Most Christians have heard John 3:16 quoted many times and can probably quote it themselves. I have heard it quoted so many times that I had become dull of hearing and felt that I knew the verse quite well. Then one day as I was reading the verse, yet once again, there was one word that jumped out at me and it was like someone slapped me in the face and said look at this phrase, and that was the phrase, Eternal Life. The one word was “eternal” and all of a sudden the verse exploded into amazing understanding.
The word eternal means “without end” so I began to contemplate what life without end really means. I thought of from now on without an end, that is a finishing end. I considered, starting with salvation that there would never be an end to my life. I wondered, what would it be like in say 100,000 or a million years? Would I ever get bored or complacent with that existence? Then I remembered that in eternity there is no such thing as time and off my mind went with that adjustment, wondering how that would work and what it would be like. . .
Then I remembered studying the concept of infinity in college and recalled that an infinity(meaning no end) has no end in either direction. Going forward there is no end and going backward there is no end. My mind began to hit overload with this new insight. Here in time and space we think linear, that is in a straight line. We don’t consider any of the other possible directions but in eternity all directions are considered so eternal life must mean without beginning or end. That was real difficult because I think of my life as having a beginning. That beginning was at my conception and it is dated from my birth. I have no recollection of life prior to that yet the Bible records that we were in the mind of God before time began. Now my mind is really buzzing as I realize that I actually am older than dirt. God‘s plan for me existed prior to His creation of the world. Now I began to realize that I am not a product of chance happening, or the result of certain chemicals coming into contact with each other, in short, a product of creation. It is just the other way around, creation is the product of God’s plan for me and you. It serves as a womb of sorts to provide an environment where God can complete His plan of making man in His own image, after His likeness and with dominion.
As I began to feel a little comfortable with this new understanding, another truth came to mind. Not only does eternal life not have a beginning or an end but eternal life encompasses all possibilities in all other directions as well. At this point my mind went into TILT. I failed to comprehend the whole of the idea of life in the full meaning of eternal. This truth is too wonderful for me. Though I could not comprehend it, I was affected by it.
Then I began to think about God. He is Eternal. The Bible describes Him as the eternal God. We think of this as a title but it is so much more. It is a description of the dynamic of who and what God is. This is promise that God’s plan is not some pie in the sky, by and by, but His plan is to make us His children and to give us eternal life. That is His life that shares with us as we live in Him. He is getting us ready for an eternity beyond our comprehension. That is why we share in His inheritance, His sufferings, His character, His reign and His life.
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting (eternal) life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth in Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not in Him is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.