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.
John10:28: 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.