TITLE: WHAT IS LIFE?
Subtitle: Don’t Be Caught Dead Without It!
Have you ever wondered as I have about what actually constitutes life? Just what is this marvelous "thing" we refer to as life? Does breathing qualify as being life? No, because plants do not breathe in the same sense that animals do—but they definitely possess life and die when they pass a certain stage of growth, or are cut down and severed from their roots. Scientists are constantly discovering organisms literally teeming with life and yet for all of this vast and expanding knowledge, science has yet to give us an accurate definition as to the origin or the destination of this mysterious force. Basically we recognize it when it is present, have learned how to maintain it to a certain extent, and know when it leaves—but its exact nature is still very much a mystery to those who do not believe in God as being the Creator and sustainer of life. In an effort to try to define it, men have devised some conditions that must be met in order to say that it is present. These tests actually involve activities which have been observed in living things, such as: Growth and nutrition, reproduction, response to external stimuli—referred to as "irritability" (which must prove that I am alive, because I get pretty irritated at times)—movement, and so on. Obviously all of these tests cannot be met in most plants because they will not respond to stimuli and do not move—but they are definitely alive. This lack of definitive knowledge concerning "life" found its low point in the totally ridiculous conclusions of Darwin in his "Origin of the Species" and the subsequent pseudo-science of evolutionary theory. It is a "grasping for straws" by those absolutely determined not to believe in God and His explanation of creation and life as found in the Bible. If they insist upon disbelieving the biblical account, it is unfortunate, but I will not quarrel with them because belief does after all involve faith. However, when they teach it in our schools as being a fact (and it is not even a viable theory), this upsets me mightily! Yes, belief in creation requires faith—but so does evolution! As a matter of fact, belief in evolution requires a totally blind faith—one that is oblivious to and devoid of common sense—not to mention one that violates every rule of scientific inquiry by teaching a flawed theory as fact. The universe does not contain enough zeroes to express the odds against spontaneous generation of life. Physicists and mathematicians express as "absurd" any probabilities above one chance in ten to the fiftieth power. In other words, above that extreme it will not happen. The odds against spontaneous generation of life have been calculated and expressed in powers running into the thousands—numbers that are truly astronomical! Frankly, it seems to me that belief in God as the Creator is far easier to accept than the ridiculous notion all living things "evolved"!
Next we must point out that one of the most dishonest and intellectually indefensible crimes being committed today is the murder of unborn babies. The intent of this sermon is not to preach on abortion, but those who teach that these babies do not begin to live until after they are born know better! From the very moment of conception, each and every parameter and definition of life is present with the fetus and one does not have to be a "rocket scientist" to be able to understand such a basic principle. Surely God has a very special and hot corner of hell reserved for abortionists (and many—if not most—of the women who allow them to murder their babies).
This fascinating thing we call life continues to elude the scientist’s ability to measure, quantify, and accurately define by purely scientific methods. It is so common and so much a part of our everyday experience that most of us usually don’t spend a great deal of time contemplating it until someone (or a pet) we love dies. Just as mysteriously as life begins it ends. One moment there is a living human, animal, plant, or organism and then suddenly the energizing force we call life is gone. For all of their intellect and training, the greatest scientific minds this world has to offer cannot examine the remains and tell you exactly what is missing. Experientially they know the symptoms, but not the origin or destination. Only eternity will reveal the time, energy, effort, and money that has been spent by those trying to duplicate in a test tube that which only God can produce.
What is life? The Bible answers this enigma for us in a very clear and straightforward way. Look with me if you will at the Gospel of John, chapter 11 and verses 25 and 26, where the Lord Jesus Christ is consoling Martha, the sister of Lazarus who has just died:
"Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in—adheres to, trusts in and relies on—Me, although he may die, yet he shall live. And whoever continues to live and believes—has faith in, cleaves to and relies—on Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
A parallel passage is found in John 14 and verse 6:
"Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) me" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
In both of these texts, the word translated "life" is the Greek word "Zoe", which is the usual word for life in the sense we are now considering. In other words, Jesus Christ is telling us that He, Himself, is the very essence and embodiment of the life force. Everything and everyone on this planet that is "alive," is so by virtue of the sovereignty of Almighty God. He gives it, sustains it, and either causes or allows it to cease functioning. Those who deny the reality of that which is supernatural (and life itself most certainly is), do so in spite of all evidence to the contrary. As the saying goes: "They cannot see the forest for the trees!"
