Are You Worthy Of Eternal Life?

by Douglas Hoff

 

For centuries people have dreamed about living forever. Some, like Ponce de Leon, have spent a lot of time, money and effort looking for the fountain of youth. Though many have searched for it, their efforts are in vain because the fountain of life is in heaven (Revelation 21:6; 22:1).

Scientific research has found ways to prolong life yet man must die one day (Hebrews 9:27). Eternal life will not be found by living forever in a physical body. God has promised to make all things new in heaven. When this change occurs mankind will be freed from death, sickness, pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:4).

Sadly, not everyone is worthy of eternal life. Jesus said only a relatively few will be counted worthy to receive the grace of God (Matthew 7:13, 14). Many will not enter heaven because they failed to do the will of God (Matthew 7:21-23). Because of their sins they will receive eternal punishment instead of a life filled with everlasting love, joy and peace.

Jesus' parables showed that one's attitude and behavior toward God's will are the critical factors in determining who is worthy of eternal life. The very word worthy indicates a judgment of character. In the parable of the wedding feast many were invited but few accepted the king's invitation. Those who rejected the offered feast were deemed "not worthy" (Matthew 22:8). Upon coming to his senses the prodigal son realized his sin had brought shame on himself and his father. He returned and said to his father "I am no longer worthy to be called your son" (Luke 15:21).

A person can and ought to judge himself. Paul told the Philippians their conduct should be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27). How does one go about examining himself? The Christian is to "walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10). To be worthy of the kingdom of God the Christian must also be willing to suffer for the sake of righteousness (2 Thessalonians 1:5).

Can someone tell if a person is worthy? When Jesus sent the apostles out to preach throughout the cities and towns of Israel they were to inquire who was worthy (Matthew 10:11-13). How would they know if someone was worthy? By their attitude and actions toward the gospel. When Paul proclaimed the message of salvation through faith in Jesus the Jews "were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming" (Acts 13:45). This rejection of God's grace meant they had judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life (Acts 13:46).

To be an heir of eternal life one must be judged worthy of it. Becoming a Christian is just the first step. The child of God must continue living in harmony with the gospel. This is why Bible study is vital to the Christian life. Without it one could easily slide back into the ways of the world and lose his reward (2 John 8). In the first century church at Sardis there were some Christians who had "not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4) Are you worthy of eternal life?

 

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