“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Out of His Love for Us, God Has Given Us Everlasting Life
Today, I would like to share with you the message that God has given us everlasting life. John 3:35-36 say, “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” It is said here that God the Father has given everlasting life to those who believe in His Son. This everlasting life that God spoke of here means exactly what it literally means, to live forever. What a great blessing is it for you to receive everlasting life and live forever?
For how long have people asked for God’s grace, so that they may receive eternal life? The Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, yearning for everlasting life, had sent out countless subjects everywhere trying to find the elixir of life only to no avail. There simply was no elixir of life in this world that could actually bring eternal life. Countless people have failed to discover the way to receive true, eternal life. The only way for mankind to receive truly everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God as the Savior. In other words, the only way for us to receive eternal life is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Son of God has given us. We can earn eternal life by placing our faith in the Truth that He has saved us from the sins of the world. When we consider this, that the Lord has given us the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that enables us to live forever, we cannot help but give all our thanks.
Have you thought about living forever? And do you know just how sad and tragic it is to die? When someone dies and leaves his beloved ones behind, the grieved mourn his departure, saddened by the fact that the deceased can never return to this world again. It is only a matter of fact that once one dies, he can never return back to this world. This is why even the living are grieved by their death to come, looking for a way to escape from it. But, for everyone, once he departs from this world, he can never return to it again. Death is equally tragic for everyone. It is because people cannot return once they depart from this world that they all yearn for the God-given everlasting life. It is such a tragedy for us to be separated by death from the people with whom we have been living in this world, for death is the separation that forever cuts us off from our beloved ones, and life and death make so much difference.
Everyone loses everything and eventually surrenders to death. Our death weakens and saddens our thoughts. Once we realize that we are to die, we are all so saddened by this and we all desire so much to live. This is because everyone’s heart yearns for eternal life. So when we are actually facing our death, we realize once again just how precious life is. It is said that when those condemned to capital punishment heading for their execution see a puddle from the last night’s rain, they go around it rather than stepping into the puddle. They do this because they want to extend their stay in this world even so slightly. For all human beings, it is good to live. Life is beautiful. Life is hard only because we live in suffering in this world; if there is no suffering but only good things, to live is utterly good and beautiful. Have you ever been right at the doorstep of death? If so, then you would know just how happy it is to live.
There Was a Time When I Realized the Preciousness of My Life
The following story is something that actually happened to me long ago. I once fell into a ventilation hole from the rooftop of a five-story building and almost died from it. The construction workers had been working on the ventilation system of this five-story apartment building, and they had placed a thin board to cover the ventilation hole that they had been working on. Not knowing this, I stepped on this thin board, and I fell through the hole. But fortunately, both my elbows were caught by the corners of the hole, and so I didn’t fall all the way to the bottom. Irregardless, at that very moment, all that I could think of was that I was going to die. So I panicked at that moment.
But soon I gathered myself, and I realized that I was still alive, and that my elbows were caught by the corners of the hole and my feet were struggling in vain in the air. As I carefully looked down, I could see people walking in the streets below. But they were in no condition to help me even as they saw me struggling in plain sight, and I myself was in no condition to ask for their help. If my body moved even slightly, I was about to fall through the five-story building. If only one of my feet could find something firm to step on, I could escape from the hole, but there was nothing that I could do. This brief moment felt so long to me.
It was from then on that I realized just how good it is to be alive. Even with the accident, I was so happy just to find myself still alive. Though I was hanging by a thread at the doorstep of death, and even if I were to eventually lose all my strength and fall through the hole, at that very moment I was so happy that I was still alive and breathing. Fortunately, my body was in excellent physical shape back then, and so I eventually managed to wiggle myself out of the hole to safety. But because of what happened then, even now I am still very grateful to be alive.
