What are you doing in order to gain eternal life?
Today there are people called Jehovah’s Witnesses who work hard to obey the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society organization’s rules in their attempt to gain eternal life. There are Muslim’s killing fellow humans in the belief that this will gain them eternal life. A huge number of people are trying hard to overcome their human nature and be ‘good’ in order to gain eternal life. Mormons believe that if they can come up with the right ‘translation’ of the Bible and if they read and follow the Book of Mormon, they will know how to follow Christ and know what to do to obtain eternal life. Catholics are following the Catholic Church doctrines and the teaching that only in the ‘true church’ (Catholic church) can a person have salvation and earn eternal life. So many who truly believe in God also believe they need to work, or join the right organization. They are trying to overcome.
What we must remember is that everything that is truly valuable can and will be copied by thieves and con artist, but the authentic can be verified. There are thousands, if not millions, of copies of Rembrandt’s work floating around. There are people who make their living just verifying the real thing in the arts.
In the matter of life we must keep in mind that there is a thief who is roaming about seeking to distort and destroy the truth of why Christ came and what His death, burial and resurrection truly means to all who will accept it.
The authenticity of a religion can also be verified just as Rembrandt’s work can be, but it takes an expert. There is actually only ONE who is qualified to reveal the authentic and to expose the fake. Fortunately He is also the One who left us His word and came to us as the Living Word. Here is what we learn from His word:
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4
When we know this, the next discovery must be where to place our faith. Listen to the words of Jesus. I don’t know how Jesus, also known as the ‘Son of Man’, could have made it any clearer:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:14-18
So what does this mean for those who work so hard. If they are doing it for eternal life, they are missing the boat. God has told us clearly that:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
This beautiful hymn explains it.
And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”Acts 16:30-31