“I Give Unto Them Eternal Life”

Note: the following article was originally posted on July 30, 2014. I decided to re-post it today, in memory of my earthly father, who died yesterday at the age of 95, and in honor of our heavenly father who gave his only begotten Son through which all might be saved.

img_0677John10:28:  And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My family and I recently traveled to France for vacation. Among our stops were the beaches of Normandy, on which the allied invasion of France began on June 6, 1944 (D-day), and the American Cemetery.

These sites held particular significance for me, as my father was among the soldiers who fought in the Normandy campaign. He and my mother were able to visit Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-day about a month before we were there.

The American Cemetery tells the stories of many of the brave soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe from the grip of tyranny. There is also a chapel at the Cemetery. The chapel contains an altar that tells the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save mankind. The altar has an inscription that reads: “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH”.

This brief inscription, which quotes Jesus, is extremely well chosen. Its eleven words affirm many Biblical truths that are central to the gospel, including the following:

Jesus is God.   The Bible says that God grants eternal life. So, if Jesus gives eternal life, it follows that He is God in the flesh.

John 1:14:  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Eternal life is a gift.  The Bible calls eternal life a gift – unmerited favor.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The gift of God is eternal life. Jesus is not only necessary for eternal life. He is enough. Believing in Jesus as Savior means believing that our good intentions or good works have nothing to do with receiving eternal life. Neither does their presence or absence prove whether or not we possess eternal life. We need only believe in Christ alone as Savior in order to receive eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Eternal life is available to everyone.  Who is the “them” to whom Christ gives eternal life? The Bible says that anyone who will believe in Christ as Savior will receive eternal life.

John 20:31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

The God of the Bible did not choose some to receive eternal life, while making it unavailable to others. The Bible says that God desires that everyone be saved.

1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Eternal life is eternal.  The doctrine of eternal security of Christians is taught throughout scripture. Eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace. We cannot work our way into eternal life, and we cannot work our way out of eternal life.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Every one of the soldiers who has defended our freedom on the battlefield deserves our gratitude. Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, deserves our gratitude infinitely more. He died for our sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He offers us eternal life as a free gift.

All one needs to do to have eternal life is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

31 responses to ““I Give Unto Them Eternal Life”

  1. Preston, excellent addition as usual.

    I am in agreement (with you and John) that ‘follow’ in John equals the sheep’s trust in the Shepherd. They already are His sheep (have believed) and He says He knows them (vs. 14). “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” Verse 3 also says that He calls us by name. This is apparently spoken about people who are believers.

    This chapter was in direct response to the Pharisees reaction to Him healing the blind man and the once blind man being cast out of the temple, believing on Jesus and then worshiping Him. They Pharisees were not His sheep, they were blind and are the thieves and robbers trying to climb up some other way.

    And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. Jn 9:40-41

  2. Johninnc – I am convinced that some noticed the difference. People do not like to rock the boat, or act differently, there is a sheep mentality, a herd.

    But trust me, some heard and are stirred because God’s Word rightly divided will do that. You’ll find out later I’m sure. Prayerfully enough to be an encouragement to you.

  3. Preston, unfortunately, some of this kind of message wound its way into my dad’s funeral today.

    “When we make the decision to follow Jesus” and “there’s a hole in our lives that only Jesus can fill” and so on.

    The Pastor had earlier read “I Give Unto Them Eternal Life” during the service.

    Everyone seemed to like both messages, and I did not sense that anyone noticed any difference.

  4. Good day.

    adding verse 27 to this in the context for which it was presented adds “works” to the gospel. So do we have “to follow” to be saved. the answer is YES (but not by works). Let me explain.

    although faith is NOT a work, Jesus called it a “work” in CONTEXT when He was asked, what must we do to work the workS of God” and Jesus replied, this is the work of God, that ye believe on the one whom He hath sent” John 6:28-29.

    NOTICE – Jesus, when replying said “work”. which is SINGULAR (while He was asked in a plural sense—workS). That SINGULAR thing to do is to “believe” (which means to trust; to put confidence in).

    Here are a few verses to add.

