How to Live Forever

How to Live Forever

Did you know that you were never meant to die? In the beginning, when the eternal God made man, He did so in His own likeness. Humans were meant to be perfect and to live forever. After the first humans chose to sin by disobeying God’s word, they were driven out of Eden and banished from the presence of God. 

Sin is not of God, which means that it cannot be eternal. This is why death happens. If you’ve ever grieved the loss of a loved one, you know the pain of separation. It was never meant to be this way. Through sin, death became part of the human experience. Sin became a hereditary disease that passes down and affects the entire human race. 

Your first birth: how you came into the world

When you were born, you inherited this sin nature. Scripture describes it as being a child of the flesh. “...those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God...” (Rom. 9:8) Fashioned in your mother’s womb, you were born of the flesh, of water. This is your “first birth.” Someday, your body will die. This is your “first death.” However, you are also made of soul and spirit. What happens to them after your body dies depends on whether or not you become a child of God, with a new nature, born again not of water, but of the Spirit. 

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? You did not ask to be born with the nature of sin. You did not ask to be born and have to eat to survive. You did not ask to be born and need to work to make money, but it’s still the way of things. Existing requires a response from you. You need to make conscious choices about your health, your lifestyle, your resources, your well-being, your retirement, and your eternity. 

According to Scripture, if you are never born again through a “second birth” you will not be restored to the eternal life of God. Very few talk about this anymore, but it is urgent. The smoke and brimstone of the “second death” is not a myth, as some would have you believe. It is real, and you need to take it seriously. It is the fate of sin. Avoiding, denying, or rejecting this because it is uncomfortable and painful to think about is not wise. Remember, sin can have no part in the eternal life of God. You need a new nature, one that is not born of sin, but of the Spirit. 

Your second birth: born again of the Spirit 

More than anything, your sin nature levels the playing field. The gospel is an equal-opportunity message. “All have sinned,” says Scripture. Until one is born again, no one is closer to heaven than anyone else. 

When most people think of sin, they think of the “big” ones...rape, murder, pride. Certainly they are sin. But according to the Most High God, sin means to “miss the mark.” The nature of your first birth (simply being a human born with the inherited disease of sin) misses the standard of God’s holiness. And the thing about sin is that it always brings death. (This life has a 100% mortality rate.) 

Scripture puts it this way: “The wages of sin is death.” Someone rakes the leaves and gets paid with cash; someone sins, and they get paid with death. You inherited this disease from your first parents, and it is up to you to make a choice about how you will deal with it. Being a good person does not cure it. Being religious does not fix it. Giving to the poor does not heal it. Only the blood of Jesus delivers you from the power of sin and death. 

“But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” (Gal. 3:22) 

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4) 

“But God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) 

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 3:23) 

This is the miracle. Because of God’s great love, He made a way for you to be reconciled to Him and receive the free gift of eternal life by faith. By dying on the cross, Jesus paid the wages of your sin for you. 

Imagine if you owed thousands and thousands of dollars to your credit card. You’re barely getting by and don’t have a dollar to your name. And then someone comes along and offers to pay your entire bill. Completely. No strings attached; he just wants you to trust he did it, so you can be debt-free. He knows the heaviness and despair of debt. It makes you desperate and depressed. It steals your joy. This person loves you and does not want you to miss out on the life you can have. 

It sounds too good to be true, right? How does someone you might not even know love you so much? But it is true. So you receive his gift. You don’t actually see him write the check and send it in, but when he says, “It is finished,” you believe it. Now you owe nothing. You are debt-free. 

When the creditor receives the payment, your account is cleared. (Those zeroes are gorgeous!) It would be silly to keep sending payments, because you have nothing left to pay for. 

This is what Jesus did for you. He paid your debt. If you trust Him, you will be set free from the curse of sin. You’ll be born again of the Spirit. He will give you His nature and make you a child of God, which means you can enter the presence of God and live forever. 

Just like He created you to.

This is the miracle of reconciliation. It is healing what was separated through sin, restoring you to communion with God. 

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) 

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) 

Here is how it works: 

First, believe that Jesus Christ paid the debt you owe (death). He said, “...Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (John 20:27) Turning from unbelief to belief is how you repent (Greek: metanoia). It’s a turning to God and putting your faith in Christ. (Acts 20:21, 1 Thess. 1:8-10, Acts 17:22-30). 

And then, by faith in the blood of Jesus, through the grace of God, you are instantly and eternally born again. You become sealed with the Holy Spirit, a guarantee of your new inheritance: eternal life. (Eph. 1:13, 4:30) Now you have nothing left to pay for. Your sins are washed away in the blood of Jesus. 

Notice the immensity and power of God’s love: He sent His son to die for your sins so you wouldn’t have to. Then He raised Jesus up from the dead for your justification (meaning the payment went through, so your sin debt is completely cleared; Rom. 4:24-25). Jesus is alive forevermore! And you can, by grace through faith, partake in His life!

Death has no part in everlasting life. If this life in Christ ended with death, it wouldn’t be eternal life. If you could lose eternal life, it wouldn’t be eternal. 

Until your earth-body dies, you’ll carry around your sin nature because it came with you when you were born the first time. Only now, with your second birth, you have a new nature. For the rest of your earth life, you get to choose everyday whether to walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh. The good news is that you now have the life and power of God in you. He gives you strength, guidance, comfort, and victory.