LIFE, or the extinguishing of it, has been very much the talk of the nation these last few weeks since New York State law makers passed sweeping legislation that allows the wanton murder of children both within and outside the mother’s womb. Other states have since followed suit or are considering similar laws. America’s leadership among the nations in the slaughter of the most innocent and helpless just edged higher. Surely this is the most egregious violation of everything America was and is supposed to be. The very first document relative to our founding, the Declaration of Independence, declares that all persons have the “right to life”! And our Founding Fathers wisely recognized that it is the first responsibility of government to protect life, but the right itself is given not by government or anyone else, but by Almighty God!
I submit to you that as Americans we are already engaged in a great new civil war. A war that will determine the future of our country, who and what we are and what we will be remembered for. This is a culture war; a struggle for the very soul of our people. There are multiple points of conflict between sides, but the ISSUE OF LIFE is the most contentious and unquestionably that one point on which there can be no quarter because apart from LIFE nothing else really matters. In just my lifetime, our society has devolved from a society that reveres life and recognizes the intrinsic value of every individual life to a culture that reverences nothing and insists that a person’s value is determined, not by their being, but by how their being affects others. This war is not fought nor can it ever be won with bombs and bullets. This is a battle for the heart and mind – what we believe and think as a people. The Bible says we are what we think (Proverbs 23:7). The Apostle Paul challenged New Testament believers to realize that ours is a spiritual warfare and the foremost weapons in our arsenal are TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS (Ephesians 6:12-14) – what we BELIEVE and THINK! What we as a people believe and think about life will determine how we live our lives and how we view the lives of others.
So, let us consider the DEFINITION OF LIFE and from there the MEANING OF ETERNAL LIFE!
The Science of Life
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of “life” is – “The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” This strictly physical and non-spiritual definition of life follows the school of thought espoused by progressives, socialists and atheists the world over, and we have been indoctrinating America’s youth into it for several generations. The idea that life exists apart from and is better off without God has been systematically drummed into the minds and hearts of our people via public education, the news and entertainment media, political leaders and even some in the Church for years – and now the armies advancing a culture of death and those defending a society that values life are called into action.
The Science of Life is a book written by H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley and G.P. Wells in three volumes between 1929 and 1931. It has been called “the first modern textbook of biology” and “the best popular introduction to the biological sciences”. The subtitle summarizes its content – “a summary of contemporary knowledge about life and its possibilities”. As late as 1960, it was still being used in college classes in the U.S. H.G. Wells was a renowned English writer described as “a worthy successor to Charles Dickens”. An outspoken socialist, Wells “devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale.” “His thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context”. Julian Huxley was a secular humanist, eugenicist and internationalist. “Secular humanism, or simply humanism, is a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, super-naturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the basis of morality and decision making.” Humanism replaces God with man as the center of universal attention and authority. “Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of a human population by excluding (through a variety of morally criticized means) certain genetic groups judged to be less desirable and promoting other genetic groups judged to be superior.” “Internationalism is a political principle which transcends nationalism and advocates a greater political or economic cooperation among nations and people.”
Wells, Huxley and The Science of Life are only one example of numerous contributors dedicated to transforming America from a society that reverences life to a people that see it as not very special at all.
The Giver of Life
The Bible gives a very different definition of life. Life is more than organic! Life is more than the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. Life is the capacity for KNOWING GOD!
- God made you both physical and SPIRITUAL! And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7 KJV). It is the breath (life-giving Spirit) of God resident in you that elevates your life and the life of every human being above the purely organic.
- Your life BELONGS to God! I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. (Jeremiah 10:23 NLT) This really “ruffles the feathers” of those who reject the existence of God and our accountability to Him.
- Your life is PRECIOUS to God! His IMAGE resides in you (Genesis 9:6).
- Your life is by APPOINTMENT not accident! Contrary to Charles Darwin, John Huxley and all evolution theorists “. . . it is he (God) himself who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone. From one human being he created all races of people and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live.” (Acts 17:25-27 Good News Translation)
- An impoverished itinerant preacher and his wife had fourteen children and fifteen was on the way. Thank God they didn’t abort; He was sending us John Wesley – founder of the Methodist Church.
- A mother with TB is pregnant with child number five. Her first child is blind; the second died; the third is deaf; and the fourth also has TB. Thank God she didn’t abort – He was sending the world Ludwig van Beethoven.
- A 13-year-old black girl raped by a white man is now pregnant. They are so poor; the family often steals for food. Thank God she didn’t abort – He was sending us gospel artist Ethel Waters.
- A teenage girl is pregnant and the man she hopes to marry isn’t the father. Thank God she didn’t abort – God was sending us His Son, Jesus Christ.
- God alone knows how many blessings to humanity have been forever lost because their bearers were not deemed worthy to live.
- You are God’s MASTERPIECE made for His Glory! (Ephesians 2:10; 1:12). Literally, God broke the mold that made you. In the world of art there is only one Mona Liza. In all God’s universe, there is only one you. Countless priceless treasures have been destroyed in the name of personal choice!
The Enemy of Life
We face a REAL ENEMY in this cultural civil war. Our real enemy isn’t a politician or entertainer or author or TV talk show host or any other such that you could name. Our real enemy is the Devil:
- Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)
- The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; (John 10:10a NIV)
Satan is a liar bent on murder (taking life from us), and the only way we overcome him is by clinging to the truth:
- He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NIV)
- Resist him, standing firm in the faith, (1 Peter 5:9 NIV)
- take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NIV)
The preeminent prayer of Jesus Christ for you and me and the whole world is that we might know God and have ETERNAL LIFE!
- Eternal life is made possible through Jesus’ sacrificial death: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
- Eternal life is KNOWING (having a personal relationship with) GOD through JESUS CHRIST: Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3-4 NIV)
- Eternal life is had by RECEIVING and BELIEVING the WORD about Jesus Christ (vv. 6-8; Romans 1:16-17; 10:17).
- Eternal life is a SECURE life (vv. 9-12; Romans 8:35-39).
- Eternal life is a JOYFUL life (13-15; James 1:2-5).
- Eternal life is a SANCTIFIED (living for God not myself) life (vv. 16-19; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
- Eternal life is a UNITED (to God and with fellow believers) life (vv. 20-23; Ephesians 4:3-6).
- Eternal life is the GLORIFIED (God’s finished work) life – when we are present with and see Jesus as He is (v. 24; Romans 8:30; 1 John 3:2-3).
- Eternal life is KNOWING JESUS CHRIST for yourself (vv. 25-26). He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:12 NIV)
ETERNAL LIFE is having an up close and PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with GOD, and the only way to know God is through HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST!