The Essence of Eternal Life
by Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministry
God's Supreme goal and purpose of His Elect in the quest of this life is scripturally described as “immortality” or “eternal life.” Depraved humanity, as manifested is presently impeded under the limitations of mortality. This encapsulation obstructs the means to transcend physical death, whose proscribed characteristics militate against all possibilities of perpetual existence. Yet from the knowledge of the Gospel of Grace, it is scripturally documented that all whom God has made alive in Christ have already been assigned “immortality.” These same passages of Scriptures recognize that every person has an eternal soul but this does engender an “alive in Christ” spirit. This conferment of “immortality” or “eternal life” is not concomitant with ones birthright even though ALL SOULS will continue eternally in some form of existence after the end of this physical life. The question of eternal life therefore, does not mean eternal existence per se but rather what form it will take and whether spiritual death will remain a barrier to the Eternal fulfillment of “everlasting life.”
Life as Distinguished from Death
The Scriptures convey definitive meanings to the terms "life" and "death." First, there is the physical meaning of life, which is temporary existence in this physical realm. Then there is the spiritual meaning of life, which is eternal existence, i.e., the state of God’s favor and blessedness. The latter is “the Essence of Eternal Existence,” which is deliverance from the state of separation from God to a blissful abode in Him and hence it transcends death in every sense of the word. Physical death is actually the discarding of the human body, which is an event in the voyage of every soul, as even those who are physically alive at His appearance will be exchanged. So the enduring death is culminated in eternal separation from God, which is the spiritual death: the condition of immeasurable distance from God or abyss’s existence in the hereafter. Hence the chief issue of ones Earthly abode is salvation or deliverance from spiritual death to "eternal life" and "immortality," which are nomenclatures used to describe the posture of this blessed position.
This placement in Christ is present already actualization-wise for God’s elect of the Grace Dispensation. Even though such ones manifestly occupy in this physical life, knowledge-wise, they actually abide or live in the Truth of God's Grace that will continue unabated in the hereafter. The solidarity of this fact is entrenched is the knowledge that such was determined and executed in God’s Eternal Decree. Some Scriptural translations have misapplied conveyances depicting persons who “gain” eternal life, as though they have by their doings accomplished the “goal of eternal life.” In reality, if spiritual death is not to be feared as a detriment to ones Eternal Existence, its elimination must be exclusively annexed to God’s accomplishment of placing such into Eternal Relations with Him in eternity. The comprehension of this opposes the perception of human performance or consent to the effectuation of such during ones Earthly abode. Some doctrines promote the ideal of the insertion of physical actions or gestures as God’s process of conferring immorality. In this view, ones eternal state or status is a derivative of their consent, acceptance or rejection of the “offer” of salvation with the consequence of their life being totally at the discretion of their act (s) or non-act(s). In other words, it is variedly taught that ones faith IN Christ (whether induces by God or the person believing) verses ones non-belief is the determining factor as to whether such one is given the nature of God.
Spiritual Resurrection is interpreted by them as requiring some functioning of their spiritually dead physical bodies in order to dwell forever in the favor of God, yet these physical interpretations are supposedly based on the spiritual concept of life and death. This is quite a paradox in that only the spiritually alive are qualified to possess immortality and benefits of resurrection. This inconsistency of interpretation usually cascades into the debate of whether faith precedes regeneration or vice versa, which is totally irrelevant, considering the fact that the state of blessedness in eternal life was determinately actualized before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5). In the Gospel of Grace, Romans 6.23 actually reads “for the wages of sin: death but the free gift of God: eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This portrays the elect’s isolation from the unreal status of separation from God to the reality of having been eternally placed in Christ, which is expressive of the effusive contrast between “from darkness to light and from mortality to immortality.”
Even the correctly exegeted teaching views of the Kingdom Gospel do not espouse the designs of this life as a kind of grasping fetter for liberation from the penalty of physical death. The Greek translation of John 11:25-26 actually reads, “……I am the resurrection and the life; he who is believing in me, even if he may die (having died), shall live; and every one who is living and may believe (having believed) in me shall not die -- to the age………." It is confirmed in “the Mystery” that all Israel have part in the life to come as Eternal inheritors of the Earth. As it is stated, "and your people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands that I may be glorified" (Isaiah 60.21). Hence all elect Jews are entitled to an eternal kingdom by virtue of their relationship in God's heritage and promise which they have received actualization-wise. Thus they are saved through manifestation of Christ’s faithfulness and righteous deeds, of which they are the recipients of the Earthly Garden in Eternity, beneath which rivers flow and they will dwell therein forever. God is well pleased with them because He is well pleased with the merit of Jesus Christ. Hence they will dwell in eternal blissfulness as they will be with Him; having realized that which is without beginning and end, beyond the great and unchanging, as ones freed from the jaws of death. Being in accord with Him in Everlasting Eternity truly exemplifies His eternal love for them.
Hence the Essence of Eternal Life engenders the manifestation of His Eternal Union with all His elect according to the purpose and pleasure of His good will! (Ephesians 1:5, 9).