Eternal Life; November 10, 2021

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

This is as black-and-white a statement as you could find, and it was written by John, the “Apostle of Love!” Those who twist the Bible around to come up with universalism aren’t operating in the love they probably proclaim, but are severely deceived at best. We don’t like to confront Jesus’ statement that “Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14) It is true that God “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth,” (1 Timothy 2:4) but the plain fact of the matter is that there are vast numbers of people who won’t do that. We don’t like to confront that truth, and we are commissioned to share the Good News of salvation with as many as will receive it, but the simple fact of the matter is that many won’t. That is perhaps the greatest tragedy of life. When someone dies physically having acknowledged Jesus as their Lord, that death is a very minor bump in the flow of their overall existence. We make a big deal of it and weep and mourn, but for the person himself or herself, it is a release into more joy and glory than our physical bodies can handle. However, for the person who has not acknowledged Jesus as their Lord, death is entrance into a more horrible eternity than we can imagine. That’s why the devil tries to convince people hell doesn’t exist, and for that matter, that he doesn’t exist. He doesn’t want people to recognize the choice that is laid before them. However much we might want the situation to be different, the Bible is very clear. Again, Jesus pulled no punches when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We try all sorts of mental gymnastics to come up with other “ways,” but Jesus shut that down. The Japanese even have a proverb that says, “There are many paths up Mt. Fuji, but they all reach the top,” meaning that all religions are equally valid. Unfortunately, that is a lie from the pit of hell, and as I said, hell is not a fiction! How this can be, when God is so gracious and loving, is certainly “above our pay grade,” but trying to deny it simply blocks people from the opportunity to repent and believe for their salvation.

This of course is intimately tied to my daily life, because not only am I a believer, seeking to walk each day in Christ, I am a missionary pastor in Japan, surrounded by people who manifestly haven’t committed their lives to Jesus. I am constantly required to release people, and the whole situation, to God, because if I dwell on it I will totally burn out emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. I am to be faithful in presenting the Gospel to as many as will receive it, and I am to rejoice when they do, but at the same time not take it as my personal burden when they don’t. I can’t bear that burden! We tend to think the situation is very different in America, but simply looking at the news and social media convinces me it’s not. There are many who on the one hand profess to be Christians, but on the other hand actively promote things that are clearly in violation of Scripture, and of the very character of God. Repentance is always an option, but for those who don’t take that option, their fate is sealed. I tremble to say it, but the Bible is clear.

Father, I certainly didn’t expect to take such a dark turn this morning. Thank You for the reminder. I pray that it would give me fresh urgency in the task You have laid out for me, so that as many as possible may at least have the opportunity of salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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