The Life Everlasting – that’s a big concept!
What do you imagine when you think about ‘everlasting’? A huge sky filled with innumerable stars? An endless ocean stretching to the horizon and beyond?
These images of vastness can help us to ponder God’s awesome nature, but that’s not really what the Apostles’ Creed means when it talks about the Life Everlasting. Jesus called it abundant life, or “life in all its fullness”, or “life, and far more life than before”. If you’re a Star Trek fan, “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it”.
When the New Testament mentions eternal life, the root word is αἰών (aion), which gives us our word eon. In geology, eons denote the different types of life on earth. Algae belong to one eon, humans to another. Our life is not just algae-life that carries on for a long time, it’s a totally different sort of life.
And so it is with the Life Everlasting. It’s not merely the same old life lived for ever and ever, but a different type of living, an Everlasting type of living. Living with a capital L. That’s what Jesus was getting at when he spoke of abundant life, in all its fullness, life eternal – now.
It’s not only about after we die. The Nicene Creed puts it as “the life of the world to come”. Not life in the world to come (although that’s true), but life of the world to come. Right here. Right now. Heaven on earth in a very real sense.
Eternal life is not about duration, but quality. We say, “I believe in the Life Everlasting”, how will you live it today?