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The Evidence for Eternal Life

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1 John 5:13 ESV  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

Write these things

1 John 1:4 ESV  And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

1 John 2:1 ESV  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 2:21 ESV  I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

1 John 2:26 ESV  I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.

The gospel of John was written so that…

John 20:31 ESV  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

What things?

Believes that Jesus is the Messiah

1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God

Believes what scripture says about Jesus

1 John 4:2 ESV By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

Prescriptive vs descriptive

Philippians 1:29 ESV

29  For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

John 1:12-13 ESV

12  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

13  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 6:44-45 ESV

44  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

45  It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—

Acts 13:48 ESV

48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

John MacArthur – The Gospel According to Jesus

A few have even taken the absurd position that a born-again person may ultimately turn away from Christ into unbelief, deny God, and become an atheist—yet still possess eternal life. One writer invented a term for such people: "unbelieving believers"!

Matthew 10:32 ESV  So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,

Matthew 10:33 ESV  but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

BUT there’s more to belief to be born of God

1 John 3:10 ESV  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

1 John 2:29 ESV

29  If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

1 John 3:9 ESV

9  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.


1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.

This principle permeates John’s epistle

1 John 2:10 ESV

10  Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

1 John 3:14 ESV

14  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

1 John 3:17 ESV

17  But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

1 John 4:20-21 ESV

20  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

John 13:34-35 ESV

34  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

35  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

How do we know we love the Children of God?

1 John 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.

1 John 3:24 ESV

24  Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Then John clarifies what is means to love God

1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

NOTE what the Bible says about the law of God

Psalms 19:7-11 ESV  The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;  8  the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;  9  the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.  10  More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.  11  Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

He’s not commanding you do drink poison; He’s commanding you to keep a law that is <read from above>

Jesus repeated the principle that God’s children keep his commandments.

John 14:21 ESV  Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

John 14:23 ESV  Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 15:14 ESV  You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Matthew 12:50 ESV  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

John 8:31 ESV  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,


1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

This issue comes down to motive…

1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV  “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

It is possible to do things that appear loving, but are NOT done from genuine love.

Matthew 6:1 ESV  “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

1 John 3:18-19 ESV  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  19  By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;

Romans 12:9 ESV  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Romans 12:9 NKJV  Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

1 Peter 1:22-23 ESV  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for [the purpose of] a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,  23  since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

The Word of God (the Truth) is key here.


Psalms 119:32 ESV  I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!


4  For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

5  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?



Loving God is shown by keeping His commandments and they are not burdensome.

The For indicates, the reason they are not burdensome is because people who love God have been born of God.

everyone who has been born of God

overcomes the world.

So what does it mean to overcome the world…

The opposite of overcoming…

2 Peter 2:19-22 ESV  They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.  20  For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  21  For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.  22  What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

This is not who we are!!

So what does he mean by “anyone born of God overcomes the world”

What does “overcomes the world” mean?

The Ruler of This World

1 John 2:13-14 ESV  … I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. …  14  … I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

1 John 3:7-8 ESV  Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.  8  Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Romans 12:21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Romans 12:17-21 ESV  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  18  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Jesus said in John 16:33, I have overcome the world.”


John 16:25-33 ESV  “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.  26  In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;  27  for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  28  I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”  29  His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!  30  Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”  31  Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?  32  Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  33  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The Pull of the World

1 John 2:15-17 ESV  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.  17  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Ephesians 2:1-5 ESV  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  2  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  3  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  4  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  5  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

An example of overcoming the pull of the world

Hebrews 11:24-27 ESV  By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,  25  choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.  26  He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.  27  By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

The Lies of the World

John wrote in 1 John 4:4  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  

Overcome WHO?


1 John 4:1-6 ESV  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  2  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  3  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.  4  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  5  They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.  6  We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

And this is the victory

that has overcome the world—

our faith.

5  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Who is it that overcomes the world

except the one who believes

that Jesus is the Son of God?


Matthew 19:16 ESV  And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

Matthew 19:28 ESV  Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:29 ESV  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

[Mark 10:30 ESV  who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.]

[Luke 18:30 ESV  who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”]

Matthew 19:30 ESV  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.


Matthew 25:14 ESV  “For it [kingdom of heaven] will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.

Matthew 25:15 ESV  To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away

Matthew 25:28 ESV  So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.

Matthew 25:29 ESV  For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Matthew 25:30 ESV  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Matthew 25:34 ESV  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Matthew 25:35 ESV  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

Matthew 25:36 ESV  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Matthew 25:39 ESV  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

Matthew 25:40 ESV  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:45 ESV  Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

Matthew 25:46 ESV  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Sows and Reeps

John 4:13 ESV  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,

John 4:14 ESV  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:23 ESV  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

John 4:24 ESV  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:34 ESV  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

John 4:35 ESV  Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

John 4:36 ESV  Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.

John 4:37 ESV  For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’

John 4:38 ESV  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Hears and Believes Scripture

John 5:1 ESV  After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 5:2 ESV  Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.

John 5:24 ESV  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 5:39 ESV  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

John 5:40 ESV  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

John 5:41 ESV  I do not receive glory from people.

John 5:42 ESV  But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.

John 5:43 ESV  I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

John 5:44 ESV  How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

John 5:45 ESV  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.

John 5:46 ESV  For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.

John 5:47 ESV  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Romans 10:10 ESV  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Romans 10:11 ESV  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 10:12 ESV  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

Romans 10:13 ESV  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:14 ESV  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Romans 10:15 ESV  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Romans 1:16 ESV  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:17 ESV  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


John 6:53 ESV  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:54 ESV  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:55 ESV  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

John 6:56 ESV  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

John 15:1 ESV  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

John 15:2 ESV  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

John 15:3 ESV  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

John 15:4 ESV  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

John 15:5 ESV  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:6 ESV  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

John 15:7 ESV  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:8 ESV  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

John 15:9 ESV  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

John 15:10 ESV  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

John 15:11 ESV  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 15:12 ESV  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:13 ESV  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:14 ESV  You are my friends if you do what I command you.

John 15:15 ESV  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:16 ESV  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

John 15:17 ESV  These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

John 10:27 ESV  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:28 ESV  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

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