“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16
Compared to eternity, it goes without saying that our lives on earth do not last very long. In fact, the more advanced in years we are, the more it seems we question our mortality. James describes it like a vapour, a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
God stands apart from His creation as self-existing in His immortality, but He created us with the intention we would live with Him forever. That was destroyed in the Garden of Eden, but in His great love for us, God provided a way through His Son for us to go on ?living beyond this earthly existence and into His heavenly realm.
Paul writes, “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9-10). The grace Paul refers to is the power of God who has saved us and called us to a holy life. But our lives are not designed simply for the here and now. The Gospel reveals the gift of God is eternal life, and Jesus says eternal life is this: “…that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This is not knowing about God, but knowing God through personal relationship ?and experience of Him.
Our sense of the sanctity of human life is determined by our understanding of the origin of life, which is in God Himself. We have seen great atrocities in acts of terrorism and in ethnic cleansing under dictatorships such as in Rwanda, the Sudan, former Yugoslavia and under Hitler’s regime. When there is no understanding that life was created by God, disregard for His creation becomes almost inevitable.
Every person is of immense value to God, and is brought into this world with the purpose of sharing in His immortality. God came in the person of Jesus Christ to live among humanity in order to give us new life; not one that lasts for our brief span on earth, but one that commences the moment we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. He is Himself the embodiment of righteousness, and Proverbs 12:28 tell us, “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.” Jesus Christ is eternal life and in Him we have a life that will not end. Without Christ, our world does not make sense and without the promise of eternal life through Him who died for us, there would be neither sense nor purpose for this world.