Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
What if salvation is about humans being rescued by their loving Creator from their self-destruction and entering into communion, fellowship, intimacy, even union with the divine, with him, the God of the universe, rather than about humans inventing and performing the legal requirements of a salvation contract with God?
What if eternal life is about a new kind of quality, purposeful life that begins now, knowing, loving and enjoying friendship with God and partnering with him to do his work and not about just waiting for heaven someday and hoping we’ve been good enough to get in?
The Apostle John records a beautiful prayer of Jesus shortly before he was betrayed and executed. In this prayer Jesus states that God had given him the authority to give “eternal life” to those whom God had given him. Then Jesus clearly defines what he means by “eternal life”. In John 17:3 Jesus says, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” The Greek word John uses here which we have translated “eternal” into English, actually mean “eternal age”. Coupled with the word for “life”, the best translation would be, “life of the eternal age”. What if the “life of the eternal age” which Jesus is talking about is when we begin living in the new age ushered in by Jesus who established God’s Kingdom on earth, he himself becoming King? And what if this new life for us is now, following Jesus as subjects in his loving Kingdom? And what if this life he offers us is all about knowing God now and doing life in concert with him, our Creator?
Let me suggest that this view of “eternal life”, which comes straight from the Giver of Life Himself, chips away at our traditional paradigm of equating eternal life with a future heaven only—pie in the sky, by and by. The life Jesus wants to give us is of eternal quality, but it begins now and it’s aboutknowing God now, not just hoping to get heaven out of him someday after we die. Are we living like we really know God? If we are, if we will, it could change everything!