By Tim Frank
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Carthage
The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that whosoever believes in Jesus has everlasting, eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus said at the tomb of Lazarus, “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Paul states that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
The Apostle John was given a wonderful view into the everlasting life all believers will experience one day in Jesus. While he was exiled on the island of Patmos, he saw visions of the final days and the coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign.
As part of those visions, he saw the eternal, re-created heavens and earth descending from God. We often refer to this eternal home of the redeemed as Heaven. This passage fills Christians with hope and great anticipation of a wonderful existence in that eternal home.
Eternal life will be in a place that is real, wonderful, and beautiful. John saw this new creation descending from God. He notes that there were no seas in this new creation to cause separation from family and friends. For John, being exiled on an island, the sea was not his friend. The sea was also a representation for sin and evil in the New Testament times. John also notes the beauty of the New Jerusalem, the holy city. He describes the city as a beautiful bride who is perfectly prepared for her groom on their wedding day.
Eternal life is centered in the presence of God. God will literally dwell with His people and they with Him. The One who is inapproachable for sinners will live in daily contact with His children. The gospel song will be fulfilled, “And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.”
Eternal life will also be free from the pains and sorrows of this present world. The passage states there will be no more tears, no grief, no crying and no pain. The previous world under the curse of sin will be no more. All things will be made new: day with no night, light with no sun, fellowship with no shame and eternal life with no death.
Eternal life will be for those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:14 that He would give living water to those who ask, a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. Here in Revelation 21:6, the spring of the water of life is offered freely to the thirsty. Those who have Jesus have life; however, those who reject Jesus have their eternity in the lake of fire (v. 8).
Eternal life is pictured in Revelation 22:1-5 as a river of life that flows from the throne of God. It is also pictured as the tree of life lining the shores of that river. This is the tree that God removed from the Garden of Eden after the Fall in Genesis 3.
Here, the tree is available for all to come and eat of its life-giving fruit and be renewed through its healing leaves. The presence of God and of Jesus on their thrones is a part of that city. We will worship Him, be His people, and behold His face. Jesus will be the everlasting light of the everlasting life in that everlasting city.
Do you have the assurance of eternal life in your soul? It would be the greatest tragedy to know about eternal life but never to receive eternal life. You can know that you know that you know that you have eternal life. John writes in 1 John 5:13 that he has written these things (the Gospel of John, I, II and III John, and Revelation) that you may know that you have eternal life. Be sure today. Eternal life is too important to miss.