“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
– 1 John 5:11 NKJV
Most of us must have come across the popular saying, “Heaven is the goal,” or perhaps even sang the song, “Eternal life, Eternal life, I want to live eternal life, God save my soul.”
The general misconception about heaven has always been that it is a place for a select few who have attained high ranks of righteousness by their works. This is, however, an unscriptural perspective that attempts to water down the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice.
What then is heaven? Heaven is God’s dwelling place. It is simply where God is. We see in 1 Corinthians 3:16 that our bodies are the temples of God. Through His Spirit, God dwells in every believer and gives eternal life to all.
In Luke 17:20-21, when the Pharisees asked Jesus about when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus responded by saying, “…the kingdom of God is within you.” Heaven is already in the heart of every believer!
The miracle of salvation is the miracle of the dead being made alive. When a person believes in Jesus, he or she receives the very life of God (Zoe); being made alive to die no more. Hence the term, “eternal life.” Eternal life is simply abundant life that has no end.
The Bible in John 3:16 tells us that whosoever believes in Jesus, the son of God, shall not perish but have eternal life. It is a gift, received by faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23). By believing in the sacrifice of Jesus, we have passed from death to life (John 5:24). Therefore, death in this present world is not the end of one’s existence, as anyone who has received eternal life, lives to die no more.
As a believer, you should confidently acknowledge your salvation and the assurance of your eternity with God. Hence, heaven is not this exclusive club that you have to strive to enter. Rather, it is home to the believer who has, through the sacrifice of Jesus, been reconciled and reunited with God.
So, the next time you sing that song, declare this instead: “I have received eternal life, God has saved my soul!”
Bible Reading Plan: Deuteronomy 33-34, Psalm 91