ON SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE

 

DISCLOSURE

This work of Making Disciples believes and preaches on God's salvation and His promised eternal life that He desires for all man to attain. However, we are not aligned with any of Christianity's teachings that all those who will be saved from God's judgment will automatically be rewarded with eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. We believe that although all who will call upon the Name of The Lord will be saved, only those from among them who observe The Lord's conditions and guarantees for eternal life will receive it.

GOD'S TEACHING ON SALVATION

       

(ISAIAH 49:6 NKJV unless otherwise noted)

6 Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be
My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to
restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a 
light to the Gentiles,
That You should be
My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

 

In the prophetic words of the Prophet Isaiah, there is One whom God gave to become His salvation for the entire world. How can God’s salvation through His Servant cover the entire world? It is due to the fact that although His primary work is to restore the preserved ones of Israel He was also given as a light to the Gentiles, and as we know it, the Gentiles are the majority of the world.

 

Who could be this prophesied Servant of God? And how could the Gentiles also be saved through Him as their light also?

 

(JOHN 3:16)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life

 

(JOHN 1:6-12)

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name… 

 

(JOHN 8:12 COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE)

12 Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.” 

 

The Apostle John testified that the One given to the world is none other than God’s only Begotten Son whose earthly name was Yeshua. He was the true light who gives the right to become children of God to those who believe in His name (Jn. 3:16 / 1:12), and gives the light of life to those who follow Him (Jn. 8:12).

 

THE NEED FOR SALVATION

Why do all men need salvation? From what do they need to be saved?

 

(ZEPHANIAH 1:2-3, 18)

2 “I will utterly consume everything
From the face of the land,”
Says the Lord;
3 “I will consume man and beast;
I will consume the birds of the heavens,
The fish of the sea,
And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked.
I will
cut off man from the face of the land,”
Says the Lord…

18 Neither their silver nor their gold
Shall be able to deliver them
In the
day of the Lord’s wrath;
But the
whole land shall be devoured
By the fire of His jealousy,
For He will make
speedy riddance
Of all those who dwell in the land.

 

The Almighty God already decreed an end to the world on the day of His wrath, otherwise known as the Day of Judgment (Mat. 12:36 / 2 Pet. 3:7). How did Apostle Peter summarize the events that would take place on the Day of Judgment?

 

(2 PETER 3:7, 10-12)

7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat

 

The fact that God sent His Son in order for man to have a chance to escape from the world’s judgment truly reflects His pure love and mercy unto mankind.

 

FALLACIES ON SALVATION

From the many variant of the Christian faith comes a wide variety of teachings concerning salvation. The most notable doctrines whose adherents when added together make up the majority of the almost 2 billion Christians are the four conflicting doctrines that we will study below. It is important for us to study these teachings not to condemn anyone of their understanding but to give every believer a chance to align his understanding only on the precepts of The Christ when it comes to God’s mercy of salvation through Him.

 

PREDESTINATION DOCTRINE IN CALVINISM

What is the doctrine of Predestination?

 

Predestination is the doctrine that God alone chooses (elects) who is saved. He makes His choice independent of any quality or condition in sinful man. He does not look into a person and recognize something good nor does He look into the future to see who would choose Him. He elects people to salvation purely on the basis of His good pleasure. Those not elected are not saved. He does this because He is sovereign; that is, He has the absolute authority, right, and ability to do with His creation as He pleases. He has the right to elect some to salvation and let all the rest go their natural way: to hell. This is predestination.

(https://www.calvinistcorner.com/predestination.htm)

 

The doctrine of Predestination, which started with John Calvin during the Reformation in the 16th Century, teaches that salvation is done solely by God’s personal discretion, and that man has nothing to do with it. That supposedly this process does not credit any of man’s actions or lack thereof, that only those whom God personally chooses will be saved no matter how holy or wicked an individual could be. This is one doctrine that could demotivate from doing what is good in the eyes of God since his fate is not within his control.

 

This specific teaching go against the Divine Purpose of God in sending His Son to become the Savior of the world (Isa. 49;6 / Jn. 3:16), if at the end His salvation does not need any sort of a process. And surely it goes against the mercy of The Savior reflected in His statement that whoever comes to Him will He surely receive and not cast out: 

(JOHN 6:37)

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out

(JOHN 10:9)

 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

The Savior opened up His salvation unto everyone. Those who come and enter by Him will be saved and will not be cast out. This non-prejudicial outlook of The Christ Yeshua simply exposes the falsity in Calvinism that salvation could only be had by specific people who were predetermined by God for salvation.

 

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE (SOLA FIDE) AMONG PROTESTANTS

What is the doctrine known as Justification by Faith Alone?

