Everlasting life

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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John3:16

All boomers within the sound of my writing voice, listen up. This is the part of this famous verse that is becoming more and more relevant to us every day. We don’t want to believed it but it keeps raising its ugly head. We just had a memorial service for our friend Arnold. Next week is the memorial service for Doug Goins, a man who was a huge encouragement to me at the beginning of my career as a singer/songwriter/performer. I’ve been thinking back on some of the people who were important in shaping my life and my opportunities, and how I need to thank them while I still can. It would have been nice to tell Doug how much I appreciate him, and not just his wife.

We are being forced by our age to face our mortality. Marti, who has a birthday coming up soon, doesn’t have this problem because she will always be 39, but I look in the mirror these days and see a man who has already received his allotment of years as laid out in the Bible. When this verse gets to the “should not perish” part, there is a little twinge of reality that hits home. However strong one’s faith in Christ is, or however much one is able to trust and expect to receive the promised eternal life Jesus talked about and offered, it still doesn’t alleviate the fear everyone has in facing their demise. If anything, it’s simply the basic human fear of the unknown. What’s it going to be like? And although, humanly speaking, nothing can take away that fear, having a promise by the son of God who died for me, rose from the grave and has gone off to prepare a place for me, can be a real comfort in these times.

“Should not perish…” Actually, the word “should” is a factor of the King James version of the Bible. “Shall not perish…” would be a closer rending of the original meaning. This is not a suggestion; it is a fact. And Jesus proved it by making a number of appearances to many of his followers between the time that He died and ascended into heaven.

Still, I don’t want to sugarcoat this. I don’t relish the moment; and in my heart and mind, it’s a long way off. Good luck enduring us boomers in our old age. We are in denial. We just don’t seem to be old, and our youthful spirit will continue to defy what’s really going on in our mortal bodies. Thank God for John 3:16. That part about everlasting life is non-negotiable.

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5 Responses to Everlasting life

  1. TimC in Oregon says:

    Thanks for the message about Doug Goins. I also really appreciated his heart and transparency, but left that area in ’93.
    Please pray for Brian, a friend with a brain tumor, has had 2 surgeries so far, and has been given a couple years to live. He’s about 60, knows the Lord, but is rather ticked off about the situation.

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Amen to this: “Thank God for John 3:16. That part about everlasting life is non-negotiable.”

  3. Carole Oglesbee says:

    Funny you should mention aging and the inevitable, John. Seems there are a lot more “goodbyes” after age 60 than there are “hellos” and I’ve experienced quite a few of the former recently. As for me, I have no problem with being dead; In FACT, there are worse things than being dead, I’m sure. (See Isaiah 57:1-2.) It’s the process of DYING that is concerning – I am not a fan of pain, and the thought of not being able to care for myself or make my own decisions is anathema to me, and yet there IS that verse: John 21:18 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” .Ah, but after that, there’s Christ, forever and forever, and nothing BUT “hellos.” Now, If I could JUST skip the “truly, truly” part…

  4. Sandie says:

    Reminds me of words to a song, “everybody wants to get to Heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there,” or something like that. Like you John, I honestly fear the dying part. I fear pain – I fear the effect my death will have on my family…in other words, things I can’t control. Then again, do I really ever control most things? So I hang on to trust and faith in Jesus and His promises. That’s why I am trying to live in the ‘now,’ so I don’t miss anything important I should be doing or saying. We celebrated our 49th anniversary a few days ago. While I am blessed and grateful for the longevity of our marriage, I mourn the youth we have left behind. Who are those two young kids in the pictures…who are the aging people we see in the mirror now? It’s always a shock. I don’t know how those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus do it. For that matter, I can’t comprehend how Jesus faced the manner of His death…what incredible love! Praise God for His grace and patience and understanding.

  5. johnhaak says:

    Worthwhile sidetrack from this foundational verse?
    “will not perish” is often missed as support for the idea that to die without Christ is to “perish” and not to get sentenced to an endless torture chamber. Maybe this is worthy of your thoughts on “Things We Do Not Have To Defend”? Jesus left us with much truth that is Offensive. Let’s shed some “truths” that Offend needlessly and create road blocks to Grace Going Outward.

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