(61) and the life everlasting

I believe in life. Life is no dream or passing fancy. Life is not a calamity from which I want to be delivered. My life can, however, be so dragged down to ill health, failure, and sin, that I wouldn’t particularly want to have to go on and on living this plagued kind of existence. Living forever could be hell unless everlasting life is a life of the highest type, including memory, understanding, ability, joy, love, and hope for more of the same forever and ever. I believe that our Lord is living this kind of life right now. His life is the only eternal life there is. The good news is that we can share in this Christ-life, both in its kind and its duration. He has made his life available for us. He offers it to us and makes it possible for his kind of life to begin even in these earthly lives that we now live. The life that triumphed in him will bring us to triumph as well. Oh glorious, glorious gift!

Life everlasting will not be stagnation. We shall not be frozen into one unmoving, permanent tableau or fixed forever at our present stage of development. The panorama of the endless possibilities ahead of us cannot be described by our little guesses. We are the only creatures God ever made which do not attain full development in one life span. Away ahead of us will stretch unimaginable vistas of unlimited development as we serve God’s purposes gladly without haste or waste. What each one of us needs for his perfection will be available to us. There will be lots of “time” to finish all our beginnings.

Christ will be there. That’s how we get to be there—because of his eternal life in us. We shall see him as he is and understand what he meant when he said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus Christ is the life everlasting. This last phrase of the Creed is full of Christ, and it is the Creed’s pinnacle point. Looking through the veil of these words, I see Christ standing in glorious union with all of us who have come to him. He who was in the plan from the beginning stands there as the end and the goal of the whole story of God’s world: God with man forever. With God the Creed began—and it ends likewise with God. His was and is and evermore will be the power and the glory.

Through Christ he has dealt with all three of our ultimate enemies, death, sin, and the grave. There will be no more dying in the life everlasting. We who have received Christ’s gift of eternal life shall be safe from the destroyer forever. Though today my head may hang with shame because of my sins, in the life everlasting they will be no more remembered against me. God will be able to trust me as fully as he trusts his only begotten Son. Though today I mourn because some of my richest joys and fairest hopes and dearest earthly loves lie buried in some graveyard, in the life everlasting I shall rejoice at Christ’s power to restore what I had lost. He is the resurrection and the life. That not only means complete and final deliverance from the destroyer. It also means movement ever onward and upward from glory to glory until we are as closely at one with God as is the human side of Jesus. The gospel, the best news ever, is that the way to this life everlasting was opened to us by Christ. I believe in it from the bottom of my heart.