 

Sola fide (Latin: by faith alone), also known as justification by faith alone, is a Christian theological doctrine commonly held to distinguish many Protestant churches from the Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches.

The doctrine of sola fide asserts God's pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith alone, excluding all "works". 

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_fide)

 

This teaching is very close to the light of The Savior’s Gospel on salvation. However, there is just a need for us to correct a slight error in their understanding of ‘works’ in regards to one’s quest for salvation.

 

(JOHN 6:28-29)

28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

 

According to The Savior, believing in Him as the One whom God sent (Isa. 49:6 / Jn. 3:16) is already working the work of God! For the adherents of SOLA FIDE or the doctrine on Justification by Faith Alone, they have to make a slight adjustment to their belief and acknowledge that believing in The Savior Yeshua is already an act or work which is necessary for one’s salvation.

 

What else needs to be understood by all who believe in this doctrinal discipline regarding salvation? The other works or acts required by The Savior in order for one to benefit from His salvation:

 

(Luke 6:37-38)

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

 

Here are a couple of other acts, deeds or works required by The Savior and have a direct correlation with one’s salvation:

 

  1. To not judge or condemn – Since man is judgmental by nature and culture, one actually needs to exert much effort to not fall into a judge or condemn. This has everything to do with one’s salvation simply because failing to guard one’s mind and heart makes fall into the status of being judged or condemned by God.

  2. To forgive – It is just as important as being non-judgmental in such that this is one way that one can be forgiven of his/her sins. Failing to forgive means falling into being unforgiven, a status that prevents one from receiving God’s grace of salvation.

 

While having faith unto God and His Son is very important for salvation, one should not go to the extreme of disregarding the critical importance of love-based works or deeds that are required by none other than The Savior himself, otherwise his faith will be deemed dead and useless (Js. 2:20, 17, 14).

 

SALVATION BY MERIT BY CATHOLICS AND CULTS

The first two teachings on salvation are from two different major Protestant disciplines. On the extreme opposite is the teaching of Catholicism which gives a good amount of emphasis on merit based on one’s work. It is for this same reason that being saintly as well as sainthood is given a great importance as they are to reflected by anyone in his quest for salvation. What even make the scenario very inclined towards salvation by merit and works is their reliance on the different sacraments particularly that of Penance (which also includes confession to a priest), Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, as well as their supposed ability to reduce the temporal punishment for sin after death through their systematic process called Indulgence. These sacraments and rites could very well qualify as the “teachings as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat. 15:9). In this discussion, let us skip the Catholics’ sacraments and practice on indulgences (this topics necessitate an entire article) so we won’t alienate the other Christian groups who also base their doctrine on salvation on merit and good works.

 

Catholicism’s general overview on salvation very well reflect many other Christian groups:

 

"Are you saved?" asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: "As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13)." 

(https://www.catholic.com/tract/assurance-of-salvation)

 

The main basis for the teaching that salvation is by merit or works that is shared both by the Catholic Churches as well as with many other denominations are the writings of Paul, the self-proclaimed apostle. However, how would this teaching fare when compared with the Gospel of The Savior?

 

(JOHN 4:36-38)

36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

 

This statement of The Savior rebukes the fallacy of the merit based salvation doctrine of Catholicism as well as many other legalistic church groups. The works of holiness that they base from the writings of Paul does not hold water when compared with the Gospel of The Christ Yeshua. How can salvation and eternal life be based on merit when The Savior gave it for free without expecting any return? However, which is this work that is not required by The Savior? The works or actions that result from a legalistic view point which is based on the old paradigm of obedience unto the many commandments. On the other hand, which is the works or actions that have great relevance toward salvation? The works of love that makes one non-judgmental, fair or righteous and forgiving.

 

How else did The Christ Yeshua present this truth?

 

(MATTHEW 9:13)

13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

 

While many church groups promote the need to do pious and devotional acts that require one to sacrifice himself and his resources, The Savior’s teaching leans on the contrary. What should we learn from The Lord’s perspective? That all of man’s effort and sacrifices amount to nothing in relation to his service to The Lord. On the other hand, what is the acts of mercy that He so desires? That is the acts of being forgiving, fair and non-judgmental as these deeds is the manifestation of His love that is pure, the same love that He wants us to possess (Mat. 15:9-10).

 

THROUGH CHURCH MEMBERSHIP BY CULTIST GROUPS

The last but certainly not the least in our most acknowledged fallacies about salvation is that which have been the cause of many divisions, strife and even murder among different church groups who are competing to grow their membership. The teaching that salvation can be attained by becoming registered members in their respective organizations by usually undergoing through an indoctrination process that culminates in the baptism of the newly inducted member. Some of the big church organizations that promote this cultist doctrine are the Roman Catholic Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Iglesia ni Cristo (1914) and many other cults from around the world.

