Here are some of the Bible passages that present the ideas found in the Have you Heard about Henry series of articles.

What Kind of Eternal Life Does Jesus Offer Us?

Often, people think of eternal life as a state we enter after we die. But Jesus tells us that eternal life is an eternal union with God that begins the instant the Spirit of God comes to dwell in our hearts.

He calls it being born of the Spirit.

That miraculous event occurs when we:

Stated simply, we decide to accept his invitation to be reconciled with God and be united to him.

A Retroactive Union

As soon as Jesus comes to live in us by his Spirit, we become God’s child forever.

Our Father sees us as having died for our sins when Jesus died for our sins, as having risen from the dead when Jesus rose from the dead, and as being seated in God’s throne room with Jesus when he ascended to heaven.

He sees us as blameless, pure, and holy — not because we have lived that way, but because that is what Jesus is like, and we are now identified with him. All guilt and shame are washed away.

And because we are eternally united with him through his Spirit, his holy moral perfection becomes our ultimate destiny.

A New Perspective on Life and Death

The moment we are united to the resurrected Jesus, our inner self passes from death to eternal life to become a “new self”. But the part of us affected by sin, our “old self”, still holds us back until we die and leave this sinful world. During the rest of our time on earth, we are learning to say “no” to what that “old us” wants us to do and to say “yes” to what our “new us” wants.

In other words, we are learning to trust God and do what he wants in his strength.

And that takes time, and basically, a total rethink of who we are, of who God is, and of why we are here on this planet (in case you were wondering why Christians on earth are imperfect). Every time we trust God enough to obey him in his strength, we discover that it is true: his way is far better than Satan's!

He does give us the power to forgive all who harm us, to love our enemy and do good to those who wish us ill.

He does make it possible for us to honour and serve one another with joy.

He does fill our heart with love, joy, peace, and hope!

And so, the more we obey him in his strength, the more we trust him; the more we trust him, the more we obey him in his strength and reflect his character.

But to fully become who we are in Jesus, we need to be freed from our mortal body and receive a new, eternal, perfect spiritual body at our resurrection. That resurrection has already occurred for Jesus, but it is a future event for his followers.

The Perfection That Awaits Us

The day is coming when God will rid this world of all evil. Satan — and every being who has chosen to remain allied with him instead of becoming allied with Jesus — will suffer what God calls the second death. They will never again be able to tempt God’s children or harm them in any way whatsoever. All rebellion against God will cease.

(See also Matthew 25:31-46.)

A multitude of humans from every tribe, nation, and language who have become allied with Jesus will remain eternally united to him through his Spirit. They will all be perfectly restored to Jesus' image, delivered from all evil and suffering. And they will reign forever with Jesus in a new heaven and earth where God’s will is perfectly accomplished.

And to think that the Creator offers all this to us as a gift!

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