SIMPLICITY. I like things explained to me in a simple manner so that I can understand clearly what is being said. I usually do not like the instructions placed in a box where I must assemble things. Somebody should teach those people how to write instructions that simple people like me can understand. Sometimes I think preachers, Pastors, and bible teachers work second jobs writing those instructions for self-assembly items. Eternal life is an important topic in the Scriptures (bible) for everyone; at least to those who are interested in the ultimate future. And yet there are thousands of religions in the world teaching just about that many ways of planning for one’s future eternal destination and we realize God’s simple message of salvation often is distorted to resemble assembly instructions for a household item. And often that confusion comes from those in the pulpits and classrooms of “Christian” churches; at least they are called by that name.
The Apostle John was a simple fisherman but he was empowered by the Holy Spirit to take the most important truths of the Christian faith and explain them in simple ways we can understand. The way to eternal life is not complicated. It is profound but not complicated. John places in the closing verses of the book of 1 John this important truth, “Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:10-13 NIV)
Yes, there are thousands of religions offering different ways to eternal life. But John is clear, eternal life can only come through Jesus Christ. You either possess that life in Him or you don’t. There is no other way. If you say there is another way you are calling God a liar. Any person, church, or religion that says there are many ways to God is calling God a liar because God says there is only ONE way to Him. Good works will not provide eternal life. Giving money or anything else to any cause, religion, organization, or person will not provide one with eternal life. God has made the explanation of how to obtain eternal life so simple that even a child can understand it. Jesus also stated the way to eternal life plainly. He said, “I am the WAY, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel of John 14:6 NIV). Jesus is the exclusive ONLY way to God. You can’t just include Him with a pack of other “prophets” and expect to get to heaven. And you can’t combine this truth with a box full of other religious instructions and expect it to work either.
It is important to God and US that we understand and believe God regarding eternal life and God’s method of providing and receiving eternal life. God wants us to KNOW that we have eternal life through Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on our behalf on the cross. God doesn’t want us to doubt this finished transaction between Him and us. God wants us to KNOW that our belief in Jesus Christ is enough to provide salvation. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NIV) And in case there should be anyone thinking that God is not an equal opportunity God the bible says this, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13 NIV) God’s testimony regarding salvation is clear. It is not complicated. Acceptance of God’s testimony and receiving God’s Son brings eternal life and assurance that you have it. I wish all instructions were that clear. And I hope what I have said is not like a box full of assembly instructions. I pray that we as Christians will see the need to take the simple message of eternal life that God has given and share it with a lost world that is often under the influence of religious assembly instruction writers.