 

Common teachings among the churches that emphasize on the importance of church membership are the following:

 

  1. The church or congregation of The Savior as an organized institution

  2. Their claim of having direct connection with The Savior either through a direct ascension of authority or being the restored church as the case may be

  3. The supremacy of a God-appointed human leader who has the authority to enact and enforce regulations and to interpret the Scriptures   

 

Is the exclusivist teaching that points to one’s church as the sole means for people to attain salvation and eternal life in line with The Savior’s teachings? Of course, not. In fact, their claim to be the exclusive organization where one needs to belong to be counted as God’s children is in direct contrast with the teaching of The Savior. How?

 

(JOHN 3:5-8)

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

The Savior likened the true children of God, those who are truly born again as they are now born of the Spirit to the wind. If so, then they are not an organization with no human teachers but Him (Mat. 23:8-10). How did all the churches become into earthly organizations? They were made to believe and follow the erroneous teaching of Paul advocating the church to be a structured organization that sprouted from his faulty understanding of The Lord’s congregation to be His body on earth (Col. 1:18 / Rom. 12:4-5 / 1 Cor. 12:27 / Eph. 4:4).

 

The truth is, this exclusivist teachings run against God’s divine purpose in sending His Son to be the world’s savior. What makes them fall into an erroneous understanding that people’s salvation and chance for eternal life is contingent on their membership on their particular church or organization? Their faulty understanding of the statement of The Christ concerning the Ekklesia that He promised to build in Matthew 16v18. Their understanding on this specific passage is based on Paul’s perspective instead. They should base their understanding of Matthew 16v18 on Apostle Peter’s testimony since he was the one present with The Savior in that scene – in fact, he was the one given the keys or understanding about it (Mat. 16:19). Base on Peter’s testimony, the Ekklesia that He promised to build is the Spiritual House (1 Pet. 2:5), the same Holy City or New Jerusalem that was seen by Apostle John in his vision (Rev. 21:2). This is, after all, the incorruptible and undefiled inheritance in heaven that is kept by God’s power (1 Pet 1:4-5), so that the gates of Hades (or simply the world’s darkness and corruption) will not prevail over it (Mat. 16:18).

 

How about their doctrines that it is through their church or organization that God put a direct line of authority through their leadership, and that through this authority man can have a connection with God and His Son? To answer that we have to ask this question:  How many intercessor does man need to be connected with God? Isn’t The Christ Yeshua not yet enough?

 

To be fair, let us find out from The Savior. Does anyone need anybody to connect him to God and His Son?

 

(JOHN 6:37)

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out

 

For one to be received by The Savior all he has to do is to come to him. He needs no one else’s help in order to be received by Him. On the contrary, how deceitful is it as a teaching that specific human entities possess the authority of The Savior to bring anyone unto Him and unto God?

 

(MARK 10:42-43)

42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant

 

The sad truth is that The Savior forbade even the apostles to exercise authority over any other disciple. How could the movement of The Messiah become an organization when to simply exert authority is forbidden by Him?

 

We have just presented to you the most common doctrines that are prevalent in the Christian world. And as we have just proven, not one of them – may it be the predestination or faith alone or by merit of any work of holiness or by church membership – holds water when compared with the gospel of salvation of The Savior Yeshua-Christos.

 

HOW THE MESSIAH SAVES  

What then is the complete wisdom of The Lord’s paradigm on how He will save man from the total destruction of the world and complete annihilation of all of its inhabitants, both humans and animals alike?

 

(JOHN 10:9)

 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 

 

(JOHN 14:6)

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

(JOHN 17:20-21)

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

 

Through an analogy, the Savior Yeshua likened himself to a door for everyone’s salvation (Jn. 10:9), the only way to The Father (Jn. 14:6) in order to be received in the Sacred Union of God The Father and His Son (Jn. 17:21).

 

Who is guaranteed to benefit from this salvation of The Christ Yeshua?

 

(JOHN 6:37)

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out

 

Everyone who comes unto The Savior will truly be received. This is directly contradicting Christianity’s basic tenet that in the end only those who are ‘holy’ and are able to keep away from sin are acceptable to The Lord. While it is true that those who already came to The Christ should live in ‘holy conduct and godliness’ (2 Pet. 3:11), however even those who have not lived in such a code can still come unto The Savior for salvation through repentance (Mat. 9:13). This statement of The Savior also breaks down into pieces the exclusivist doctrine of some Christian groups with an outrageous claim to be the exclusive church for man’s salvation – the salvation of Yeshua is for each individual who comes to Him and not for any individual church!