In another time, I fell ill with tuberculosis at a young age. The doctor who diagnosed me with tuberculosis at that time told me how sorry he was to see such a young man come down with such a devastating disease. At that time, when I thought that I was going to die, I actually appreciated the mystery of life rather than feeling despondent. When I was healthy, I had little appreciation for the beauty of nature. When the spring came around and the natural world came alive with new sprouts, I just thought that the grass was now growing; when the trees, having survived the winter, sprouted, flowered, and bore fruits, I didn’t think of them any special; and when the sun rose and set, I only saw it as a day gone by. But once I began my hospitalization, all of these things, from the sheer greenness of pine trees to the sunrise and sunset, no longer looked so ordinary. And I began to have a strong attachment to my life, and not a single life form, no matter how small, seemed so small any longer. So as I went on my walks, I was marveled by even the dandelions blossoming between rocks, and the ants lining up to carry their food looked so amazing to me. Every morning, as I woke up to the morning sunlight and stretched myself, I could feel life beating inside me. My life seemed utterly marvelous and amazing in those days.
One day, after having been hospitalized for about a month for tuberculosis, I had an early dinner and was looking at a hill through the window, as the sun was slowly setting and the evening was approaching. All of a sudden, I wanted to go on a walk, and so I put on my clothes and began to climb the hill. In the hill, pine trees were swinging from the wind. As I saw the pine trees slowly swaying back and forth in the wind, I felt in my heart, “Ah! The whole creation is praising God!” Now, when the pine trees were waving from the winds, they were no longer just waving for me, but I could see that they were actually praising God, and I was so amazed, grateful, and mystified by this new appreciation. Until then, before this happened, I had not been able to appreciate the mysteriousness of the God-given life, but when my own life itself was precarious, like a candle in the wind, I came to acutely appreciate the preciousness of my life.
When I was healthy, I had little regard for my life. I hadn’t paid that much attention to my health, so much so that in my youthful energy I would jump into the sea even in the dead of winter and wander around with wet clothes after swimming without a care. But once I actually lost my health, I came to realize just how precious it is. Thanks to this experience, I was able to appreciate the true preciousness of my life.
Here, I once again think about the preciousness of life. I’ve come to realize that the very fact that I have the God-given life, in and of itself, is such a wonderful thing. If being alive on this earth is this very precious and valuable, I can appreciate just how wonderful life in the Kingdom of God would be, where there is no suffering. As I think about the fact that I would live forever when I leave this earth and move onto the next world, my heart is overwhelmed with joy. It is such a blessing to receive everlasting life from God, and to live with Him forever in eternal happiness and perpetual glory, that the more I think about it, the more thankful my heart is. Those who have not had this kind of experience, those who are healthy and are not facing their imminent death, those who have not thought about their death or have not had any near-death experience, and those who have not thought about the domain of God where there is everlasting life—these people should all realize the preciousness of the life that God has given us.
God has given everlasting life to those who have washed away all their sins from their hearts by accepting the gospel of propitiation through the Son of God. Just how blessed is it that God has given eternal life to all those who believe in His Son? In this world, the rich in particular have greater attachments to their life. The healthy, the powerful, and the rich in this world yearn so much to live a long life that some of them are even willing to give up half their wealth if they could just live for another day. This is because death tells the end of all the blessings that God has given to mankind.
In the Gospel of John, God said that those who believe in His Son have everlasting life, and those who do not believe in the Son cannot see life, but the wrath of God abides on them (John 3:36). My fellow believers, you must realize that for all those who do not know the Son of God—in other words, for all those who neither know nor believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit given by the Son of God—all their happiness will end. If we are not born again from our sins in this life, and are cut off from this world by our death in such a sinful state, all that awaits us in the next world is everlasting suffering. For all those who are not born again of water and the Spirit, there awaits only their everlasting punishment coming from the wrath of God. You must realize that for everyone, if he dies without believing in Jesus Christ while in this world, this is the end of all his happiness and the beginning of his curses.
Death is such a terrible thing for all, but in contrast, everlasting life is such a joy. Only those who have received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can receive everlasting life, and when death comes, they alone will see the end of their sorrow and the beginning of their happiness. In John 3:15, God said, “That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Do you believe in the Son of God as your Savior and Lord? And do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Son of God has given us? To those who believe, there are the remission of sin and everlasting life, but to those who do not believe, there are only curses awaiting them.
