Are you ready to receive the gift of life eternal?

Submitted March 20, 2014

An open Bible.
Source: kjekol/iStock/ThinkStock

Do you want eternal life? I do.

I want the type of eternal life described in the Bible—an humanly unimaginable everlasting life bursting with love, joy, power. It's eternal life that comes at a time when "the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them" (Revelation:21:3, New International Version). Who wouldn't want this?

While the Bible is quite plain that salvation is a free and unmerited gift from God and one that cannot be earned (Ephesians:2:8-9), Jesus also directly said that the road that leads to eternal life is a narrow one. What does that mean? Would you happen to know what that way is?

Let's read Christ's own words:

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew:7:13-14).

Can we be a bit more specific from the Bible? And if only "a few find it," do you and I even have a chance to receive eternal life?

The answer is yes to both questions.

In order to prepare ourselves to receive the marvelous gift of eternal life, we must humbly acknowledge both the awe-inspiring sacrifice and the power that made it possible. Here are the direct instructions from Jesus Himself. Let's review them carefully:

"Then Jesus said to them [His disciples], 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever'" (John:6:53-58, emphasis mine throughout).

As the Bible notes, this is a "hard saying." The symbolic imagery is gripping and sobering. But make no mistake: Taking these symbols with understanding and commitment is an act that defines the narrow way that leads to eternal life. From the Creator of all life and all that is, this is the final word—through this act we humbly acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Passover, our Savior. In doing this, we reach across the ages to agree with the apostle Paul, who told a Greek gentile congregation in Corinth that "Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us " (1 Corinthians:5:7).

Yet for many, the accepting of Jesus as our Passover and taking the symbols of who and what Jesus is can be difficult. Is it for you?

Note that later in the same chapter when many of those who heard Christ quit, Peter acknowledged: "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, 'Do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'"

So many are needlessly confused about these symbols. This confusion can be amplified when we consider the finality of human death.

But we don't have to be confused or concerned if we just read the clear words in the Bible about the way that leads to eternal life and believe them!

Let's understand this critical fact: Christ established the New Testament Passover where He fulfilled the symbol of the lamb. Instead of a feast of roasted lamb, He instituted the meaningful symbols of bread and wine, representing His flesh and His spilled blood. We are instructed to take these symbols, thereby figuratively taking of Christ's flesh and blood and gaining access to life eternal.

This action represents an outcome of faith in Jesus Christ and in what those symbols picture. The evidence of this now-integrated faith is demonstrated by a transformed state of belief preceded by repentance, a changing of how we live. It is a commitment to a new way of life!

Why is this important? This is the season when we take the Passover , essential for eternal life. Are you prepared to receive the gift of life eternal?

The Road to Eternal Life Why not send for our free study aid titled The Road to Eternal Life . It will give you essential prerequisites to understand the hard sayings of Jesus Christ and find the joy that takes place when one embraces this understanding. Also, I invite you to learn more specifically about the Passover that Jesus Christ explained that we should take in order to have eternal life. You may be interested to know that we have been presenting an in-depth six-part series about the Christian Passover , which goes into rich biblical detail. Each presentation is one hour long and you can view them all online at www.ucg.org/beyond-today/six-steps-to-passover

Eternal life is at hand for you. The way is clear, and you are invited. Are you ready to receive?

 

P.S. After you read our study material, I would be interested in your thoughts. Please write to me at victor_kubik@ucg.org .

 

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Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to webmaster@ucg.org.


fair64

fair64's picture

I am so excited about "the eternal life" being offered to me. I found United about 1 yr. ago after loving the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM, but not being able to go another step w/ the Witnesses. They were the first ones to introduce me the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I've studied with them EXTENSIVELY, (20years), but I would never baptize into their faith. One day I thought I had the BRIGHTEST IDEA. I wondered who else knew "about this Kingdom". I googled it & up popped UGC. I logged on and was hooked on the TRUTHS THAT WERE BEING EXPLAINED TO ME for the 1st time ever. I watched THE SHOWS, READ THE BOOKLETS, AND THEN FOUND MY WAY TO THE NEAREST CONGREGATION. I have been keeping the Sabbath since late November and am getting baptized into the NYC body of Christ before Passover. I come from Bridgeport, CT every Sabbath and it is an honor & privilege to be invited into this ELECT group of believers. Oh, the wedding feast, counting the towers of New Jerusalem, and thank the Father Himself, Jesus ruling & reigning; wiping out ALL THIS TRAGIC TURMOIL!!! The 1000 years of peace with God's gov't proving that IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO TRUE HAPPINESS. Yes, the end seems to finally be upon us per Matt. 24, and the Book is written. God has to rectify His Holiness and punish what He deems needs punishing, far be it for me to even begin to think I know what all that means. But one thing I understand is this...Phillipians 3:13-14"...FORGETTING THOSE THING WHICH ARE BEHIND, AND REACHING FORTH UNTO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE. I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR "THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING" OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!!!!!!!




Ahumble1

Ahumble1's picture

Thank you Victor.

Could the departure of the 'blind' disciples be due to the fact that we were taught not to consume blood, but Jesus is now instituting the consumption of it though it spiritual and symbolic?




Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

@Fair64 How wonderful to see God working in your life! How exciting.




Malachi 3_16-18

Malachi 3_16-18's picture

Hi Ahumble1,

Yes, they were Jewish and had most likely been taught from their youth not to consume blood (Lev:17:10-12). In fact, not eating physical blood still applies to us today (Acts:15:20, 29). So what Jesus was saying to them was shocking from a physical standpoint.

However, it should mean everything to us from a spiritual standpoint, since, just as the “life of the flesh is in the blood” physically, we symbolically partake of Christ’s blood, which means His very life, when we drink the New Covenant Passover wine (Mt 26:27-28, 1 Cor:11:23-26) along with eating the unleavened bread.

Unless we participate in this annual covenant with Jesus Christ and God the Father, we have no life in us (Jn:6:53-56). Those disciples who left upon hearing Jesus’ words obviously did not have their minds open at that time to understand the deep spiritual significance of His words. Having just been miraculously fed by Him with a “free meal” of bread (miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (Jn:6:9-13) they were looking to Him for physical sustenance only.



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