 

How did Apostle Peter shed light on this Gospel of The Christ Yeshua concerning salvation?

 

(ACTS 3:14-16, 21)

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel

21 And it shall come to pass
That 
whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’

 

With the guidance of The Holy Spirit on the Pentecost, Peter declared The Lord’s salvation before a multitude of people from different nationalities and echoed the Prophet Joel’s prophecy that anyone who calls on the name of The Lord shall be saved. This means that even on man’s last breath, if he calls on the name of The Lord he will also be saved from the destruction of the world and punishment of mankind. And for those who will be alive when all the things in the prophecies begin to happen, salvation from the same will still be received by anyone who calls on The Lord’s name.

 

REMISSION AND REPENTANCE

At the core of The Savior’s salvation is His teaching on repentance and remission. All about His salvation has got to do with this teaching:

 

(LUKE 24:46-47)

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 

 

For the suffering and death of The Christ to make sense and be benefited by people, repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name. This is the due process of God through His Son upon which His righteousness (or simply fairness) towards mankind will become comprehensible in such that even if man could never ever get to the status of holiness before God he can still avail of God’s pardon through forgiveness. Why is this important? It is because if man’s sins are unforgiven by God, then he cannot be saved nor receive eternal life and the promised inheritance.

 

How can man, despite the fact that he could never ever attain the status of being clean by himself, be cleansed from his sins through God’s forgiveness?

 

(LUKE 6:37)

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven

 

Knowing of man’s need to be forgiven, The Savior simplified the process with the guarantee that it will work. Here’s how He guarantees everyone God’s forgiveness - “forgive and you will be forgiven.” This statement is with certainty – WILL be forgiven. As He broke down all the barriers that could prevent man from availing of God’s mercy - these are the different rites, rituals and other man made teachings (Mat. 15:9), He did the same especially on forgiveness. And so, it has become His expectation that anyone who wants to avail of God’s mercy through forgiveness MUST also forgive those who offended them. How did He emphasize on the great relevance of forgiveness in relation with man’s relationship with God?

 

(MATTHEW 6:8-12)

8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And 
forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

 

When one prays he hallows or worship God. The Christ wants us to understand that it is during our worship (prayer) unto God that we can already be forgiven of our debts (or sins) unto Him. How should we ask for forgiveness? According to Him, we need to ask for forgiveness in the same manner that we forgive others. This only means that even before we ask for forgiveness we must have already forgiven those who have done us wrong. There’s simply no other way but His simplest of ways.

 

Although The Lord’s process for forgiveness is simplified to its simplest terms, however it would seem impossible for many to forgive all who have done them wrong. Everyone can forgive some but not everyone is willing to forgive those who have deeply hurt and offended them. How can one forgive everyone who has offended him?

 

What did The Savior teach so that everyone can forgive all those who have done them wrong?

 

(LUKE 6:40)

40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher

 

(JOHN 15:9-10)

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

 

(JOHN 8:12)

 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one

 

For us to be able to forgive everyone we have to be like-minded with The Savior. For this reason, He wants us to be like Him (Lk. 6:40) and to abide in His love (Jn. 15:10) because His love is pure and can forgive everyone. How could His love be pure? It is simply because He judges no one – He is not judgmental. This is how He wants us to be (like Him) so that we can forgive everyone and receive God’s forgiveness in the process.

 

NOT ALL WHO ARE SAVED WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

As we have earlier disclosed, we do not adhere to Christianity's teaching that all who are saved will also inherit eternal life. Our ministry is in no way condemning anyone base on his or her doctrinal stance. We are simply presenting here the possibility how the universally accepted understanding about eternal life being part of the salvation package lacks certainty. Our task is to share to the world that which is certain on attaining both God’s salvation from the world’s condemnation as well as inheriting the promised eternal life, the life that God’s Son possessed ever since He was begotten by The Father.

GOSPEL TRUTH ON ETERNAL LIFE

(JOHN 4:13-14)

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The Savior Yeshua guarantees everlasting life unto anyone who drinks of the water that comes from Him. This fountain of water is the living water or the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:38-39) which are the words that He has spoken (Jn. 6:63).

 

How can the words of The Christ be the Spirit that can bring eternal life unto those who receive them? The words of The Savior are the Spirit that guarantees eternal life. What then must one do to benefit from His guarantees for eternal life?

