One of the most familiar passages of Scripture is John 3:16.
It seems like everybody knows that verse from a young age, yet it still has really been misunderstood and misapplied.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Traditionally, this scripture has been used to teach that Jesus came and died for our sins so that we wouldn’t perish.
As true as this is, this verse is saying that the real purpose of Jesus coming to this earth and dying for us was so that we could have everlasting life. It just so happened that our sins were a barrier that stood between us and this everlasting life.
It is true that Jesus did die for our sins, and it is true that if we believe on Jesus, we will not perish, but there is much more to the Gospel than that.
The real message of the Gospel is that God wants to give you everlasting life.
Now let me explain that.
The night before His crucifixion, Jesus was praying, and He said this,
“This is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ” (John 17:3)
This says that everlasting life is KNOWING the Father, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. That’s what everlasting life is.
Many people think that everlasting life is living forever in heaven with Jesus. Now if that is what you believe, then you've only understood part of the whole truth. The truth is explained in the verse that we just referred to.
Eternal life is exactly what Jesus said in John 17:3 - to know God and Jesus Christ.
It’s more than an intellectual knowledge. This word “know” is used throughout Scripture to describe the most intimate, personal relationship that you can have.
The real purpose of salvation is not living forever in heaven - as great as that will be. The real purpose of salvation is to have intimacy—a personal relationship with the Lord God.
There are multitudes of people who have cried out to God for the forgiveness of their sins but have never had intimacy with God as a goal.
By not explaining the real purpose of salvation, we are doing a disservice to the Gospel.
When we present salvation as something that will only benefit us in the future, in eternity, we are not helping people.
There are some people who are living in such a literal hell right now on earth. Many are depressed, living in poverty, dealing with strife, rejection, hurt, and failed marriages.
People are just trying to survive day to day. They are just trying to keep their heads above water.
By making salvation something that deals only with the future, many people put off that decision because they are too busy just trying to survive today.
The truth is that Jesus not only came to affect our eternal destinies so that we can live forever in heaven in blessing, instead of the punishment and curse of hell, but Jesus also came to deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:4).
Jesus came to give you intimacy and a personal relationship with God the Father today.
Jesus came to bring you back into close, personal relationship with Him.
Jesus loves you. Jesus wants to know you personally.
Jesus wants to give you a quality of life that is greater than anything you could obtain through any other source.
As you read through the Gospels, you'll see Jesus having this personal relationship with His Father.
Now that we are in Christ, we too have the priviledge of entering into this relationship! Praise God what a joy it is to fellowship with our Creator!
Jesus put it this way in John 10:10: “The thief [Satan] comes but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have LIFE and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY."
The life that Jesus speaks of in this verse, refers to a life that includes good health, prosperity, a sound mind, peace, joy and all of His blessings!
You don't have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy all of these treasures; right now is the time!
So let us throw aside all those religious teachings that tell us that God is some far away person who has nothing at all to do with us, neither the affairs of our lives.
No! God is interested in every area of your life! His desire is that you come boldly to His throne at all times! (refer Hebrews 4:16)
God wants to give you eternal life. God wants to give you abundant life, and I believe that you need that today—that you want that.
Christ died not only to forgive your sins, but to bring you close to him. If you don’t know the Lord, you need to know Him for that purpose.
If you’ve already been born again, you need to go beyond just getting your sins forgiven and enter into everlasting life with the Father.
In simple, here are some scriptures referring to Eternal Life:
1.The purpose of the Gospel is eternal life. (John 3:16).
2.Eternal life is knowing God. (John 17:3).
3.Knowing God is an intimate relationship. (1 Cor. 6:16-17).
4.Eternal life is available now. (1 John 5:12).
5.God wants a personal relationship with you. (Rev. 3:20).
If you're a born again child of God, you can enjoy Eternal Life to the fullest right now on this earth! Hallelujah!!!