Whoever Believes in the God-given Gospel Word of the Water and the Spirit Will Receive Everlasting Life
Out of nothing, God created this universe and all things in it, including us humans. God is the Omnipotent One who created every existence out of no existence. To mankind, whom He created, our God has permitted everlasting life in Jesus Christ. To all human beings, His own creation, our God has granted the opportunity to be remitted from all their sins, and to those who believe, He has granted everlasting life. In John 3:14-15, Jesus Christ said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Here, Jesus Christ was quoting a passage from the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament.
The Book of Numbers describes what the people of Israel went through when they escaped from Egypt and crossed the Red Sea to head toward the land of Canaan. For 40 years, the people of Israel had wandered in the wilderness, going around in circles time after time. This was because they had committed the sin of disbelief, as they had not trusted in God. Since they had been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because of their sin of disbelief, how hard would this have been for them? The Israelites eventually began to blame God and His servants for their predicaments. They rashly spoke against God, saying, “Did You bring us out of Egypt only to let us die in the wilderness?” So God sent out fiery serpents to their tents to bite them, and those bitten by the fiery serpents were all swollen from the poison and dying.
The Israelites had asked Moses, “Pray to God to remove these fiery serpents, and to deliver us from our suffering of their poisonous bite.” Having compassion for the people of Israel, Moses prayed to God on their behalf. God then said to Moses, “Put a bronze serpent on a pole and raise it high. Whomever looks at the bronze serpent lifted on the pole will be healed.” Moses did exactly as he was told by God, and he relayed His message to the people of Israel. Those who actually looked at the bronze serpent on the pole were all healed from their wounds, as the poisonous venom of the fiery serpents was all removed. This is the story that is mentioned in John 3:14-15, where Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
God has given everlasting life to mankind, but who actually received this eternal life from Him? In the Old Testament, when the people of Israel had sinned against God, and they were bitten by fiery serpents and were dying for their sins, Moses had prayed to God on their behalf to save them, and God had said, “Put a bronze serpent on a pole and lift it up high. Whoever looks at it will be saved.” Just like this, Jesus Christ took upon Himself and shouldered all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist, was crucified, and has thereby given everlasting life to all those who look at and believe in this salvation that has delivered us from all the sins of the world and the suffering of our curses.
God made us mankind, and when we fell into the temptation of Satan and sinned against Him, He also sent us Jesus Christ; and by having His Son to be baptized by John the Baptist and die on the Cross, God has saved us from all our sins and destruction once and for all. It is to those who believe in this Truth that God has given everlasting salvation and eternal life. In other words, God has given everlasting life to whoever believes in this Truth. This is the very purpose for which God has made us mankind, and it is also the purpose of saving us from all our sins.
God wanted to give eternal life to us humans through Jesus Christ. And according to His will, He has indeed given this everlasting life to all of those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The account of the fiery serpents in the Old Testament implies the grace of God that healed all who looked at the bronze serpent on the pole. The serpent here symbolizes Satan, and bronze symbolizes judgment. Mankind’s sins entail death. The wages of sin is death. If any creature sins before the Creator, this inevitably leads him to eternal death. Since we could not but sin deceived by the bronze serpent—Satan, that is—we all deserve to be condemned.
However, this sin and the condemnation of sin that were imputed to us by Satan were borne by our Lord once and for all. To give eternal life to you and me, who had fallen into sin, our God the Father sent us His Son Jesus Christ, and He made the Son accept our sins through His baptism, be crucified to death, and arise from the dead again. Now, all those who believe in this Jesus Christ have received new life to never die again, for God Himself has given us everlasting life.
In fact, it was precisely to give us eternal life that God sent Jesus Christ to this earth. This is why Jesus Christ said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). That God loved this world means that God loved you and me who are living in this world. This is why God sent His Son Jesus Christ, to save you and me from all the sins of the world. God cherished us so much that He went as far as sending His only begotten Son to this earth to give us everlasting life, and to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has indeed made it possible to not perish, but to receive the everlasting remission of sin and true life.
