Most of us have probably seen, “That which does not kill me must make me stronger” and reflected that we know more than a few people for whom that was not true in any measurable sense. They either became weaker and whinier in character or they were demolished physically, or both. This even happens to many in the church.
A variation, “That which does not kill me just postpones the inevitable,” is absolute, though cynical, and fails to address the character issues related to triumph or despair.
While these dueled on the office whiteboard, I formulated my own, “For many, death is just the punctuation to an existence that was without life.” I am sure some famous person said this before I did.
Aside from the usual depressing thoughts about meaningless existence and so forth, I thought of these things:
We tend to think of eternal life as something in the future. John clearly states that it is something we have now or choose not to have now. “These things I write that ye may know that you HAVE eternal life (1 Jn 5:11-13, Jn 17:3, 20:31, 6:47 and many like passages). If you have the Son, you have the life. Are you in the Son, having been baptized into Christ and having continued in the triumph of the baptized life? (Raised to walk in newness of LIFE, Rom 6:1-11). Peter joins in with, “Divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life,” (2Pet 1:3). With divine power available to help us, how can we even think we are not able to live the life? Paul adds, “Godliness is profitable for the life that now is.” (1Tim 4:8). Though trials and temptations come, we have eternal life. Hold on to what you have!
Eternal life is not a thing we give up all the pleasures of this life to obtain after we die. Eternal Life is a present possession enjoyed in all the fullness that mortal bodies can attain; in which joy we long for the fuller life in heaven. Eternal life consists of all the spiritual pleasures of this life; the worldly pleasures, both the sinful and those not immoral (e.g. time-wasters) are false pleasure, full of lies and “death” now and to come.
The knowledge of Jesus has granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; THAT THROUGH THESE YE MAY BECOME PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust (2 Pet 1:4). We can, we are, we will be.
Life is more than not being dead. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. Seize the true life. Enjoy eternal life now.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1Tim 6:12).
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47)