 

(JOHN 11:25)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies

 

It is very important that everyone who wants to receive the guaranteed eternal life have to believe in Him through the words that He has left us. Simply declaring that one believes in Yeshua to be God’s Son who was sent to become The Savior of the world is what Apostle James expressed as ‘dead faith’ (Js. 2:14-20).

WHO CAN RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE?

The common understanding in Christianity is that everyone who is saved automatically will possess the promised eternal life in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. Is this universal understanding aligned with the precept of The Messiah?

 

While it is gospel truth that anyone who believes in The Christ Yeshua as God’s Son and Savior is not condemned (Jn. 3:18), and that by calling on the name of The Lord one will be saved from God’s judgment (Acts 2:21), however not one of those verses stated that those who will be saved from condemnation will also possess eternal life in heaven. This statement will surely spark a great disagreement from all preachers in just about the entirety of Christianity.

 

A sure thing they will do is invoke the verse in John 3v16 arguing that therein lies the guarantee of everlasting life to all who believe in The Christ Yeshua? Does John 3:16 really guarantee eternal life to all those who believe in The Savior?

 

Let us bring back John 3:16 and study deeper the undeniable yet universally overlooked message in this passage.

 

(JOHN 3:16)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life

 

We would like to bring our focus on the second phrase of the verse: “that whoever believes in Him SHOULD NOT perish but have everlasting life.” The majority of the English translation used either the auxiliary verb ‘should’ or ‘may’. There are only a couple of exemptions, one in particular is the New American Standard Bible where it uses the word ‘shall’ instead. What does it denote when the auxiliary verb should or may is used? It projects being conditional and therefore lacking the certainty, otherwise the auxiliary verb used should have been ‘shall’ or ‘will’.

 

What could be conditional in this passage of John 3v16?

 

(JOHN 8:31-32)

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 

Let us take note of a couple of things in this declaration of The Savior:

 

  1. First, He was addressing a group of Jews who already believed in Him

  2. Second, the condition that He gave them – The Savior gave the condition, “if you ABIDE in My Word…

  3. Third, the reason He gave them the condition and why – so that they shall truth that makes people free. This is the freedom from condemnation (Jn. 3:18) and from death or perishing (Jn. 3:16).

 

If believing in The Savior is sufficient, why would He bother to ensure that those who already believed Him receive the truth that can set them free from condemnation and death? Although the passages in John 3:16 and also in John 11:25 state the importance of believing in The Savior to receive eternal life, one’s belief or faith should be aligned with His words – and not on hearsays or erroneous teachings. Which is the ‘words’ or teachings of The Christ that would guarantee believers, the people who are saved from condemnation, to live again even if he or she dies (Jn. 11:25)?

 

Below are The Lord’s teachings that guarantee eternal life to those who will believe and follow them. This is the truth that sets people free.

THE LORD’S GUARANTEES FOR ETERNAL LIFE

Here are the seven guarantees for eternal life as declared by The Savior:

1st Guarantee: Knowing the Father of Yeshua to be the only true God

(John 17:1-3)

1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 

It is very important to recognize The Father as the only true God according to The Christ Yeshua for, “this is eternal life.” Those who believe in the ‘trinity’ doctrine about God, that aside from The Father, The Lord Yeshua and The Holy Spirit are also Gods, should immediately purge themselves from this lie and false teaching that takes away eternal life from everyone who believes in it. This false teaching is fathered by the devil, the father of all lies (John 8:44).

2nd Guarantee: Believing in the Son of God

(John 3:14-18 / also Jn 3:36; 6:40, 47)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

Believing in The Lord Yeshua-Christos as Him who was sent by God for man's salvation is eternal life.  If so, then one cannot escape the necessity of reading the gospel books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in order to receive the truth that leads to the right understanding and faith in Him. The words of The Lord Yeshua and the accounts of His earthly life are documented in these books. Aside from the four (Canonical) gospel books mentioned above, we can also incorporate in our study the (Gnostic) gospel books as presented by the other apostles and disciples that the Catholic Church decided to not only exclude but destroy as decided by the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 AD.

3rd Guarantee: The warning - Do not grieve The Holy Spirit

(Matthew 12:31-32)

31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

 

This one guarantee comes in a form of a warning, and failure to heed this warning will lead to condemnation instead. To speak against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy without forgiveness. 

 

The Holy Spirit is the God’s Desire or Divine Will/Purpose unto man that was personified in God’s Son Yeshua while He was still on earth. These are the very words of The Christ Yeshua (John 6:63) that He left in the world that have become a very powerful and highly intelligent entity that does His work for Him (including the act of judging people on judgment day - John 12:46-48). Teaching and believing in any teaching that does not completely conform to the Words of Christ is speaking against His words, or the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should give the highest importance in preserving the integrity of the words of Christ, as they give life and salvation to those who believe, death and judgment to those who do not.

