How to Live Forever – Ray Stone

Ray Stone

If a survey question was asked, “What is the most important thing in the world to you?” there would doubtless be a myriad of answers, many of them familiar, money, success, fame, friends, family, good health, etc. There is one answer, however, that probably wouldn’t be heard but should be: “to live forever.” It wouldn’t even occur to most people because they consider it out of the realm of possibility; a Science Fiction concept—to never die! Impossible; a pipe dream. The Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon searched for is a myth—there is no such thing and every thinking person knows it. No point to even ask “How can I live forever?”

But in fact, there is a way, just not here. The question really becomes “How can I get to Heaven?” for that is where life without death exists (Rev. 21:4). Some who had the nerve to ask got an answer! One came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” The answer? “Keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:16). Of course, the one asking was a Jewish man living under the old Law of Moses, and the answer was apropos to that, “Keep the (Mosaical) commandments.”

That system is long gone, as are its commandments and the need to keep them. Hebrews 8:13 calls it the “old covenant” that was even then “vanishing away” to be replaced by the New, the Gospel of Christ. However, the promise holds: “This is the promise which He promised us, even life eternal” (1 John 2:25). The ancient Jews’ chance to live forever was through the Law of Moses; the chance today for all men lies in the Gospel of Christ. “God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (John 5:11).

So it is possible to live forever. It’s out of the realm of myth, nor is just a pipe dream, but real! The only question is, how can I gain attain it? Most Denominational churches will tell you “Salvation is by grace, a free gift of God”—and they are right. “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) and “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). That Bible doctrine simply says no one can be so good as to deserve eternal life; you can’t put God into your debt and say “You owe me a forever life.” “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Therefore all who will live forever are given that as a gift they really don’t deserve—it’s by the grace of God.

Yet it doesn’t necessarily follow that “there’s nothing we can do to get it.” God laid down certain conditions that man must meet to qualify himself to be given that gift. The New Testament, the Gospel of Christ, speaks plainly of the opportunity each of us has, to do something in order to be given this forever life. Jesus admonished, “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven” (Matt. 7:21).

Hear from the mouth of Jesus Himself, the conditions He says we must meet. First, “If he believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). That’s pretty certain language. Refuse belief in Jesus Christ and eventual death awaits you. But that’s not all He said: In similar language He also admonished, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Again, the meaning is clear: Repent (turn from sin) or perish. We can safely conclude it is an absolute necessity, if we want to live forever, that we believe in Jesus, and repent of living a sinful lifestyle.

But there’s more: Jesus also warned, “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess before My Father which is in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven” (Matt. 10:32-33). A confession about Jesus—your faith in Him—is another requirement according to Christ’s clear words. The Ethiopian of Acts 8 gives us one form that verbal confession may take: He said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). It’s just that simple: If we expect to gain Heaven, where death has been abolished (1 Cor. 15:26), we must believe on Jesus, repent of our sins, and confess our faith in Him before men.

Still, there is one more condition to be met: In equally plain language, our Lord said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Once more, there is no ambiguity—baptism, or damnation. This is the final requirement—we know it is, for “salvation is in Christ,” (Acts 4:12), and we are “baptized into Christ” (Gal. 3:27 and Rom. 6:3).

This, then, is the way to live forever. God’s plan of salvation into eternal life, even though we don’t deserve it and could never earn it, is believe in Jesus, repent of sin, confess that faith before men, and be baptized (immersed) in water. Four things: One with the heart, belief; one with the mind, repent; one with the mouth, confess; and one with the body, be baptized, qualifies you to receive that seemingly impossible gift, life without end. What it makes you is a New Testament Christian, a member in good standing of Christ’s church because God added you to it (Acts 2:47)—with eternal life in your future!

There’s lots of alternate plans claiming to get you there, but this is the only one that works—because it’s the one God gave. Don’t let the ideas and theories of men rob you of the chance to live forever. Take God at His word!

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Author: Editor

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