What Does “He That Believes on the Son Has Everlasting Life” Really Mean?
“The Lord Jesus said: ‘But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14). He also said: ‘He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him’ (John 3:36). These two verses make it very clear that the Lord Jesus is incarnate God, that is, the Son of man; He has the way of eternal life; and we can obtain eternal life as long as we believe in Him. So we firmly believe that we can surely obtain eternal life by believing in the Lord Jesus, praying in His name, attending meetings, reading the Bible, and working hard for the Lord. But in the last co-worker meeting Brother Zhang fellowshiped that such belief was not the true belief in the Son and that we were unable to gain eternal life in that way. Only those who gain the truth as their lives by practicing the Lord’s words and living out the reality of His words are true believers in the Son and can get eternal life. So I’m confused. Why is it that those who work hard for the Lord can’t obtain eternal life while only those who gain the truth as life can gain eternal life?” asked Chen Yang. This question was hanging over him, so he came to Brother Liu Chen’s to seek fellowship.
Liu Chen thought for a moment, and said, “Thank the Lord! Before we figure out this question, we firstly need to know what the phrase ‘the water that I shall give him’ refers to.”
“It certainly refers to the Lord’s word, the Lord’s way,” Chen Yang answered eagerly.
“Exactly right. It indeed refers to the Lord’s word, the Lord’s way. So we must practice the Lord’s words, obey His teachings, live out the reality of His words, and gain His words as life. Only in this way are we truly believing in the Son. And only through faith such as this can we obtain eternal life. Though on the surface we keep the Lord’s name, pray in His name, attend meetings, read the Bible, and work for the Lord, we are unable to put His words into practice and hold on to His teachings, and we haven’t gained His words as life. It proves that we haven’t drunk the water the Lord gives us and haven’t received the provision of the living water of life. Can we gain eternal life the way we are believing in the Lord? Obviously, it is impossible! Brother, wouldn’t you say so?” Liu Chen said slowly and methodically.
“According to your words, there are substantive differences between the result achieved by attending meetings, reading the Bible, and working for the Lord and the result achieved by practicing the Lord’s words to gain the truth as life,” Chen Yang nodded thoughtfully.
“Indeed. Think about it. If the people who just believe in the Lord Jesus, pray in His name, attend meetings, read the Bible, and work for Him are the ones who truly believe in the Son, why did the Lord Jesus say, ‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity’ (Matthew 7:22-23)? Do those who have preached and worked in the Lord’s name not believe in the Lord? Why will they not receive the Lord’s approval but be convicted by the Lord? Because, though they have worked for the Lord outwardly, they never practiced His words nor gained the truth as life and they always sinned and resisted the Lord. Ultimately they haven’t broken away from their sins yet, so they are the evil-doers in the Lord’s eyes.”
Liu Chen picked up the cup and took a sip of tea, and then he went on fellowshiping, “We all know that the Lord Jesus required that ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’ (Matthew 22:37-40). Those who truly love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind love the Lord with a dedicated and pure heart. No matter how much they have worked for God, and how many sufferings they have endured, they don’t have any intention to make a deal, covet their own benefits, or haggle over gains and losses and reward, but rather obey God and work for the purpose of satisfying God; even if trials and tribulations befall them, they won’t complain about God or betray God, but instead obey all of God’s arrangements. But us? Though we work for the Lord, we all have our personal extravagant desires within. Our intention of working and suffering is to enter into the heavenly kingdom and enjoy eternal blessings, not to truly love the Lord and satisfy Him. When we gain the Lord’s blessings, we are able to expend for the Lord and praise Him; once faced with disasters, we will misunderstand and complain to the Lord, and even be unwilling to spend for Him anymore. This proves that we have intentions in our expenditure for the Lord. In addition, we always live in corrupt dispositions, sinning and resisting the Lord, and live a life of sinning each day and confessing each night. So would we obtain eternal life since we haven’t practiced the Lord’s words and haven’t gained His words as life?”
“That’s true. Through your fellowship, I think of myself: Though I believe in the Lord and have expended myself, I do that in order to gain blessings and benefit in the future. In my life, I often complain to God when encountering unhappy situations, and always involuntarily tell lies and engage in deceit so as to protect my reputation and status. According to God’s requirements, I’m indeed unable to obtain eternal life.” Chen Yang’s heart was a bit heavy.
“Brother Liu, I have some other questions I don’t understand. Why can’t we practice the Lord’s words since we have believed in the Lord for many years? Why do we still go against the Lord’s requirements despite ourselves even if we have clearly known them? What do you think that’s really about? We can’t practice the Lord’s word but always live in and are unable to escape from this endless cycle of committing sins and admitting to them; if we continue like this, the Lord’s word is impossible to be a spring of water welling up within us into eternal life. Then will we be able to obtain eternal life?” Chen Yang continued, with a puzzled frown.
“Brother Chen, the questions you’ve raised are very important! They are also the questions most brothers and sisters in the Lord are confused about. Actually, they are related to the significance and the results of the Lord Jesus’ work. In the Age of Grace, what the Lord Jesus did was redemptive work, and He expressed the way of repentance. Our faith in the Lord Jesus only absolves us from our sins and qualifies us to come before God to confess our sins through prayer and receive God’s grace and blessings. The Lord Jesus has just forgiven our sins, but our inner sinful nature and corrupt dispositions haven’t been resolved yet. So we still often go against the teachings of the Lord and sin every day and confess every day. If we want to practice the word of the Lord and gain the truth as life to become the people who do God’s will, we must truly know and hate our satanic nature and be purified and changed through God’s words. Only when our sinful nature has been taken away and we have no dispositions opposing the truth, becoming the ones who are compatible with God, can we obtain eternal life. After He completed the work of redemption, the Lord Jesus predicted that He would return, and He also predicted: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come’ (John 16:12-13). And the Bible says: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation’ (Hebrews 9:28). ‘He that reject me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). These four verses are very clear. Christ will appear once again and express the entirety of the truth and carry out the work of chastisement and judgment in order to thoroughly cleanse our corrupt disposition and save us mankind from the bondage of sin. So the work of judgment done by the returned Lord Jesus in the last days is critical for us mankind to be saved and obtain eternal life. If we only accept the Lord Jesus’ redemption and want to obtain eternal life and enter into the heavenly kingdom without accepting the returned Lord Jesus’s work of judgment in the last days, we have our head in the clouds,” Liu Chen fellowshiped with sincerity.
Chen Yang said excitedly, “Thanks be to the Lord! Your fellowship is so clear and incisive. It seems that only by accepting the work of the returned Lord can we obtain eternal life and gain God’s salvation. It’s imperative for us to seek God’s appearance as quickly as possible. Only in this way can we have the chance to obtain the way of eternal life and realize our wish of obtaining eternal life by believing in the Son!”
- 1Why Didn’t Paul’s teacher, Gamaliel, Gain God’s Salvation?
- 2How to Deal With Prophecies of Jesus’ Coming in the Last Days
- 3What Are the Standards for Being Overcomers in Revelation?
- 4What Does “a Great Sound of a Trumpet” in the Biblical Prophecy Refer To?
- 5How Did the People of Nineveh Repent and Gain God’s Mercy?
- 6What Does “He That Believes on the Son Has Everlasting Life” Really Mean?