5 24-30 The Secret To A Long Life
liberty bible church 4/6/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“The Secret To a long life”
Illus. of Barbara Walters special “Live to 150, Can You Do It?” READ portions of article. What made me watch it was the fact that a man from Morton was going to be in the program. Don Rapp, a professional juggler; here are some excerpts from an e-mail he wrote. “Two weeks ago, a famous Florida State University psychologist, Anders Ericsson called me. He said that an ABC 20-20 producer called him and wanted to come to Tallahassee with a camera crew for an interview. His field of research is the Acquisition of Skilled Performance. The producer also asked if he had a way to demonstrate skill learning in a reasonable time frame with a group of 10 year olds to be contrasted with the learning ability of an older group. Of course, I jumped at the chance. So, two weeks ago I taught the two groups, one hour daily for three days. Three men and six women were in the older group; average age 79, with the oldest 90. Fourteen 10 years olds came after school. We contrasted the older with the younger jugglers. As you might expect, the younger group progressed much faster than the older group. But everyone in both groups progressed a great deal. The three older men learned to juggle, while the women progressed much beyond my and their expectations. My underlying goal is to present a motor task and ask any age person to work toward mastery. The neurological challenge provokes the brain and body to produce ever-better control. The person is healthier for the effort. The learning of a new motor skill generates new brain pathways, which in turn makes the whole brain better, i.e., more controlled.”
The point I’m trying to make is that our world is searching for ways to extend their lives. Life is good here for most, maybe too good and they want to live forever here. The program also highlighted people that were into cryogenics and were spending thousands to be frozen, with the hopes of being resurrected one day, with the only hope of dying once again. There is a better way and that’s what we want to talk about…the secret to a long life. You can live to be 150, 250, 969, even forever…and it’s free!
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see the secret to an eternally long life.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. Jesus is in the middle of a discourse on the unity of the Father and the Son. READ v 16-23 to get the context. Today we go on with that discussion and see the secrets to a long life. First, we must…
i. believe in god the father vs. 24-25
Illus. of did I mention how many centenarians there are in this country? 84,000! Most of them give testimony to the fact that they are spiritual people, that they believe in God and in fact attend some type of religious service. I realize that being spiritual and attending church does not make one a Christian, but if you want to live forever, you must believe in the one true God.
a. we receive eternal life today
V 24a 1. This is another one of those truthful sayings they need to heed. Jesus is affirming a truth that they need to understand and trust in.
V 24b 2. If Jesus is in full unity with the Father as we read in the previous verses, then His word can be trusted. To hear His word is to trust, have faith in what He says. We listen with the intent of obeying and having it affect our lives. We don’t listen and then walk away. Illus. of reading the Bible, of hearing the Word taught and never having it affect a change. We need to trust His Word about God the Father.
V 24c 3. We must believe that God the Father sent Jesus and that He is God’s Son with God’s message for the world. We must not just give head ascent to that, but trust in that fact. Trust in Jesus and all that He tells us about life and death, about sin and salvation. If we do…
V 24d 4. We have everlasting life…now! The moment we believe in Jesus, we are recipients of a new life that goes on and on into eternity. We don’t have to wait until after we die. It starts today, that abundant full life that God promises.
V 24e 5. A side benefit is that we are not judged, with the resultant judgment being the second death. Cf. Heb. 9:27-28; Cf. Rev. 20:11-15 We’ll talk more of judgment in a minute.
b. we receive eternal bodies in the future
V 25a 1. Another one of those truthful sayings.
