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To Live Forever

by David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

DavidJohnson It is good to be together again, listeners. The title for the lesson is “To live forever.” Let’s listen to the Word of God in the book of Genesis chapter three beginning in verse 19.

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.   Adam named his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Verse 22. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever.” This is the Word of God. May he add his blessing to the reading of his Word.

Today we are usually obsessed with health issues, a healthy diet, proper weight, exercise, cholesterol, dealing with cancer, heart disease, a better quality of life. To live longer is the quest of man.  Some modern scientists believe that even immortality is now within mankind’s grasp through science and technology. And this is not referring to quacks, nuts that are indicating this that have the vision of immortality today.  For example, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, computer scientists claim that through nano technology now being developed and enhanced, human beings can have theoretically have an infinite lifespan.

For example, this same scientist writes, and I quote, “Millions of blood cell sized robots – or programmed Nanobots – will be inside the human body in our bloodstream to continuously keep us healthy to detect defects, even to repair or replace, to keep us forever young, rejuvenated, to clean, to clear and or to restore clogged arteries or brain cells. Potentially, whatever is needed. Eventually even our genetic coding will be downloaded at home off the internet to forecast, to focus and fix our health needs forever, which can include checkups, diagnostics, tests, labs and suggested procedures,” end quote.

There are obviously technological hurdles to all of this, but it does sound plausible. It is mankind’s quest to achieve eternal life even apart from God, to dodge death, to apply science and technology, not to accept the Savior for eternal life.

Born again Christians are already headed for eternal life. True. We will probably have to die first. But these current bodies will become dust. These current bodies will be discarded. Believers will get new, glorified bodies fitted for eternity, immortal, imperishable. And we believe this by faith from the Word of God, from the Scriptures that reveal tremendous truths that are numerous and amazing, even pre-science truths in Scripture.
Now, of course, Scripture is not a science book, but there is pre-science and good science in Scripture. For example, in Genesis chapter three and verse 19 it tells us again in part: You will eat your food until you return to the ground, since it is from the ground, you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return, in time, after death. Of course, all of this happened after sin.

Also in Genesis chapter two and verse seven, it tells us that the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. According to modern science and chemical analysis of the composition of the human body, it is composed of atoms of chemical elements of which the most common are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen and small amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. We also know, according to science, that these same chemical elements are found in soil, the dust of the ground, exactly as pre-science in Scripture accurately reveals.

Our human bodies, as descendants of the first human created by God, were made, were formed from the dust or the dirt of the ground. But a human person’s ultimate value is not in these physical elements that form these present bodies, but in our quality of life, which forms our eternal spirits which one day yet future when the Lord Jesus returns in the air, he will unite our spirits with our eternal, incorruptible, glorified bodies for eternity. And we believe this from Scripture. In the book of Job in the Old Testament, chapter 33 and verse four it reveals there the Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the almighty gives me life. Therefore, our spirits, our souls have eternal life.

In 1 John chapter five verses 11 and 12 we find these words. And this is the testimony. God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life. That is, eternal life with God. These truths we believe by faith and we must be faithful to share and to witness these same truths with others. God ultimately, deeply desires for mankind to live forever with him. And that includes you and me and every precious human being, every precious soul. Jesus Christ died on the tree of the cross to give us life eternal with him by his grace, as a gift through faith in him. Through Christ on the cross the tree of life can be ours. Originally God created mankind as living eternal beings. We have a beginning, but no end. We are all living, eternal beings, whether saved or unsaved, whether heaven bound or hell bound. We are all now eternal beings, once we are born or created. But because of our sin, disobedience, we now deserve death and science is not going to change that. It is the Savior that saves, not science. And yet science is a wonderful thing. So is, of course, technology. We have God given abilities and talents that God has given to men and women to be able to understand the natural realm which the creator created.

In Romans chapter six and verse 23 it tells us: For the wages of sin is death. That is, what we earn, wages, due to our sin, is death. First we are dead in our sins spiritually and that is why we need to be born again spiritually on the inside from above, that is from God, by God. But, secondly, we will die physically, unless, of course, we are alive when the Lord Jesus comes in the air to catch up his church. But the last part of Romans chapter six and verse 23 is the only remedy, the unique antidote for eternal life. And that is the gift of God, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. And therefore that is the ultimate remedy and only remedy. Christ must be our personal Savior and Lord, master of our lives. We must have obedient faith in him. Notice that it is also the gift of God for eternal life, not the quest of man, but the gift of God. To dodge death is the quest of man. But God gives the gift of eternal life through and in Christ Jesus by saving faith in him.

There is another amazing truth verified by life experience today and prophesied, that is predicted by Moses by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit thousands of years ago. The prophet Moses wrote in Psalm 90, which is the only psalm that Moses wrote, at least that is revealed and preserved in Scripture, Psalm 90 and verse 10 says: The length of our days is 70 years or 80 if we have the strength. Yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass and we fly away.

Today in advanced nations such as America, with all of our modern medicine and medical technology, it is a fact that the average life expectancy for American women is 78 and for American men the average life expectancy is 74 years. Scripture again is accurate because it is inspired of God and inerrant, without error. You understand even though Moses himself lived to be 120 years according to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 34 and verse seven, Moses still prophesied, predicted that the length of our days is 70 or 80 years if we have the strength. And that is exactly what we have in advanced nations today.

You realize that millionaires, even billionaires die. Their money cannot buy eternal life. Some may remember Howard Hughes who tried to dodge death with his billions and it didn’t save him. In fact, even doctors and scientists, of course, die. And often doctors and scientists die even before the average lifespan expires. They often die early, prematurely. Sports heroes die. Babe Ruth is dead. Idols die. Elvis is dead. Strong men die like Samson. He is dead. Even Jesus Christ the Son of God died. But he was raised from the dead never to die again and is alive today at the right hand of God. Science and technology’s attempt at life extension, although well intentioned, could easily lead to unintended consequences in the future where we will want to die because of the lack of quality of life. You can live extended lives and still not have a quality of life.

I read about a health guru who recommends 250 supplements daily, 10 glasses of alkaline water, that is mineral water daily and 10 cups of green tea daily for the antioxidants. Plus, in order to extend our lifespan, we must check 50 different fitness indicators, like blood pressure, daily. All of that to add a few years to our natural lives in these bodies that are breaking down. Now that is radical. Imagine the cost. Imagine the time commitment. And with all of that, with all the supplements and the alkaline water and the green tea and the fitness indicators and all of that good stuff, you could still get killed by an accident, die by accident on the interstate which hundreds, perhaps even thousands, certainly over the years have met death on the interstate or by some other unfortunate accident. So certainly eternal life is not guaranteed except in Christ Jesus.

The last enemy, according to Scripture, is revealed. Listen to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 26. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. Point blank. God reveals this to us. For believers, that is a precious promise for us. We will no longer have death when we have eternal life with Christ Jesus. But for non-believers, according to 2 Thessalonians chapter one and verse nine, it says there that they will be punished with everlasting destruction. God is very clear regarding two ultimate destinies, two ways to go. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, the way to eternal life. Science, Scripture and our personal experience reveal to us that these current bodies are breaking down. They are running down. We are going to be down and out eventually, these bodies discarded. But believers get new, glorious bodies forever.

1 Corinthians 15:54 reads like this. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the same that is written will come true.

Death has been swallowed up in victory, not by technology, but through the cross of Jesus Christ. Death will be replaced by the dwelling of believers with God in eternity. But we must be in Christ Jesus through saving faith and share this truth with others.

 

                                   David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, Indiana.




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33