- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about love and eternity?
If we are going to understand God and the Bible we need to first understand what He has told us about love and eternity. Is He saying, if we do not love, we cannot know God? 1 Jn 4:8, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Is He saying, we either believe in eternity, or we will believe God does not exist? Jn 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Is He saying He never lies? Numb 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Are love and eternity two of the cords that hold the Bible together?
When we love, that love dictates all of our thoughts and actions, so if we know love and we love, it shows in how we treat other people:
Rom 13:10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Are we kind to our neighbors?
1 Cor 13:4-7, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Are we selfish? Are we proud? Do we envy what our neighbor has? Does our behavior lead people to God, or away from Him?
Eph 4:2, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” Are we humble? Are we meek? Are we patient when someone cuts us off in traffic? How do we respond to criticism about our Christianity?
Jn 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Do we respect those neighbors of ours who are willing to lay down their lives for us to protect our lives and freedoms, like our soldiers and police officers?
God tells us about love, because He loves us and wants us to understand what love looks like. He wants us to experience His love for us, Rom 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He wants us to desire His love and to exhibit it here on earth, so others will witness the light and have the same desire, Matt 5:16, 4:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven…The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” Are we spreading His light?
The prospect of eternal life ought to be a part of all of our thoughts and actions, so if we plan on living for all of eternity, it shows in how we respond to God’s love and Jesus’ offer of eternity:
Jn 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Do we put a priority on knowing God? Do we plan our lives around His offer of eternal life, or do we plan our lives around the next pleasure or excitement offered to us?
Gal 6:8, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Are we allowing corruption into our lives? Do things we choose to do demonstrate our desire to spend eternity with God?
Ps 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Has any one other than God told us He has always been and will always be? Does history support this claim?
God tells us about eternal life to help us reason with our own thoughts and actions, Prov 4:26-27, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Are we seeking the path that leads to Him by changing our daily behavior?
It is the hope of eternal life that draws people to God and the life He calls us to live, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Are we working to have the expected end He offers?
God asks all of us the same question, Jn 5:6, “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?” When we accept His love, we are made whole and eternal life is our future.
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