4th Guarantee: Hearing The Lord’s voice and believing in His Divine Word

(John 5:24)

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

(John 10:27-28)

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

(John 6:68)

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Hearing the words of The Savior leads one to receive eternal life. Once again, if one needs to hear, know and believe in The Word or Truth of Christ then he or she really has to prioritize reading the gospel books to accomplish The Lord’s requirement. A disciple then cannot escape the necessity of making regular gospel reading a part of his life.

 

5th Guarantee: Eating the body and drinking of his blood and His water, a pact with His followers

 

(John 6:54-56)

54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

(John 4:13-14)

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

 

(John 6:27)

27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

 

The food or bread, and fruit of the vine or water represent material things that can sustain man’s life. This is man’s common understanding. For this reason, The Lord likened Himself to those things as He is the food or bread and drink from heaven who can truly sustain man’s life, eternal life that is. He wants us to always remember this fact, especially every time we eat that we may always remember Him and give higher value of Him and His Word MORE THAN our daily sustenance.

6th Guarantee: Those who left everything in order to follow The Lord

(Luke 18:28-30)

28 Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

 

The believers who committed to the work of The Lord Christ and followed Him became His disciples and they were promised earthly blessing and most especially eternal life. The very message of The Lord is that if we want to follow Him we should not allow our own family to hinder us from doing such. Even in our present time, there will be times when we have to leave our family behind in order to do the preaching of God’s Kingdom. But why not involve everyone in the family so we can all share in the work of The Christ? With the advances in transportation and technology, we don’t even have to leave our household anymore. In our time, we can even use the Internet to share the Kingdom of God and the teachings of The Christ.

7th Guarantee: He who hates his life in this world

(John 12:25-26)

25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

 

This specific guarantee of Christ seems closely intertwined with His other guarantee concerning those who left everything in order to follow Him, as proven by His statement in verse 26, “if anyone serves Me, let him follow Me”. The statement of Christ concerning hating one’s life is a figure of speech, and not to be taken literally. It simply means that He does not want us to be very comfortable in this life that we end up neglecting Him and His work and forgetting the life that He promised. This understanding is proven true with His commandment unto us to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (as recorded in Matthew 6:33) - the Kingdom of God being The Christ’s governance or reign with the Government, Authority and Power of God, while God’s righteousness that we should seek above everything is The Christ Himself as recorded in Isaiah 42:6.

THE NEED TO OBSERVE THE SEVEN GUARANTEES

Now that we receive the understanding of The Lord’s guarantees for eternal life, should we observe them all as a package or can we pick and choose which one/s to observe? Can we still be guaranteed to receive the life of The Savior should we willingly fail to observe any one of His guarantees for eternal life?

For one who has a genuine desire to receive not just salvation but also eternal life, the surest way to receive it would be to observe all of The Lord’s guarantees for eternal life. With this reasoning, it would not be a logical decision and a big gamble to set aside any one of His instructions. After all, they were given as guarantees for the reason that anyone who truly desires His life can have the certainty of attaining it.

 

Aside from being cautious and logical, what makes us believe on the great relevance in observing all of The Lord’s seven guarantees as an evangelical requirement? What scriptural evidence or reasoning makes us to believe so?

 

(ROMANS 11:26)

26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob…

 

The New Testament writer Paul once declared that all Israel will be saved. He made that generalization knowing fully well that the Jews know about God and they know of the importance to call unto Him when trouble comes. And when the prophesied day of judgment will come, the Jews are expected to call unto The Lord which could guarantee their salvation as well as anyone who calls unto The Lord on those moments (Acts 2:21).

 

The question is this: Are all Jews who are saved from the world’s final destruction also be rewarded with eternal life in the promised Holy City, the New Jerusalem in heaven? The short answer is no. Why not? The rhetorical answer will be: Why did God reserve a remnant from among the tribes of Israel (Isa. 10:20-23 / 11:10-12 / 49:5-6 / Zech. 13:7-9 / Jn. 10:16 / Acts 2:39) if all of them will be rewarded eternal life and inherit the promised land in heaven?

 

Regarding this topic, we can learn so much from God’s deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Let us see how this event in the time of ancient Israel mirrors God’s salvation and the promised reward of eternal life and heavenly inheritance that is yet to be received by everyone who believes in His salvation (Jn. 3:16 / 11:26 / Isa. 49:6).

EXODUS 3:7-9)

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.

