Don K. Preston
Sometimes we use terms so often that it is possible to lose the impact of what they mean. Take the promise of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Note what he promised, eternal life! In other passages, Jesus made statements that, when misunderstood by his audiences, caused them to scorn him, and to even abandon him. Jesus said: He said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” (John 6:51). In John 8:51, he made an equally incredible promise, “I a man will keep my saying, he will never die.”
Now, would you think about those promises for a moment? I mean really think about them! The promise of never dying, the promise of living forever!
Let’s make sure we understand what Jesus was saying. He was not saying that if a person believes in him he will never die physically. That is pretty obvious isn’t it? After all, every person who has ever lived since Jesus spoke that promise, with the exception of the present generation, has died, and will die, physically. So, Jesus was not speaking of physical death, the death and life he is speaking about is “spiritual life.”
The great issue of life is survival. We want to live, do we not? Jesus gives us that choice! He says we can live, forever, or, we can perish. It is that simple!
Now, here is a question: What would you give to be able to live forever, peacefully, blissfully, and wonderfully? What is eternal life worth to you? Let’s put it like this, what would you trade for eternal life? What do you have to trade? Well, believe it or not, you are, right now, involved in making the trade of your life, whether you know it or not.
How are you living your life? Are you living your life in service, praise, and obedience to Christ? That is the “price” of eternal life. That is all it takes to live forever! Tragically, far too many people have the attitude, “Well, I want to live for myself until I get old, then I will go to church, or get religion before I die.” Others seem to think that God asks too much of us. Are you kidding me? God is willing to give us eternal life in exchange for 30-40-50+ years of faith and obedience to Him, and that is asking too much?
If you had the chance to trade-even trade- your current car for the most expensive car in the world, would you say, “Well, I think I will put that trade off for a few more years. I just want to enjoy my old clunker for a while longer!” If you could trade-straight across-your nice three bedroom brick home for a 50 million dollar mansion, would you hesitate, saying, “I just don’t think I am ready to make a commitment like that right now”? You see, if we really understand the value of the trade, what we get in the deal, it is actually ridiculous to even hesitate!
Jesus promised that if we give our lives to him, that he will bless us “good measure, pressed down, and flowing over” (Luke 6:46). There is nothing like the peace and assurance of a relationship with Christ! Furthermore, that peace and assurance is not only here and now, it transcends death. Physical death is not the enemy of those who are in Christ! Although everyone dies physically, those in Christ do not die. We live, we live forever! Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15) So, you wanna trade?