Focal passage: 1 John 5:6-13
Many years ago Dr. W.B. Hinson expressed his thoughts of eternal life shortly after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
He wrote, “I remember a year ago when a doctor told me, ‘You have an illness from which you won’t recover.’ I walked out to where I live five miles from Portland, Ore., and I looked across at that mountain that I love. I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God’s own poetry to my soul. Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting His lamps, and I said, ‘I may not see you many more times, but Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and River, I shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great down pulling of the material universe!’”
Hinson’s words serve as reminder that death is not the final state for the believer. Death is but a portal into the presence of God for all eternity.
This week’s lesson teaches us that God wants us to live with security and confidence because we have eternal life in Jesus Christ. God never intended for believers to live in fear of death. Jesus conquered death and when a person places his or her trust in Him they have the promise of eternal life. Knowing we have eternal life is extremely important when our time on earth comes to an end. But it is not just about death.
It is also about life. Having the promise of eternal life in Christ should propel us to take greater risk for the gospel. Someone once said, “If a person can overcome the fear of death, there is nothing he cannot accomplish for Christ.” I agree.
How about you? What is keeping you from doing great things for Christ?