Series B Pentecost 12
"
Eternal Life Now!"
September 3, 2000
John 6:41- 51

Introduction:  The understanding of life eternal has always been an attractive concept and through the years this basic hope in man has been expressed in a number of ways.  The ancient Egyptians, for example, outfitted their pyramids with lavish treasures so that their rulers in the next life could live in virtual luxury and peace.

Then there is the whole fascination with the ever-popular “near death” experiences. In such cases people believe that those who were declared clinically dead, live in happiness even after physical death. Experiences of bright lights, a warm place, the feeling of bliss and joy are thought to be convincing proof that there is eternal joy in the life which is to come.  As these things so? And if they are, how can we be sure?

In the words of Jesus from our Gospel lesson for today is an affirming statement that we can be guaranteed of a better life in the world to come. However, this can only happen when we are found to be in a relationship of faith with Jesus Christ who is the true “Bread of Life”. 

But Jesus will give us convincing proof that is much better. What is more, this life can begin right now, continuing into eternity even as physical life ceases.  Life, real life comes by faith in Jesus Christ. It is a thoroughly Christian and completely heartening truth to announce that eternal life begins now!

I.       Jesus provides more than physical life.

A. Bread for the body is necessary.

1. Jesus did not turn the multitude away when it was time to eat.

2. He provides everything we need and more to sustain our physical existence.

B. Bread for the body is temporary.

1. The wandering nation of Israel ate the provided manna but they still died. "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.” {John 6:49}

2. The multitude of 5,000 ate the bread given but was not permanently satisfied.

3. The world today also cannot endure by “bread alone”

II.      Jesus offers more than future hope.

A. Eternal life is not simply a future hope.

1. The Savior promises that those who trust in Him have it. (not will have it.)  "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” {John 6:47}

2. The Savior assures that those who share in His body will live forever.   "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.”     {John 6:57}

B. Eternal life begins right now!

III.     Jesus gives more and permanent life.

A. His way to life cannot compare with any human way to salvation.

B. His way to life is the only way and more abundant way.    "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have {it} abundantly.” {John 10:10}

C. His way to life does not diminish, deteriorate, or fade away.

D. His way to life depends on His all-atoning and once-and-for-all death. "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." { John 6:51}

Conclusion:  The world may carry a vague hope that life does not end with death. We have the sure conviction that not only do we have everlasting life in Christ but we also have it right now.  Nourished spiritually by the eternal Bread of life, Jesus, we are filled now in this life and forever in the life, which is to come.

+ Soli Deo Gloria+