Passing from death to life.

Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life — that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life!  – John 5:24 (CJB)

Jesus had a conversation with a group of religious elite, Pharisees, about who the Son of Man was. He had healed a man of being lame and told him to pick up his mat and walk. The religious elite frowned upon the action because it violated the Mosaic Law regarding the Sabbath. They were intent on killing Jesus because he did things that equated himself with God like calling himself the Son of God. Added to the measure was his irreverence for the Law, in their eyes. Jesus told them in the conversation that he had authority to judge the dead and the living at the Last Day, but those that were true believers of his wouldn’t face a future judgment. Why? Because they had already passed from death unto life for believing in him.

Have you passed over from death unto life? The only way to have done so is to do as Jesus said, to believe in him and the One who sent him. For those who believe in Jesus, as their Lord whose been raised from the dead, will not be judged by the Mosaic Law but rather will be raised from the dead unto eternal life. They will receive their reward from the Son of God, Jesus. Those who have rejected him will be judged for their doings here on the earth and receive the reward that accompanies it  – eternal death!

In that same passage Jesus told the people that those who the Father leads to him will not be lost. This statement was cryptic in a way, for we read later on that many of his disciples turned away from him and quit following him. He even said that one of the original 12 apostles was a traitor. Of course he referred to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him with a kiss and was also known later as the son of perdition. Jesus spoke of those who were true believers in him and what the Father said about him. Why even Jesus stated elsewhere that there would be those in the last days whose love for him would grow cold and cause them to turn away from the faith. (So much for the once saved always saved doctrine.)

So now we need to examine ourselves within the context of our relationship with God, and then ask ourselves, “Am I really a child of God? Do I trust in him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength?” In other words, do we love God like we say we do? Do our thoughts, actions, and words align themselves with the teachings of Jesus and the Word of God? This is a tough question. Many people think that merely stating a quick “sinner’s prayer” will grant them eternal life and make everything all right. Oh how contrary! Jesus even said that those who are called, chosen, AND faithful (enduring to the end) are the ones who will be saved. We need not be like the ones Isaiah spoke of whose lips honor God but have hearts that are far from him! Let us ensure that our hearts and minds and spirits are in tune with God and in love with God. We will have indeed passed over from death unto life and have escaped the coming judgment on the world.

Father, indeed I have looked into my heart this evening and seen that not all is right with me. There are those areas where I find myself at times not fully trusting in your provision and power. As the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being that you are, there should never be any doubt in me as to what you are capable of doing. However, I find myself fighting within myself about time, treasures, and talent. As Samson turned the grist mill blinded by his refusal to live life as you ordered, so I find myself churning away at the not-so-merry-go-round of  my life. Please forgive me for allowing doubt and fear to creep in and steal away my joy and my trust in you. I do know that you’ve called the world to repentance, that you’ve chosen those whom you desired as your children, and that I will remain faithful  to you until the end. It may hurt and take some healing along with correction and direction, but I will endure to the end. Why? Because I know that you’ve loved me from the beginning, given your all for me, and will empower me by your Spirit to do what it takes to please you through faith. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.