You Can Know You Have Eternal Life
717 – The Divine Mystery Revealed (24)

by Jim Mettenbrink

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     Early in His ministry, Jesus told His disciples.  “
To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11).  In the previous articles we considered many aspects of this “mystery” which was hidden through the ages (Colossians 1:26).  The eternal destiny of people is part of the hidden mystery.

     As a result of sin, death entered the world — “
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19; cf Psalm 104:29; Ecclesiastes 3:20).  There is no indication, man would live beyond the grave.  Yet God has put a quality in the spirit of man — he wants to live on and on and on.  He does not want to die.  Little reflects this more than when grandchildren arrive, we have a sense of seeing part of ourselves living into the future, even though we know death is our destiny.

     Even so, the Old Testament hints there is more than returning to dust.  Since Israel’s King David was under divine inspiration, in word and thought, when he composed his Psalms, he must have pondered God’s meaning of, “
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10).  The apostle Peter cites it as God-given prophecy regarding Jesus’ resurrection in his sermon (Acts 2:29-31).

     Yet David had a sense death was not the end — “
But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me” (Psalm 49:15).  However, in another Psalm David asks the question, “Remember how short my time is; For what futility have You created all the children of men?  What man can live and not see death?  Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?” (Psalm 89:14, 15).  But he does not answer it.  Didn’t he know?

     We can only imagine the first Jewish Christians’ joy when learning of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).  Death was not the end.  Jesus revealed this aspect of the mystery early on in His three-years ministry — “
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29).  What did He mean?

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