    -JESUS SAID – That whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but HAVE eternal life (John 3:15)

    -JESUS SAID – 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 (John 3:16)

    -JESUS SAID – He that BELIEVETH on him is NOT condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18)

    -JESUS SAID – 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. (John 5:24)

    -JESUS SAID – Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:29)

    – JESUS SAID – And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that BELIEVETH on me shall NEVER thirst (John 6:35)

    -JESUS SAID – And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may HAVE everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40)

    -JESUS SAID – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that BELIEVETH on me HATH everlasting life (John 6:47)

    -JESUS SAID – He that BELIEVETH on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING water. (John 7:38)

    -JESUS SAID – Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that BELIEVETH in me, though he were dead, yet shall he LIVE: (John 11:25)

    SUMMARY/POINT – what did Jesus say to do to have eternal life? He said to “believe in Him” or “TRUST in Him” to have eternal life. So if one “believes in Him”, that HE died for our sins and rose again they HAVE FOLLOWED and done the “ONE THING” that Jesus said to do for everlasting life.

    – is salvation FREE or a contract contingent on following (Rom 5:15-20)
    – is salvation by grace or by works (following)? Rom 11:16; Eph 2:8-9
    – how well was the SAVED but carnal church at Corinth “following”? 1 Cor 3:1-3
    – those whose faith was overthrown BUT we still saved (2 Tim 2) how well were they following at this time?
    – JW’s follow Jesus better then many Christians, are they saved?

    I could keep going but this is long enough. I SHOULD add that a born again believer SHOULD follow as there is both consequences and rewards for following Christ, but hell is NEVER a consequence.

    Ralph Yankee – “follow the voice” for a more detailed sermon

  5. GraceTruth. Consider this one.

    If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:9-11

  6. GraceTruth, welcome and thanks for your question/comment.

    Yes, we have John 10:27 in our Bibles.

    Why did we pick verse 28 ALONE without verse 27?

    Simple. Because the inscription on the altar at the American Cemetery in Normandy was focused on verse 28, as was this article.

    We think “follow” in verse 27 means believing in Jesus as the only hope of eternal life.

    2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 merely affirms that salvation is by believing the truth of the gospel.

    GraceTruth, this article was intended to be an uplifting article that affirms the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t know what about it could possibly offend someone who loves the Lord and wants to see others come to faith in Christ.

  7. Don’t you all have verse 27 of John 10 in your Bibles? Why are you quoting verse 28 ALONE without 27? John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, [they know My voice] AND THEY FOLLOW ME. And I give them eternal life …”

    2Thessalonians 2:13-14 “… salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel …”

  8. I agree Cyndi, that is beautiful what Johninnc shared. May the Lord give the great comfort I know that He always does.

  9. You all might like this one. Eternal life is not a suggestion.

    And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. John 12:50

  10. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Wow that’s so beautiful Johninnc. No more striving, just resting in His saving grace. Thank you for sharing that testimony of belief in Jesus to save.

  11. Cyndi, John 10:28 is a great verse of comfort and encouragement. It is also may be a way to introduce someone to the gospel message.

    I believed in eternal security before I understood that eternal life itself was a gift, with no strings attached.

    I had believed that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead as far back as I can remember. But, it was just over four yeas ago that I understood and believed that eternal life was a free gift, based solely on Christ’s finished work. That’s when I became a believer.

    Once we believe that Jesus bore all of our sin (past, present, and future), leaving us no sin to pay for, and that His atonement for our sin was sufficient to reconcile us to God, we receive the life of Christ.

    Romans 4:24-25:

    [24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    [25] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    One of my favorite passages to remind me that God wasn’t asking us, as unbelievers, to respond in a godly way in order to be saved is in Romans 5:6-8:

    [6] For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
    [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
    [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    Christ died for the ungodly. Was I ungodly before believing in Jesus as Savior? Yes! Did Christ die for me? Yes. Was His atonement sufficient to justify me? Yes! Did He require any godly response from me (sorrow for sin, desire to have my life change, etc.)? No!

  12. Beholdason, thank you for thinking of me. It is a difficult time.

  13. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Johninnc (I guess I need to differentiate as ‘John’ seems to be growing in popularity! It’s my husband’s name too! 8) Anyway AGAIN I want to thank you for the John 10:28 verse. I’m sending it to everyone. I’m like a kid in a candy store. This verse is rocking my world > I just sent it to my son’s Sociology teacher. 8D I’ve heard it years ago but haven’t heard or read it for a long time until now. This is what should get us out of bed in the morning with a shout of PRAISE be to God! I keep visualizing a tiny newborn baby grasping his daddy’s finger, clinging to it . . .
    ‘they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’

  14. John, I’m sorry to hear of your Father’s passing. Thinking of you at this time.

  15. John John, thanks for your comfort and support. I am thankful for having kind, loving parents.

  16. Bless you, John & Family. With Holly I imagine what a LIFE your Dad must have had! So thankful he has ETERNAL life! We are thankful to him and your Mom for YOU, brother.

