Several years ago the American people were made aware of a growing new fad called cryogenics. Several people, desiring to live forever,
have made provision to have their bodies frozen as soon as they die. Their bodies will be kept frozen until, hopefully, sometime in the future
some scientist will come up with a discovery to perpetuate life forever. Then the frozen body could be revived, the magic potion given, and
the person who had been frozen would come to life and live on forever.
Extraordinary measures are often employed to lengthen the lives of patients who are beyond the help of medical science. Why? Because of
man's great desire to live forever!
Throughout history man has searched for the secret of eternal existence. Remember Ponce de Leon and his search for the fountain of
youth? Extensive research in the field of medicine and science has prolonged the natural life-span of man -- perhaps ten to thirty years at
best. In many cases these extra years are filled with pain and impaired ability to think and function normally.
God has offered man what man has been unable to produce -- eternal life -- and He will give it to everyone who really desires to receive it.
When Jesus was talking to Martha about the death of her brother, He assured her that the dead would live again. "Jesus said unto her, I am
the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall
never die" (John 11:25, 26). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47).
It was because of their faith in this promise that the early Christians faced martyrdom so courageously. John, echoing the promise of
Jesus, said, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and
that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13).
Let's take the Bible, ask ourselves some penetrating questions, and find the answers from the Word of God.
1. Have you come to the place in your experience that you have the assurance of eternal life?
2. If you do not have that assurance, would you like to know how you can have it?
4. What did God say would happen if man disobeyed and ate of the forbidden tree? Verse 17
"Our first parents, though created innocent and holy, were not placed beyond the possibility of wrongdoing. God made them free moral
agents, capable of appreciating the wisdom and benevolence of His character and the justice of His requirements, and with full liberty to
yield or to withhold obedience. . . . The tree of knowledge . . . was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents. While
permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death" (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 48, 49). -- God
said, "OBEY AND LIVE; DISOBEY AND DIE."
6. Because of man's disobedience, what was God forced to do? Verses 22-24
"The warning given to our first parents -- 'In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die' (Genesis 2:17) -- did not imply that they
were to die on the very day when they partook of the forbidden fruit. But on that day the irrevocable sentence would be pronounced.
Immortality was promised them on condition of obedience; by transgression they would forfeit eternal life. That very day they would be
doomed to death" (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 60).
7. How does sin affect man's relationship with God? Isaiah 59:2
When the connection between God and man was severed by Adam's sin, man was cut off from the source of continuing life. He began to
die. That death would have been permanent if it had not been for God's plan of salvation, which gives man another chance to have eternal
8. What was the terrible result of Adam's sin? Romans 5:12
Christ said that the hate in men's hearts, the lust in their eyes, and even the idle words they speak are considered sin by God. If you commit
only three sinful acts each day, there would be a thousand acts each year of your life of which you would be guilty. Multiply your age by 1,000
and see how many sinful things you have done during your life that will deprive you of eternal life, for if sin remains, it separates you from a
holy God and from eternal life.
This presents quite a dilemma! We are all sinners, and the wages of sin is death. And yet we can't save ourselves. Sound hopeless? No,
there is good news for every sinner!
Eternal life is a free gift! It isn't something we can earn, or even deserve, ever.
13. What is the characteristic of God that makes Him long to help us? 1 John 4:16
15. Even though He is a God of love, what can't God overlook? Exodus 34:5-7
"To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. 'As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but
that the wicked turn from his way and live' (Ezekiel 33:11)" (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 628).
Here we find God pictured as a loving, forgiving, compassionate God, but He says that it is impossible for Him to clear the guilty sinner. He
can't just ignore sin, for He is a God of justice and fairness. He wants all to be saved, but those who sin must die. What a problem! How
can God save us and still be just?
"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share,
that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the
life which was His" (The Desire of Ages, p. 25).
18. As Jesus hung upon the cross, what did God lay on Him? Isaiah 53:6
"The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden of sin. He who had been one with God, felt in His soul the awful separation that sin
makes between God and man. This wrung from His lips the anguished cry, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matthew 27:46).
It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God -- it was this that broke the heart of the Son
of God" (Steps to Christ, p. 13).
19. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of how many? 1 John 2:2
Propitiation means "to make reconciliation." "And now the Lord of glory was dying, a ransom for the race. . . . All was oppressive
gloom. It was not the dread of death that weighed upon Him. It was not the pain and ignominy of the cross that caused His inexpressible
agony. Christ was the prince of sufferers; but His suffering was from a sense of the malignity of sin, a knowledge that through familiarity
with evil, man had become blinded to its enormity. . . .
"Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. . . . The guilt of every descendent of Adam was pressing upon His
heart. . . .
"It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the
heart of the Son of God" (The Desire of Ages, pp. 752, 753).
21. What did Paul tell the jailer he must do to be saved? Acts 16:30, 31
To believe in Jesus means more than just believing that Jesus lived and died nineteen hundred years ago. James 2:19 says, "The devils
also believe, and tremble." Mental assent to historical facts is not saving faith! Saving faith is trusting in Jesus alone for salvation from sin
and death. It is a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith -- faith that
works by love and purifies the soul.
23. As Jesus knocks at our heart's door, what does He invite us to do? Revelation 3:20
"The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven
in one gift. The Saviour's life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and
through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings -- all are enlisted in behalf of man's redemption. . . . What more could He do?" (Steps
to Christ, pp. 21, 22).
24. As we open our hearts and receive Christ into our lives, what assurance can we have? 1 John 5:12, 13
Jesus says, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).
You can live forever! Jesus gives the invitation to everyone who believes in Him that he "should not perish, but have everlasting life"
Do you want to place your hand in God's hand and let Him control your life and give you the power to live for Him each day? By a deliberate
choice on your part you may set in motion forces that are waiting to bring you eternal life. It can be yours!
25. What wonderful relationship do we have with God when we accept Christ as our Saviour and Lord? John 1:12
26. Do you understand what we have found today? Let's briefly review this good news again:
f. If we accept Jesus as our Redeemer and Lord by faith, we can have eternal life. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth
on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47).