V 25b 2. Jesus’ power over life and death is in three realms.
a. He can literally raise a body from the dead. Cf. 11:43-44
b. He can raise one spiritual dead to eternal life, as we just saw. Cf. v 24
c. He will raise believers who have died to a literal eternal physical life at the Second coming. We’ll give more details of this in the section below as well. Suffice it to say here that…
Trans. To live forever, we must BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER. Second, we must…
ii. believe in god THE son, jesus vs. 26-30
Illus. of in our post-modern emergent church world, the options of what or who to believe in have become a smorgasbord of sorts. It’s ok to believe in Jesus, but not exclusively. I can practice Islam and still believe in Jesus, or whatever religion you want to plug in there. It’s custom Christianity, have Him your way. Jesus is popular, as long as He is making no exclusive demands. Another great plan, just not Biblical.
a. Jesus has exclusive power to grant eternal life
V 26a 1. God has exclusive power over life, both temporal and eternal. He is the Author of life, the Creator of life, and the Sustainer of life. He is the only rightful taker of life. He grants life to whom He chooses and takes it from whom He chooses. He is life itself. Furthermore…
V 26b 2. Demonstrating again His unity with the Father, Jesus points out that He too has this same life. We knew that back in John 1:4.
V 28- 3. Don’t be amazed that Jesus is teaching that there will be a universal resurrection someday for all human
29 beings, Some to eternal life in Heaven, and some to eternal life in the Lake of Fire. Jesus was not teaching a new principle. Cf. Dan. 12:1-3
4. There are two resurrections.
a. the first is for believers and it takes place in stages. The first part is at the Rapture of the church before the Tribulation. The second is at the end of the Tribulation for Tribulation saints and OT saints. There may be another at the end of the Millennial Kingdom for those saved during that age.
b. The Second Resurrection is for those that did not believe in are condemned for all eternity. Cf. Rev. 20:11-15
5. Verse 29 does not mean that we are saved by works. “evil” is the term for worthless. We saw that in 3:20. We are not saved by works. John’s other teachings do not allow for this. Remember good hermeneutics dictates that we interpret a verse in line with its context and other passages. What Jesus indicates here is that those that are truly saved lived a different life. They are obedient to God’s Word, they abide in Christ, and they walk in the light. Salvation is by faith alone in Jesus’ work on the cross. Hell is reserved for those that refuse to believe in Him. Cf. John 3:36 Every good deed done apart from Christ is worthless in the scope of eternity.
b. Jesus has exclusive power to judge
V 27 1. Jesus also has authority to judge as the Son of Man. Cf. Dan. 7:13 That judgment results in what we just saw in verses 28-29. Some will be saved and some not. Jesus judges whether or not we truly believe. As we have seen and will see again. He knows the hearts of all men.
V 30 2. Once again, He is in complete unity with the Father. His judgment is not arbitrary nor unfair. Each condemned one will get what they deserve and each saved one will get what they don’t deserve, eternal life. Jesus fulfills the Father’s will completely and perfectly.
To live forever, we must BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER and we must BELIEVE IN GOD THE SON, JESUS. It is a guarantee. How do we know if our place is secure?
1. On what are you basing your eternal life? GOSPEL Cf. Eph. 2:1, 5
2. Is your earthly life more flesh than spirit or spirit than flesh? Cf. Rom. 6:13; 8:1
3. How do you feel about other Christians? Cf. 1 John 3:14
Illus. of I secured our reservations for our LIFE Club mystery trip. However, if we don’t get our deposits in on time and fulfill the other requirements of the contract, we could lose our spot.
Aren’t you glad that God is not that way with eternal life? If we are in Christ, we have life; our spot is secure and nothing we or anyone else can do can change that. Cf. 1 Jn. 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony, that 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. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
That’s the only way to live forever. Believe in God and His Son Jesus and you will.
“The Secret To a long life”
Life is good here for most, maybe too good and many want to live forever…on this earth. There is something better.
i. believe in god vs. 24-25
a. we receive eternal life ______________________
Cf. Heb. 9:27-28; Cf. Rev. 20:11-15
b. we receive eternal ____________ in the future
Cf. John 11:43-44
ii. believe in god vs. 26-30
A. Jesus has exclusive power to…
Cf. Dan. 12:1-3; Rev. 20:11-15; John 3:36
B. Jesus has exclusive power to…
Cf. Dan. 7:13
How do we know if our place is secure?
Cf. Eph. 2:1, 5
Cf. Rom. 6:13; 8:1
Cf. 1 John 3:14
Cf. 1 John 5:11-13