Showing posts from March, 2012

Does Eternal Life Mean Going to Heaven?

There are many passages in the gospels where the term “eternal life” is mentioned.  One of the most famous is John 3:16.  In the New King James translation it reads like this:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
What does the phrase “eternal life” mean?  Does it mean to live forever?
Here is another famous passage:  A man runs up to Jesus and asks him, 
“Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)
And another:
“And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:24-26)
Most Christians when reading these passages automatically associate the phrase “eternal life” with “living forever with God in heaven.”  This is the way this phrase has been explained, taught and preached for a few hundred years now, so no wonder…. However, is this really what Jesus meant?  Is this how his first century Jewish audience would …

What Does the Kingdom Look Like? Part 2

I’ve been sharing some thoughts on the Kingdom of God in my last few posts.  The primary message of our Lord Jesus, as recorded in the gospels was that the Kingdom of God was present and available in the world.  The Kingdom of God is the active rule and influence of God in our world.   Many Christians tend to think of the rule of God happening sometime in the future – perhaps after the second coming of Christ or after the final judgment.
However, Jesus plainly said that the Kingdom of God was present and operative in 1st century Palestine (Matthew 4:17,23).  Matthew’s gospel records that after His resurrection, Jesus told His followers that He had been given all authority in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)
If Jesus was given all authority on earth around 32 AD, then what more authority will he have in the Millennium or at his second coming?  The answer, of course, is zero - He will not then possess any more authority than He does now.
If the Kingdom of God is present now in our…