"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:11-13 KJV).

Our message today is taken from the general epistle of the Apostle John. He has a very important message to convey to us; the message that he himself have experienced because he was one of those recipients who have lived to hear, see, looked upon, and touched with their hands the Word of Life who is our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.

John was talking about Eternal Life and he wanted to share it to us so that we will receive the fullness of joy! "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son." (I John 5:9 KJV).

He said that if we receive what men has written and believe their discoveries and declarations, would it be fair if we don’t take time to listen to what God has to say? In fact, God has greater news for us to take seriously and to take heed to what He wants to give to us.

John said that God’s record is that He has given us eternal life. Eternal Life is equivalent to our eternal salvation. Eternal Life means to live forever with God! Man has invented so many ways to go to heaven and they don’t want to listen to what God has to say about eternal life or salvation. Man wanted to do it on his own.

The religious Jews were establishing their own righteousness and have not submitted themselves to God’s righteousness through Christ. "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3 KJV).

John was clear to what he declared that Eternal Life is a gift from God. It was given to us and since it is a gift, it is free! But why is it that many religions has put a price on the gift of salvation? Why do we need to sacrifice in order to have eternal salvation? Why do religions teach that you need to obey the laws in order to go to heaven? Why are there so many conditions and a list of requirements for man to do in order to be saved and inherit eternal life? I guess we are not really listening to what God is saying.

So, let’s go back to what John was saying in I John 5:11-13.

First of all, God has given us eternal life.

This is God’s record. This is what He wants to tell us. Eternal Life is God’s gift for us because His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, paid all of our sins when He died at the cross of Calvary. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The Bible declares that we all have sinned against God and Paul said that the payment of our sins is death. It means we will be separated from God for all eternity because there is no way that we can pay for our sins to God. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23 KJV).

Secondly, Eternal Life is in Jesus.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." (I John 5:11 KJV). It means Eternal Life can only be found and received from Jesus. There is no other way to have it but in Jesus alone. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

The Apostle Peter declared in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." He was referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. So, the Bible declared that eternal life or salvation cannot be ours by any other way except through the Lord Jesus Christ alone. He alone paid for all our sins at the cross.

When He said, "It is finished," it means He paid for our sins in full! We don’t need to add anything more. What Jesus did on the cross is enough to pay for all our sins.

Thirdly, we need to receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord in order to have Eternal Life.

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (I John 5:12 KJV). The condition is, to have the Son is to have Eternal Life. Without Him in our lives means we don’t have eternal life. Eternal Life is in Jesus. We cannot separate Jesus Christ and Eternal Life. He is the Life.

Without Him we will live in eternal darkness separated from God forever. Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Lastly, John assumed that many will doubt about what he was talking about.

So he wrote in I John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

I am sure that as you read this message, you will surely ask these questions. Is it for real? Can I be sure of having Eternal Life now? Or do I have to wait when I die and then God will decide whether He will let me join Him in eternity or not?

Well, it is a matter of faith, choice, and commitment. Religion has influenced us to believe that we have to work our own way to heaven. This influence has made it hard for us to believe the witness of God. But God’s witness or record is simple. He has already given us eternal life, and this life is in Jesus Christ. The condition is for us to believe in Jesus Christ and make a decision to accept Him as Savior and Lord, as the Scriptures says, you will have Eternal Life.

John 3:16 said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The question is, have you received the gift of eternal life?

You might be religious, a good person, trying to obey the laws and trying to establish your own righteousness. These things are good but it cannot gain Eternal Life. As we have learned from what Apostle John wrote, Eternal Life is a gift from God. You don’t have to work for it because it is free, it is given. You can only receive or it reject it. Your choice.*

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Pastor Pedro Etabag is the regional director of Lifeword-Asia Pacific and senior pastor of Tangub Missionary Baptist Church in Bacolod City.