The desire of God unto His ancient people of Israel was twofold, that is, deliverance or salvation and inheritance as a reward. He desired to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and second, to reward them the promised land where milk and honey flow, the land of Canaan. Among God’s ancient people of Israel in Egypt, how many were delivered or saved and how many received the promised land for an inheritance?

(NUMBERS 14:29-30)

29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.

 

While all the people of Israel were delivered, or saved from bondage in Egypt, only a few from among the original population who were part of the actual exodus out of Egypt were able to receive the promised inheritance. The reason for their failure to enter in the promised land is because of their rebellion against God’s Spirit or Divine Will (Isa. 63:10-11).

 

In the time of Christ, the same is also true concerning God’s desire for all man to be saved through His Son, and that through Him man may attain eternal life. This is the Divine Will, purpose or desire of God. The Savior Yeshua, knowing of God’s Divine Purpose, did His best to allow God’s desire to be fulfilled in man by leaving us His guarantees for eternal life. Just how many, from among all the believers of The Christ Yeshua, will be rewarded His life that is eternal as well as the promised inheritance in heaven? Everyone who will observe all of His instructions that guarantee eternal life and residency in the Holy City in heaven. After all, eternal life in heaven is a reward and therefore is conditional.

MISFORTUNE OF THOSE SAVED BUT NOT REWARDED

What happens unto those who will also be saved, by virtue of the power of the name of The Lord upon whom they call, yet will not be rewarded eternal life?

(PSALM 49:20)

20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand,
Is like the beasts that perish.

 

Those who do not understand, including those who do not take advantage of the opportunity given by The Savior in His guarantees for eternal life, will perish like the beasts or animals. Animals are neither going to be rewarded with a second life that is eternal nor are they going to be punished with the second death. Unlike man, they have never received the breath of God that is eternal in nature. The same is the end point of many people who will not be rewarded by The Savior with the same eternal life that He possesses. If so, then just like the animals they will not have to be resurrected – not for the First Resurrection for life neither for the resurrection for judgment and punishment.

WHEN CAN ONE RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE?

Those who dutifully observe The Lord’s guarantees for eternal life that He categorized in seven instructions will live His life that is eternal. When will they receive this reward? When will they start living life that is eternal and glorious? When will they receive the promised land of inheritance in the New Heaven and New Earth (same as the Holy City, the New Jerusalem)?

(MATTHEW 16:24-28)

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

 

The topic of The Savior’s instructions here is about the great importance of denying one’s self, taking up his cross to follow Him. The reward that He is pointing out in His teaching is none other than the promised eternal life. However, what should we notice from His presentation of eternal life that will be received by His followers? He has categorized the recipients of eternal life into two categories:

 

  1. Each, or the majority, will receive eternal life as a reward when He returns (verse 27).

  2. Some who were standing with Him at the time of this discourse shall not taste death – meaning they will already live His life starting at that time.

 

This presentation of The Lord’s Truth about His promised eternal life is a recent revelation and an understanding that has never before been received by man since the time of the apostles. How can we state such statement with boldness? Well, the universal understanding in all of Christianity is that the promised eternal life will be received only during the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:5-6), right before God will judge all living creatures on earth on the day of judgment. It would be understandable and very well expected if this presentation, that eternal life can possibly be received by anyone even before the First Resurrection, will be ridiculed and will meet much scrutiny and mockery from everyone else.

 

What other time did The Savior confirm this presentation to be evangelically valid?

 

(JOHN 11:25-26)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the lifeHe who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

 

Before The Savior resurrected Lazarus from the dead, He shared with His sister Martha the gospel truth that eternal life can be already received even before the First Resurrection. And just like His statement in Matthew 16v28, He also categorized the recipients of eternal life into two:

 

  1. He who believes in Him (and so observed His guarantees for eternal life) may die yet he shall live.

  2. He who lives and believes in Him shall never die.

 

Once again, those who fall into the first category will receive eternal life as a reward on the First Resurrection. However, who are those who ‘live and believe’ in Him who shall never die. How is it possible that some of The Lord’s followers who live in Him shall not taste death, or as further clarified by Him, shall never die? Has it been proven by The Savior before many witnesses that this is truly what He meant? Did the world overlooked this message of The Christ?

 

THE CRIMINAL ON THE CROSS

What event seals the validity of this presentation on The Lord’s promised reward of eternal life?

 

(LUKE 23:39-43)

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

 

One of the two criminals who were also hanged on the cross end up believing in Yeshua as The Savior of mankind. His faith in Him was shown in his plea to be remembered by The Messiah when He comes into His kingdom. His fate was decided there and then by The Lord when He promised that he will be with Him on that same day. The Savior did not promise him to be rewarded eternal life on the First Resurrection but on that same day.

