Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.John 5:24
Many of you reading this may have seen this passage as the verse of the day in the YouVersion bible app recently.
I’ll admit that even though I usually read the verse of the day every day, I often skim over it without giving it much thought.
However, there was something about this verse that caught my eye and caused me to reread it several times, even comparing it in different translations.
It was the phrase “passed from death to life.”
It made me stop and think about its real meaning. If we take the bible literally, this passage tells us that we have actually transformed from dead creatures to live creatures.
We’ve “passed” as several translations word it. The NIV uses the phrase “crossed over.” Either term implies that there’s no going back.
We’ve either passed from one phase of existence to another, or we’ve crossed over (as in crossing a river or ravine) and the past is forever behind us.
The words create a picture of a definite action, or a movement, from one place to another place—like walking through a doorway to which there’s no turning back.
It implies security, like once we believe in Jesus, we have this new life and can never ever lose it. It’s final and permanent.
And yes, I’m aware there is a great debate over “once saved always saved,” but I’m avoiding that whole discussion for now.
As significant and powerful as the words “passed” or “crossed over” are in this verse, there was something more that struck me.
It’s the phrase “eternal life.”
As Christians, we no longer must face the end of life when our bodies cease to function.
We are fully alive now—and will be forever.
All we have to do is hear God’s word and believe Him, the One who sent Jesus, and we’ll have this eternal life. Again…that’s forever and ever.
Have you ever really stopped to think about what forever means? And it’s not just “a mighty long time” as Prince sings.
Forever means there’s no end to our lives.
We can spend 10 years or even 1,000,000 years in God’s presence and that doesn’t even begin to approach what eternity encompasses (although I don’t believe that we’ll have the same concept of time there as we do in our earthly bodies).
I personally cannot truly comprehend all that eternity represents. As humans, I’m not sure any of us can. We’ve never experienced anything that was eternal.
No matter how long we’ve been alive, we can only measure our existence in terms of decades—and that comes nowhere close to eternity.
And to gain this eternal life, all we have to do is accept God at His word, that He sent His son Jesus (who is fully God) to earth in human form so He could die to pay the price for our sins.
That’s it. There are no works involved, as some people who call themselves Christians would have you believe. It’s all through faith in God’s saving grace.
What’s more is that God wants each and every one of us to have this life. “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
How could anyone turn down this offer?
If you haven’t made the decision to believe God on His word, do it today…and make today the first day of your new eternal life.