows entirely from him.

    I so look forward to being raised to life with you all in FL.

    Your Brother, Steve

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  5. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

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  6. As the song goes. “There’s a life that’s living on the earth today the life is Christ in all His own.”
    Thank God Eternal Life is not a ticket outa here. But it is found in a Person when that Person is found in us. He is all in all. And that is as simple as believing. I love you bro. Keep pointing us to Christ.

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  7. Well said, Michael! Eternal Life doesn’t just refer to a length of time, it refers to a type of life, the very life that lived inside of Jesus during His earthly life and the same life that is growing in us through Christ. God’s very own life is the type of life that He has desired us to partake of and live by since before creation. So cool. Thanks for the great insight 🙂

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  8. I love that you included the story of the Samaritan woman on this post because I think we can all relate to her. I often find myself feeling unworthy of Christ just as the woman did, but Christ will always approach us, chase us, and teach us. I like how you said Jesus “dwells within His creation,” God didn’t just create us to leave us, he created us to love us. This sotry goes to well with understanding how Christ is the living water. I am excited to keep reading your posts!

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