 

The majority of preachers would try to refute our presentation by arguing that the criminal could not be with The Christ in heaven since that day since he was seen to have died on the cross. Our answer is simple – would they accuse The Lord of committing a lie by promising that man to be with Him in Paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven on that day? Could these people who would refute the wisdom in this presentation ever possibly know more than The Savior?

 

This erroneous argument presented above is the same error of understanding perceived by the majority of Christians that it was God’s Son himself who died on the cross. Actually, it was not God’s Son and Word per se who died but the human manifestation of him, that is The Son of Man or Prophet. In fact, while His human manifestation was dead for three days, God’s Son went to preach unto the spirits in prison for all those three days (2Pet. 3:18-20). Think about this for a minute, can God’s Son and Word ever be killed by any weapon of man? Of course, not! Not even the power of satan can harm Him. For the same reason that it was needed for God’s Word (and Son) to become flesh (Jn. 1:14) so that God’s salvation can be accomplished.

 

The same is misunderstood about the criminal on the cross who has been in heaven since that day. The Savior’s promise to him is coupled with His reward of eternal life. And so, when that man breathed his last, his living soul simply exited from his earthly body and continued to exist in Paradise to be with God’s Son. This means that God’s Breath or Spirit did not depart from him. After all, isn’t God’s Breath that which is life that is eternal in nature?

 

SOME WHO SHALL NOT TASTE DEATH

While most of will receive eternal life as a reward from The Savior on the First Resurrection, some of His followers or disciples shall not taste death as exemplified by the criminal on the cross who has been in Paradise with The Savior since his earthly departure on Mount Calvary. Who else shall not taste death anymore? Who else will already live the life of The Savior that is eternal even during their residence on earth? We have to go back and analyze the words of The Christ that we have cited above:

 

(MATTHEW 16:24-28)

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

 

This particular teaching of The Savior has been overlooked by almost everyone in the Christian world. The Christ Yeshua has stated with full certainty that there were some who were with Him in the first century who shall not taste death. While it could be that their souls would still depart from their physical bodies, however God’s Breath, Spirit or Life (that is eternal) shall not depart from their souls. Who are these very fortunate people?

 

Those who lives in Him who shall never die are those who took His cross and follow Him by doing His work. These are the people who spent their entire life doing His work of discipling many other people based on His instruction (Mat. 28:19-20). While this effort of doing the work of The Savior of making disciples from among all the nations have been made as a vocation by many people since the early days of Christianity, let everyone clearly understand on the great importance of teaching His Truth and Gospel based only on His perspective. Please read the links below as they would shed a deeper understanding on this particular topic of becoming a disciple of The Savior who makes other disciples from all over the world as He so instructed:

 

https://www.spiritualhouse.info/disciples-of-christ

 

https://www.spiritualhouse.info/disciples-ultimate-mission

 

https://www.spiritualhouse.info/the-kingdom-of-god

 

Just to reiterate, the Breath of God which is man’s life is eternal, it does not die. The soul of man only dies when God’s Breath departs from man’s soul. It can be regained as a reward on the return of The Savior, or it can never be lost by man. This means that as he departs from his mortal physical body, he departs as a LIVING SOULD to be received also in Paradise just like the man on the cross who was promised by The Savior.

 

ETERNAL LIFE NOW

How can one already live the eternal life of The Savior starting today that he or she receives this understanding?

 

(MATTHEW 6:24-34 NASB)

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. 25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

Our priority in life dictates whether or not we are already living with the life of The Savior that is eternal. Out of His desire that we live His life now, instead of later, He gave us our direct line to it. We need to seek first God’s Kingdom and righteousness. The Kingdom of God is His power and authority that The Christ ruled with and shared among His disciples. On the other hand, God’s righteousness for salvation is no one else but His Son (Isa. 42:6). And when you found them, share them unto others are The Savior so desired and instructed (Mat. 28:19-20). Are we going to lack anything that we need when we seek God’s Kingdom and righteousness first and do the work of bringing others to unto them? Not only that we will not lack anything in this life, but most importantly, we will already live the same eternal life of The Savior.

 

CONCLUSION

This divine truth has been hidden from the understanding of man. For whatever reason, only God knows. However, it has been revealed to us in our generation. Revelation of such hidden truth all the more signals the nearing return of The Savior…

 

We would like to reiterate that it is not part of this ministry to declare specifically who are those who will be condemned on the day of judgment. Our core focus is to preach the clarity of The Lord’s promises and guarantees toward (1) salvation from the world's condemnation, and (2) the attainment of life that is eternal.

 

(John 8:32) 

". .. the truth shall make you free.”

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • SoundCloud Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon