Eternal Life - Part 2
August 19, 2021
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16).
Yesterday we considered some aspects/characteristics of eternal life in heaven and in hell. But that’s not all eternal life is. Yes, it is quantity of life - to live forever. Yes, it is quality of life - many of the aspects outlined in yesterday’s devotional. But there’s more to the quality of life in heaven than these.
In His High Priestly prayer (John 17) Jesus prayed, And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. A big part of the quality of life that people will have in heaven revolves around relationships. Some people we have known in this life we will meet again in heaven. Some people we have not known but have read or heard about in this life we will get to meet. There will also be people in heaven we have never known or heard of, but have been vital to the work of God in human history. We will meet them as well. But more than these, we will meet God the Father face to face, Jesus Christ face to face, and the Holy Spirit face to face.
But Jesus said there’s more to eternal life than meeting folks. We will get to know them and we will get to know God. Paul the Apostle wrote (1 Corinthians 13:12), For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. The words ‘know’ and ‘known’ mean ‘fully known’ or ‘completely known’.
We know God and others in a limited way. Our knowledge is not complete because we are finite in all aspects of our being except our soul - it is eternal. We see and understand some things about God in the world around us, from reading Scripture, from experiences we have with God. But we don’t fully know God. In heaven we will be getting to know God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and each other more completely for all eternity.
I do think there is a limit to what we can know of the Lord in heaven. I do not believe we will know God as clearly and completely as God knows us because Paul was talking about the manner of our knowing rather than the extent, even though the word ‘know’ does have the quality of ‘fully’ or ‘completely’. In other words, I believe we will know God more fully in heaven than we know Him here on earth, but I don’t believe we will get to know everything there is to know about God completely or perfectly.
So, eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). In eternity we will know and be known, even by those who have never met us in this life (1 Corinthians 13:12). And that knowledge will grow throughout eternity. Boring? Heavens NO!
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the promise of eternal life, and for securing that life for us on the cross. Thank You for the wonder of eternity that awaits us in heaven. May Your name be honored and praised forever, Amen.”