John 3:16 – Aspect 4 – Destiny

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  • December 22, 2012

gift_of_eternal_lifeWho has ever had to make a speech in front of a group of people? You just can’t wait for it to finish, it seems to go on forever.

What about that last half an hour at school each day that seems to take an eternity as you watch the clock go slower and slower. Some days seems to drag on.

Then there are other days when time just flies by, like when you’re eating something you really love and then as you near the finish you take smaller bites to make it last longer but eventually its gone and you wish it would have lasted longer or when you are having so much fun but then it’s time to go home and you just wish you could stay there forever.

While none of these events actually lasts forever, eternal life does. It wouldn’t be called eternal if it didn’t.

Our word today is destiny. Read John 3:16

Which part of John 3:16 does the word destiny, relate to?

Jesus said, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This never-ending life is promised to those who believe in Jesus. “But how can this be?” you might ask. “After all, everyone will die at some point.” True. But death isn’t the end of the story. Jesus promised that someday we’ll live forever with him. That means we’ll live again after we die.

Have you ever pondered the question, what happens to me when I die? What are some of your answers? (On Board)

First we must come to the understanding that each and every one of us, unless the Lord returns, will one day face this thing called death. Our hearts will stop beating; blood will stop flowing through our veins. Our chest will no longer rise and fall with each breath we take. Our brain will no longer send millions of signals to various parts of our body. Life as we know it will end. Hebrews 9:27 tells us “it is appointed for man to die once, but after this the judgment.” Then What?

Some will tell you nothing will happen. Some are hoping for a thing called reincarnation, which by the way is unbiblical. The Bible teaches us that at the moment of death, we will either be taken to the presence of God, to a place called Heaven or a place of separation from God, in a real literal place called Hell.

The bible talks about something called “eternal life”

What do you think of when we say eternal life? (On Board)

Will everyone have eternal life? No! Everyone will live eternally but not all will experience eternal life.

To receive eternal life what must one do? Romans 6:23 It is a gift from God given to you the moment you believe and receive Christ.

Who cannot receive eternal life? Rev 20:15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire

What is the book of life? The Book of Life is the set of names of those who will live with God forever in heaven. It is the roll of those who are saved.

The same book is also called the Lamb’s Book of Life because it contains the names of those who have been bought by the blood of the Lord Jesus

What if your name is not written in the book of life? Revelation 20:11-15

The Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15 is a judgment for unbelievers. This passage makes it clear that no one at that judgment has his name in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12-14). Since their names are not in the Book of Life, their fate is sealed.

How can you be sure your name is written in the book of life? Be sure you’re saved. Repent of sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Once your name is written in the Book of Life, it is never erased (Revelation 3:5)

God keeps good records. He knows His own, and He has set the names of His children permanently in His book

Eternal life is a precious gift from God to those who believe. Jesus asks in Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” This verse must make us ask the question. Is there anything in life worth exchanging my soul for? For all the pleasure we may gain in this world, if you were to be on your death bed tomorrow by some freak accident or illness, would that pleasure have been worth it.

If you had to face your end tomorrow would you be confident that your name is written in this book of life?

The bible says a lot about the destiny of men and women both believers and unbelievers. Today we will take a look at the path that we take as believers to understand the destiny that awaits everyone.

Before we enter into eternal life we must first do what? Die. No one really is looking forward to this but it is inevitable for all of us and some before others.

Who is afraid of dying? Most people fear dying because many people don’t really know what awaits them or don’t really believe that they are saved.

But the bible assures the believers that we can face death without fear.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then what happens when we die, after our physical death? Do we just disappear?

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

This verse says we continue to live even though we die. So life doesn’t end at the death of our physical bodies.

Then we enter into the Lords presence.

2 Corinthians 5:8
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.

Philippians 1:22-23
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.  

In reality, the moment we die, our spirit and soul go to be with the Lord. This is the beginning of Eternal life, when we enter into the place where Jesus is.

Where then is Jesus?

Mark 16:9

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

Pretty self explanatory

Before Jesus went to heaven he made a promise to his followers. John 14:1-3
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

What is this promise? Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven. Also one day he will come back to take His children to be with Him.

The minute you received Christ as your saviour from sin you became a believer and this promise belongs to you. And you belong to the Lord in heaven.

Romans 14:8
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Not only do we belong to the Lord we will dwell with God forever.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

You have the promise now that if you are a believer you already have eternal life. If fact God has already given you your heavenly citizenship.

Believers are citizens of heaven.

Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

You can never lose what God has given you. If you have received eternal life you will always have it

John 10:27-29

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

Eventually, God will put an end to death.

Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

End with this verse

Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Today”
Jesus makes a huge promise to the sinner next to him on the cross. Today you will be with me in paradise. Immediately. Instantly. Now. Not tomorrow. Not in a hundred years. Not in a in a thousand years. Not in a in a million years. Not at the second coming of Christ. But today. Immediately. I don’t understand what awaits us after we pass through the doors of death, but I know eternal life waits beyond.”

“Today, You”
You. That means you and me. We will be in paradise with God when we die. I don’t believe Christ’s promise is only towards the thief on the cross but Christ’s promise is directed towards you and me as well.

“Today, You will be with me”
With me. The emphasis in the Bible is not on being reunited with our loved ones from earth though I also believe that will happen. The Bible focuses on something even better… We will be with Christ; we will be in God’s Presence.

“Today, You will be with me in paradise”
We will see the face and glory of God. There will no war nor starvation nor evil for these things will have been all destroyed. It will be paradise! Any explanation I could offer will fall far short of the reality. It’s beyond anything we can comprehend.

God loves us and he wants us to know that we will be with him. His presence is what really matters. It’s his presence that makes it paradise. But God also promises his presence with us today. Are you able to see the presence of God in your life today! It’s only a foretaste of what it will be like when in paradise, when the overwhelming presence of God is truly revealed in all his glory! Don’t wait… it can begin today!

Eternal life is more than an existence that never ends. It’s a quality life that’s filled with joy.

In the Star Trek movie Generations, Guinan tells Captain Picard about a place called the Nexus. She describes it this way: “It was like being inside joy, as if joy was something touchable and you could wrap yourself up in it like a blanket.”

I don’t believe that Nexus actually exists. But I do believe in Heaven. What will it be like there? Like “being inside joy, as if joy were something touchable and you could wrap yourself up in it like a blanket.”

1 John 5:11-13

11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

How much more direct and simple could Jesus possibly be? There is no in between. Either a person is saved or lost, and the only issue is whether or not he “has the Son.” Do you know for sure today that you have the son?

To have eternal life you must have the son, who is the son? Jesus Christ. Have you received Him today?

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