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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Everlasting life!

There is a Greek story of a goddess who fell in love with a mortal. The problem, of course, was that they both knew that he would eventually die, while she enjoyed immortality. The goddess went to Zeus, the chief god, and asked if she might be granted a request. Zeus agreed - but told her that she could have only one request granted, and was never to come back for another. Happily, the goddess agreed - and asked that the object of her love be granted everlasting life. Zeus granted her request, and the couple were married.

At first, all was well. However, as the years passed, they realised that they had made a major mistake. The husband lived on - but he kept getting older. His body deteriorated; his mind became fuzzy; while his wife lived on in her eternal youth. The point of the story, one may assume, is that everlasting life - in itself - is not something to be desired.

That story came to mind when I read a newspaper headline, earlier today: "Scientists find way to STOP ageing in development which could lead to everlasting life." Now, to be fair, they do claim to have found a way by which the actual process of aging may be stopped. It's all to do with telomeres - fragments of DNA which cap both ends of each chromosome and protect against the wear and tear of natural ageing. However, even the thought of "being around", in this human life, for thousands of years, is surely off-putting! And, of course, there is the practical consideration of population growth!

It may be more than coincidence that I came across that headline, and article, so soon after my previous post on the Final Frontier! Perhaps the Lord is speaking to someone specifically through this blog! Are you concerned about death? It isn't unusual! However, for those who have come, in repentance and faith, to Jesus the Christ and received the new life that He offers, there is no need to fear. He offers us, here and now, "life in all its fulness" (Jn.10:10) and, when our mortal life has ended, a continuing life in His nearer presence. It's not "everlasting" life, but "eternal life" - the Life of God Himself. and it is something that we enter as soon as we accept the gift of salvation that Jesus gained for us on the cross at Calvary.

Have you accepted that gift? If not, why not?! Perhaps you think that you are not good enough! Well, I'll not argue with you on that score! You see, neither am I! Paul wrote to the Roman believers (!) that "all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one;' " (3:9-10) and, again, that "... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (3:23).

That's why he made clear, in his letter to the Ephesians, that it is "... by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -" (2:8). This year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation,and one of the great principles of the Reformers was "Sola gratis" - "Grace alone". Taste of that grace for yourself - you will never regret it, and you will know life that is truly rewarding (although not necessarily easy!), and that will be yours for all of eternity!

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