Summary: Consider different aspects of "Take Hold of the Eternal Life" from 1 Timothy 6:12 (Outline from Thomas Guthrie at: https://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/guthrie/man's_great_duty.htm)
News article in April 1996 from Chico California- Person suspected of stealing and eating the cremated remains of 4 people in hopes of attaining “everlasting life” has been arrested. Rodney Hines, 36, told police he snorted some of the ashes and sprinkled others on his food because he wanted to live forever. Impossible to “take hold of the eternal life” in 1 Tim 6:12 this way
Think about God. “Each of the four living creatures... “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”” Revelation 4:8, NIV. Past, present and future
Past-“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalms 90:2, NIV.
Present- “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere” Proverbs 15:3, NIV.
Future- “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children--” Psalms 103:17, NIV. God with us in future
Make a time line for God and go to the past and then go beyond the past and God is there. Point to the Right
God is here in the present- point to present spot
God is in the future and go beyond the future and God is there. Point to left
We are different, we have a beginning- point to present spot and we also have an eternity- point to the left
Need to be reminded of 2 things: 1) Life here is brief compared with eternity. “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14, NIV.
Earth is only our temporary home. “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” Psalms 103:15, 16, NIV.
Thesis: Consider different aspects of “Take Hold of the Eternal Life” 1 Tim 6:12
Consider our need of eternal life
Every human being has eternal life. When the Bible talks about everlasting or eternal life it is talking about eternal life with God. Many will not have eternal life with God. Speaking of the resurrection day...“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2, NIV. Called everlasting contempt here but also called the second death in the New Testament.
No, the eternal life I am talking about is best described by Thomas Guthrie: Eternal life is deliverance from eternal death, deliverance from the curse of breaking God’s law, and deliverance from the doom of a burning hell. Eternal life is eternal blessedness- the pardon from sin’s guilt, and freedom from sin’s power; the pleasures of a pure heart, and the enjoyment of peace with God; joy without any bitterness, riches without wings; health that never sickens, life that never dies, and a glory hereafter that never fades away; perfect holiness in the likeness of our Savior, and perfect happiness in the bosom of God. This is what we all need
Years ago, in caves under the earth, men were buried in just a few seconds. These poor men, buried below a mass of earth, choking for a last breath, in instant danger of perishing, need above all else the promise of eternal life.
Sin has brought death into this world, and we are all involved in this disaster- buried in the ruins of the Fall. Some might compare themselves to others and say they have not sinned as much as so and so. What difference does that make? We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. One day we will be paid our wages. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23, NIV.
Consider our inheritance
In elder care, many times have a struggle. Go to the POA (usually a child of the elder) and say, “To properly provide for the needs of your parent, money will have to be spent.” The child will say something like this, “My, that is so expensive, I don’t want to spend all of our inheritance on this.” One time got into a discussion with my father over this. He said something about my inheritance and I said, “Dad, you can keep it- spend it all before you go- because I have not earned it. Just because I am your child does not mean that I have a right to that money so use it as you see fit. I have done nothing to deserve it.” So true! Even so, many parents want to give an inheritance to their children. God wants to give an inheritance to his children. Wise to make a will and most of the time the will outlines what goes to whom- most of the time to their children. “In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.” Hebrews 9:16, 17, NIV. Christ Jesus has died and so his will is in force for his children.