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Everlasting Life Conquers Death

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Eventually God’s plan will lead to death itself being destroyed in an awesome future almost beyond our comprehension!

Death has always been humanity’s enemy. It brings loneliness, sadness, disorientation. But it need not be a mystery nor be entirely devastating. Even though it is inevitable, death is not the end. Though at times death seems unfair and arbitrary, it does not thwart God’s plan for eternal life. Through a resurrection God will reunite us with family and friends and extend His promises to all who have ever lived.

Eventually there will come a time when death itself will be banished. Writing about the resurrection that will take place when Jesus returns, Paul paraphrased from the book of Hosea: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades [grave] where is your victory?’” (1 Corinthians 15:53-55 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
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). Death will be swallowed up and defeated in the victory of eternal life.

Holding on to this view of the future can give us hope and optimism at a time of great loss. “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 1 Thessalonians 4:13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
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A future beyond our wildest hopes

Some people are put off by the thought of eternal life. Some feel this life is painful and difficult enough, so why would anyone want to live forever? Others may think that eternity sounds vague and uninteresting, that if it means they have to give up pleasure in this lifetime it just isn’t worth the effort. They would rather experience all the good times they can for now and worry about eternity some other time.

In all the scriptures we’ve read we’ve seen that God wants to give us an everlasting, eternal, immortal life. We are assured that it is more valuable than any physical treasure (Colossians 1:26-27 Colossians 1:26-27 26 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
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; Colossians 2:2-3 Colossians 2:2-3 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
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). But exactly what will we be doing for eternity? If receiving eternal life requires effort and sacrifice in this life, is it going to be worth it?

Let’s remember the limitations of our human experience and observation. God is so far above us that it’s difficult for us to understand His ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
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). What God is preparing to give us is beyond our wildest imaginations and fantasies: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20-21 Ephesians 3:20-21 20 Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
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God is Creator. He plans, builds, implements. He designed the universe and devised His plan and our reward before He even started creating it (Matthew 25:34 Matthew 25:34Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
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). He is planning and preparing an infinitely more exciting and rewarding life for us in His divine family (John 14:1-3 John 14:1-3 1 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
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). We can only try to begin to imagine the incredible and eternally enjoyable life He wants to give us—an eternal life free from human limitations and disappointments, weaknesses and suffering.

Pain, disappointment and death will be no more. Regarding the vision he received of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1 Revelation 21:1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
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), the apostle John wrote: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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From Revelation 21 and 22 we learn that those who receive eternal life will be a family, the children of God, with community relationships in the New Jerusalem. Relationship principles that God is teaching us now will be as applicable then as they are today. That is why God wants us to learn and apply His ways in our lives now. What we can take with us for all eternity is our love and concern for one another.

The full hope and meaning of an eternal existence with God and Jesus Christ is truly beyond our ability to grasp or express. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2 1 John 3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
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John states that God hasn’t revealed everything that He has in mind for us, as we can’t yet conceive of what it means to be fully like the glorified Jesus Christ. Our finite minds couldn’t contain it.

We have seen prophecies that take us into the future about 1,000 years beyond Christ’s promised return. As Paul wrote, we see spiritual concepts and promises in a kind of vague outline as if we were looking through a steamed-up mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12 1 Corinthians 13:12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
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). But someday, as Paul also says in this verse, we will see clearly—just as clearly as God sees everything about us.

Responding to God in faith

Is it worth it to seek God’s Kingdom rather than sinful pleasures or priorities in this world? Many are not so sure.

But God assures us that His promise of eternal life is more than worth the effort, struggles and disappointments of life and death: “Therefore do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
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Everlasting life is, after all, a matter of faith (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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). Faith is not just a warm, vague feeling that Jesus has done everything for us. Faith is a frame of mind that is expressed by the kind of person you choose to be, the actions that express what you believe (James 2:20-24 James 2:20-24 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 See you how faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
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). When all is said and done, we must have faith that eternal life is worth anything we might be required to endure to receive it (Romans 8:18 Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
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; Philippians 3:12-14 Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
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Learning more about life, death and what happens after death should make quite an impact on how you live. That knowledge should make you pause and consider what use you are making of the precious gift of life and whether you are using it to prepare for the eternal life God offers you.

Psalm 90 was composed by Moses. In this prayer to God he contrasts the power of God with the frailties of man. He writes of God’s view of time, of the relative mere moment that represents our lifetime, and of the punishment that is sometimes necessary to correct man’s ways. In Psalms 90:10-12 Psalms 90:10-12 10 The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of your anger? even according to your fear, so is your wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
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he says: “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Regrettably, most people seem to notice that life is short only after much of it has slipped away. We must learn to number our days, keeping in mind that our time will pass and we must take care to make the most of it (see Ephesians 5:16 Ephesians 5:16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
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; Colossians 4:5 Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
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). Solomon told us to remember the Creator in the days of our youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1 Ecclesiastes 12:1Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them;
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What will you do?

Peter wrote of the culmination of God’s plan. He prophesied of the time during which everything physical will be burned up and replaced by new heavens and a new earth. Then he asks a challenging rhetorical question: How does that knowledge change your life? “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. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be, in holy conduct and godliness … ?” (2 Peter 3:10-11 2 Peter 3:10-11 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
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).

Understanding the meaning of life, death and what follows this physical life can give priceless comfort and hope in the face of death. It should also have a great impact on the kind of person you are, motivating you to live carefully and make wise choices. Knowing that the purpose of this life is to prepare you for an eternal life of power and ability beyond anything you can imagine should encourage you to turn to God so He can begin to fulfill His purpose in you!

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