BY RYAN PULLAN
FAITH CENTER PASTOR
I would like to start this by asking you a question or two. What does the gospel mean to you, what does salvation mean to you?
One of the most familiar passages of scripture is John 3:16. A lot of people know this verse, heard this verse or even looked it up to see what it says out of curiosity.
John 3:16 NLT “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Traditionally this passage has been used to teach that Jesus died for our sins so that we wouldn’t perish. As true as this is, this verse is also saying that the real purpose of Jesus coming to this earth and dying for us was so that we could have eternal life. It is true that Jesus died for our sins, and it is true that if we believe in Jesus, we will not perish, but there is much more to the gospel than that. So what does it mean to have eternal life? Jesus tells us in John 17:3 what it means to have eternal life.
John 17:3 NLT “ And this is the way to have eternal life—to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”
Some people would say eternal life is living forever in heaven versus living forever in hell. According to this verse, to know God and Jesus is eternal life. To know God means to have an intimate, personal relationship with him, to know God and Jesus daily, not just on Sundays or when we get to heaven. There is more to salvation than living in heaven, not taking away from that, that will be a incredible thing.
Salvation is to have intimacy- a personal relationship with God. There are several people who have cried out to God for forgiveness of their sins but have never had intimacy with God as a goal. 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. 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 and 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. I want to leave you five points, or facts, if you would, about eternal life…
*The purpose of the Gospel is eternal life
*Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus
*Knowing God is an intimate relationship
*Eternal life is available
*God wants a personal relationship with you.