Up to this point we have been discussing physical life, of which all living things are partakers. But there is another life that is infinitely more mysterious and whose very existence has been debated throughout the annals of time. That of course is spiritual life—eternal life—life in Jesus Christ. I call our attention back to John 14:6 quoted earlier, where the Lord states that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not a way to eternal life (spiritual life)—as if there were many. No, there is only one way, one avenue of approach to God, and that is through Christ. Additionally, in Matthew 7:14, the Lord tells us that the gate—the entrance (speaking of Himself)—to this way is narrow:
"But the gate is narrow—contracted by pressure—and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are they who find it" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
The religions of the world—the "isms"—would have us believe that there are many ways to achieve eternal life, but Christianity stands alone in proclaiming that there is only one. We have it on no less of an authority than God Himself that spiritual life—eternal life—is a gift that only He can grant and no amount of desire and/or work(s) on our part will sway His decision. Notice too the fact that only a few—relatively speaking—will be saved. Narrow-mindedness is a trait thought by the world to be avoided, but the path to eternal life demands that we focus our undivided attention upon Christ. He is the way and there is no other. Not only is He the way, He is also the truth. Philosophers have been seeking absolute truth as long as there have been minds to ponder it and it is to be found only in Christ. Pontius Pilate, prior to allowing the crucifixion, rhetorically asked, "What is truth?" Little did he know or understand that he was literally in the presence of truth personified! Jesus Christ—God’s Son—has plainly spoken the absolute and unalterable truth that eternal life with God the Father is to be found in Himself. He is the way and, to emphasize the point, He makes it clear that no man can come to God any other way.
Are you personally the possessor of eternal life? Do you know beyond doubt that you have "passed from death unto life" (John 5:24)? In 1 John 5:13, the apostle John clearly states that what he has written was intended to be a "test" so that one could know that they possessed eternal life:
"I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in and rely on) the name of the Son of God—that is, in the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men—so that you may know (with settled and absolute knowledge) that you [already] have life, yes, eternal life" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Just as scientists have devised tests to determine if physical life is present in humans, animals, plants, and other organisms, the Bible has some "tests" as well. In the Book of 1 John one of the main things stressed is love for the brethren. If you love God’s people and have a constant desire to be with them—this is a very good sign that you have the Holy Spirit residing within you and possess eternal life. Also found there is the truth that genuine Christians are conscious of their sins and confess them to God. Those who insist that they do not sin are blind to the truth and the Holy Spirit is not in them. In Galatians 5:22-23 we read the following:
"But the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit, [the work which His presence within accomplishes]—is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness; (Meekness, humility) gentleness, self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]." (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Do others see evidence of these characteristics in your life—to some degree? (This is not to say that you cannot be weak in some areas, but overall the traits are there.) Only the Holy Spirit can generate these things in your life and if they are present, He is present within you! Another thing that I like to point out to those who may be questioning their salvation concerns the Word of God itself. Do you basically understand it? Does it speak to your heart and convict you of sin? If it is literally just so much Greek and Hebrew to you, eternal life is not yours. The Bible says of itself that it is incomprehensible to the unregenerate mind. Look at 1 Corinthians 2:14:
"But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them-—of progressively recognizing, understanding and becoming better acquainted with them—because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Therefore, it the Bible does make sense to you and it speaks to your heart—you possess eternal life and are a child of God. A love for believers and the desire to fellowship with them—plus the evidence of the Holy Spirit working within your life—plus having an understanding of what the Bible teaches, all add up to your being safe in the arms of Jesus Christ. However, we must never conclude that we are safe and let our guard down and become spiritually lazy. No, we must "make our calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10), by "growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Satan is our adversary and would like nothing better that to confuse us and wound us concerning our salvation and walk with Christ. He cannot claim us as his own, but he sure can make life miserable for us. Military strategists teach that a wounded enemy soldier is far more important from a strategic standpoint than a dead one! Once the determination has been made that a soldier is dead, he is left for the "graves and registration" detail to deal with later on. Wounded soldiers, however, are a totally different matter. They require immediate and constant attention by scores of support personnel. Their "first-aid" and evacuation from the war zone ties up combat personnel. The more wounds that are inflicted, the more combat troops are involved and thus unavailable for fighting. When the devil is able to wound a Christian, that individual is no longer in the fight and often ties up pastors and friends in their efforts to offer spiritual "first-aid"! A victory of sorts is gained by the enemy—and is many times the result of a simple lack of knowledge on the part of the victim.
If you take the spiritual "tests" and fail them—having to honestly admit that the required characteristics are not to be found in your life—what then? If you desire salvation, the next step is to realize and admit to yourself that you are—as the Bible puts it—lost and in your sins, unforgiven by God and under His wrath. To change that situation, you must believe. You must cry out to God, confess your sin and unworthiness to Him, and repent—which means to turn your back on your sinful past and then begin to live for Christ. You must ask for His forgiveness and cast yourself totally and unreservedly upon His mercy and grace. Genuine belief in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ involves all of these things and must not be taken lightly. Just walking down the aisle of a church, shaking the preacher’s hand and being voted into the membership is not salvation. Baptism is not salvation. Confirmation is not salvation. Being a "good" person and living a "good" life is not salvation. Obtaining eternal life is salvation and can only be gained through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. For a sinner to become a saint, he must be "born again," (literally "born from above") supernaturally through the power of Almighty God and is himself a helpless participant in the process.
To ignore God’s salvation and attempt to "make it on your own terms" is absolute folly. If there were other possible ways to obtain eternal life (the "isms" teach that there are many ways to attain life through good works, etc., but these ways are in direct conflict with the Bible), it would be different. But God’s Word says that there is only one. My advice to you is that you "seek God while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near" (Isaiah 55:6). Do not depart this life without eternal life, because the lake of fire is waiting for those who do so.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
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