  17. Thanks Preston.

    It is extremely comforting for me to be part of this group of like-minded believers willing to proclaim and defend the gospel.

  18. John,

    Sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  19. William, thanks for all of the wonderful words of encouragement, and comforting verses from God’s Word.

  20. Cyndi, thanks for your encouraging words, and thanks for sharing about your father as well.

    I hope that your cousin will understand and believe the gospel message.

  21. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    So sorry John to hear of your father’s passing. It’s been a rough time for you, loosing your spiritual and earthly fathers so close together. I pray for your strength and that you will experience the peace that comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the comfort that only He can bring.
    I celebrate with you your father’s service to our country and his life > in WWII (Normandy > WOW) My father is buried in a VA cemetery near me here in California and it’s always amazing to walk the rows and rows of grave sites. WWII, Korea, Vietnam mostly. My own father’s passing going to be in the presence of God was the most difficult time in my life > I pray you will find comfort in your family. I pray you will have time to complete this process > not to rush. And that you will be smothered in Jesus’ arms > His yoke is easy and burden light.
    God bless you John.
    I was just sharing the meaning of salvation to my cousin today > this verse is PERFECT and so TIMELY. Thank you John > God has given me another verse to share with my cousin.
    ‘And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’
    Thank you Jesus! We are in the palm of God’s great and mighty hand!

  22. John,

    i’m sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I can sympathize and understand how you feel. I recently lost my brother to a heart attack and I once lost my mother to cancer, my father to heart failure, and my closest uncle was brutally murdered in a massacre in Seattle. Like Bryan said that death is never easy, but physical death is just a temporary absence for us who are eternally saved.

    John 14:1-3 – Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    1 Corinthians 15:51-55 – 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

    52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

    1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 – 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Romans 8:11 – 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

  23. Bryan, thanks for your prayers!

  24. My prayers for you and your family John. Although death is never easy, but those who are in Christ, it’s just a temporary absence.

    God Bless,


  25. tnickens57, thanks for your prayers and reminding me that I am in His great hands.

    We are glad that you have found ExPreacherMan to be a blessing.

  26. My condolence John goes out for you & your Family. Praying for the Lord to put His loving arms around you to give you & your family comfort in your time of need right now. ( Isaiah 41:10) The Lord is right there with you because He promised he would never leave or forsake you! May you stay strong knowing God’s Grace will get you through! This website has been a Blessing to me & others. You & Jack has opened my eyes about the heresy of LS.I love getting emails with updates and new topics! I pray for the Lord to strengthen you so that you can continue the work of this Ministry!
    God Bless

  27. Bob, Sam, Holly, Adam,

    Thanks for your kind and comforting words.

    My family and I would appreciate your continued prayers.

    Thanks. John

  28. Johninc,

    My heart and my prayers are with you and your family. As one who is actively employed in law enforcement, I am humbled and grateful for the service and commission your father fulfilled so many years ago. Those were (and are) truly great and courageous men that possessed character seldom seen or rivaled in this worldly day and age. It is of course never easy to lose a loved one, however, unlike those who have no hope, you have the absolute assurance that you will see your father again because of Christ’s blood.

    I am hoping this Scripture is not too strong for the occasion. It is an attitude that Paul the apostle manifested throughout his ministry, and certainly one that I have contemplated many times in my walk with our Lord.

    “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. Philippians 1:21

    God bless you John. Come Lord Jesus!

  29. Johninnc, what a life your father must have had, what things he must have seen, but I can’t help but think on what he is seeing now. Praying for you, your mom, brothers, and sister, and all that knew him, for comfort, and for hope. I pray for hearts to be prepared at the service so that those who don’t know the Lord may come to know the One who gave Himself for them with such great love.

    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

  30. Johninnc my heart is with you its tough to lose a father,Im sure it was an emotional trip at normandy for your family.

  31. Sure of heaven or otherwise, the loss of a father hurts. Bless you and your family, and keep looking up!