When I was a young boy, I became a Christian because I was scared to death of hell. I read verses like Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It made me afraid. Even as a child, I understood sin, so I quickly expressed my belief in Jesus. I wanted to go to heaven.
However, as I got older, I read another verse that radically broadened my perspective on Romans 6:23.
John 17:3 says, “Now this is eternal life; that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
I used to think that eternal life was just streets of gold, mansions, and no more tears, yet Jesus says eternal life is knowing God. It’s having a restored relationship with the creator of the universe. It’s walking through life with the one who knows me better than I know myself, reading books to my kids, or marrying someone who loves me unconditionally. This is good news! Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we can have what we truly long for, a relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
As you disciple and encourage others in their faith, do all you can to keep Him front and center. Eternal life is more than pain-free living in heaven; it’s actually knowing God now and for all eternity.