The activity of Jesus, as discussed in the previous blog entries, was all part of God’s plan on our behalf. Jesus’ birth, life, forsakenness, death and resurrection are the foundation that makes Jesus’ promise a legitimate thing. The “Gospel” is this promise. Jesus voiced it several ways:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and will not be condemned; he has passed over from death to life. John 5:24
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:1-6
There are more of course. Both from Jesus’ own mouth and the from the pens of the disciples. The phrase “eternal life” deserves some explanation. The Bible reveals that we will all have a continuous existence. Death temporarily terminates our body, but we consciously exist somewhere. Existence in God’s presence, where all good comes from, is not our birthright, nor is it the destiny for even a majority of people. Existence in God’s presence depends on our connection to Jesus. People are saved by one thing: Jesus. That leaves out many things that people tend to associate with having eternal life like being good enough, church membership, personal sacrifice and enlightenment.
Jesus is the cause of salvation, because Jesus is the sole source of forgiveness of sins. Jesus informs us that there is only one unforgivable sin, that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Somebody could live a very perverse life, but if they can be connected to Jesus, then forgiveness and eternal life is promised even to them. On the other hand, somebody could be a relatively decent individual, a fine parent, a good citizen, but because everybody is a sinner in the eyes of God, they would be excluded without Jesus.
Is it fair? From the standpoint of God’s holiness fair would be the exclusion of us all. Through God’s unusual plan and the powerful promise that comes from it, eternal life is on the table for all.
Next time: How does a person get connected to Jesus?