Summary: God doesn't want you to face eternity uncertain about whether you will go to heaven or hell. He wants you to be able to say with certainty, "I know that I have eternal life & when I die I will go to heaven.”
1 JOHN 5:11-13 [LIFE, LIGHT & LOVE SERIES]
DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE SAVED?
In 1990’s Northwest Airlines offered some unusual round-trip passages aboard one of their planes. Fifty-nine dollars bought a "Mystery Fare" ticket that provided a one-day trip to an unknown American city. Buyers didn't find out where they were heading until they arrived at the airport the day of the flight. Still, the airline had plenty of takers. In Indianapolis fifteen hundred people crowded the airline counter to buy the Mystery Fare tickets that were sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Not surprisingly, when buyers learned their destination, not all were thrilled. One buyer who was hoping for New Orleans but found he had a ticket for Minneapolis walked through the airport terminal yelling, "I've got one ticket to the Mall of America. I'll trade for anything."
Mystery Fare tickets may be a fun surprise for a weekend vacation, but normally the last thing you want is a ticket to a mystery destination. And one time you never want a Mystery ticket is on the day of your death. You don't want to face eternity uncertain about whether you will go to heaven or hell.
"Nothing is certain but death and taxes." Benjamin Franklin wrote these words in 1789. Of course, a wise man like Franklin knew there were many other things that were also certain. Christians know there are many spiritual truths that are certainties. Therefore we are able to say with certainty, "I know that I have eternal life & when I die I will go to heaven (CIM).”
I. THE SON IS LIFE, 11-12.
II. ASSURANCE OF LIFE, 13.
What is the witness of God by the water, the blood and the Spirit? Verse 11 reveals to us that God’s witness is that eternal life in His Son Jesus. “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son.”
Eternal life is in Jesus Christ. The Witness of God is within those who receive the external witness of God. It has changed from external fact or proposition to internal experienced reality. Those that have received this witness of the water, the blood and the Spirit concerning Jesus Christ have eternal life. This life is connected to God’s Son.
The life (æùç) meant is spiritual life. This life doesn't begin when the believer dies, but it is what one receives when he or she truly believe in Jesus. This life is received the moment you believes in Jesus and it lasts for all eternity. We do not receive an opportunity for eternal life when we believe in Jesus, but we receive eternal life.
Notice that God gave us eternal life. It is not a result of what we have done or who we are, it is a gift. This gift, this life, is in a person, Jesus Christ. We receive eternal life not only from Jesus Christ initially but in Jesus Christ continually. In Jesus Christ we experience eternal life here and now (Jn. 10:10).
This gift is received by faith. God has gone on record in His Word, verified by the water, blood and Spirit, as offering eternal life to those who will believe on-into Jesus Christ. Millions of Christians have proved that God's record is true. To deny it or not believe it is to make God a liar. And if God was a liar, nothing is certain. God’s free gift of an right relationship with God is inseparable from knowing and trusting Jesus.
The question as to whether we have accepted God’s witness is not merely an academic one. Our response to God’s witness determines whether or not we have eternal life. Here in verse 12 is God’s witness to us, as clear and concise as it could possibly be. “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”
The definite article appears before the word life. This is the real, the true, the everlasting life. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him” (Jn 14:6). Those who place their faith for their salvation in Jesus alone and receive Him for who He is, the Resurrected Lord of Life, have Jesus abiding in their life. If you have Jesus, you have life, for Jesus is life. He is the life. Eternal life has its source in the Son who is the [prince or] Author of Life (Acts 3:15).
The reverse is also true. The one who does not have the Son does not have life. If you are without Jesus you have no spiritual life, no eternal life. A man may be a good husband, father and neighbor and still be dead in sin (Eph. 2:1). It is by God's grace through our faith in Jesus that His life flows into us (Eph 2:8f ) [and from us]. We do not receive the life because we are good or have keep the Ten Commandments or attend church or give money or have been baptized or have prayed or have a godly family or kept Christian traditions or rituals. [All these commitments should be the result of having life, but they will not grant or earn us life.] We have life only because we have the Son of God living in our being, in our present life. If you don’t have the Son of God in your life – it does not matter what else you have or don’t have, you do not have spiritual life.