No one on this planet can be born because of his or her wish to be born. This came about entirely by the will of God. In other words, to give us everlasting life, God planned everything in Jesus Christ. And when the time came, He made Jesus Christ be manifested to us, enabled us to hear the gospel of Truth and believe in it, and thereby made it possible for us all to receive eternal life. Just as we were all born on this earth because of God, our future is also at the hands of God. We can receive everlasting life, in other words, only if God saves us. God indeed loved us. This is why He sent Jesus Christ to this earth and fulfilled the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit through Him; and to those who believe in it, God has given everlasting life, while to those who do not believe, He has brought eternal destruction. This is what God has done for us. Regardless of who or what we are, God has saved you and me, and the entire mankind, through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
All of Us Must Now Know the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit and Believe in It
God is telling us that for us to receive the remission of our sins and everlasting life from Him, we must be born again of water and the Spirit. If we want to be washed clean from our sins and receive eternal life from God, then we must accept this salvation where we are born again from our old selves into new creatures. Those who can receive everlasting life are not those who still retain this flesh inherited from their parents and the souls that are stained in sin, but they are those who are transformed into new selves, whose souls and bodies have been freed from all their sins, who had died once and were brought to life again by God through their faith.
In John chapter three, where today’s Scripture passage is drawn, there comes a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee. Pharisees were deeply religious people who kept the Old Testament’s Word of Law, and believed in it and obeyed it diligently. But this man did not know anything about everlasting life, or Jesus Christ, or how to be born again of water and the Spirit. All that he knew was just what the Law of the Old Testament said. He had known and kept only the teachings of the Torah. But one day, as Jesus Christ was born in his nation and in time came to preach His Word throughout Israel, Nicodemus eventually came to hear what Jesus Christ was preaching. A Jew by birth and a Pharisee by sect, when Nicodemus looked at Jesus Christ, he thought, “This Jesus Christ is no ordinary man.” So he came to Jesus Christ by night and praised Him, saying, “Unless You came from God, You could not do what You’ve done. Cleary, You are from God.” But Jesus said to him firmly and straightforwardly, “Unless one is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Jesus Christ was speaking to Nicodemus about the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is written, “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit’” (John 3:5-8).
Exactly how, then, can we be born again? We must be born again of water and the Spirit. Once at the very beginning, everyone is born with flesh through the body of his parents. We all inherit genes from our parents when we are born, and we take after them in our thoughts, minds, personalities, and even our sinful nature. And now, all of us who were born with our sinful nature inherited from our parents must be once again born spiritually. Since that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, it is absolutely indispensable for us to grasp what Jesus Christ meant when He said that we have to receive the remission of our sins and be born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must seek after the gospel that enables us to be born again of water and the Spirit, for it is the born-again who become God’s children to receive everlasting life.
What our Lord was saying here is that it is by knowing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit—that is, exactly how Jesus Christ has actually blotted out all our sins—that we can enter the Kingdom of God. Yet Nicodemus could not understand what Jesus Christ was saying. So Jesus Christ had told him, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:7-8).
Do you know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, beyond just being born from your mother’s womb, living in the flesh and dying in the flesh? In general, the people in this world know only as far as the apparent truism that it is appointed for them to be born once and to die once. But everyone can be born twice while he is still alive. Cicadas, flies, moths, and butterflies all are born twice. Doesn’t a larva turn into a cicada to fly in the sky? For a caterpillar to turn into a moth or a butterfly, or for a larva to turn into a cicada, all this entails being born twice. Shouldn’t we humans, then, also be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit?
Jesus Christ told Nicodemus that one can see the Kingdom of God only if he is born again. Nicodemus, however, did not understand this, and so he thought it strange that he would have to be born again. So Jesus Christ said to him, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. One is born of the flesh once, and then born again of the Spirit; there clearly are those who have been born again. It is because you yourself have not been born again that you marvel at this, and you cannot recognize the born-again even when you see them. You do not know the Truth.”
As a matter of fact, it is the religious leaders of this world who cannot grasp the Truth that brings the true washing of sin and freedom from the condemnation of sin. To your and my souls, God has given eternal blessings. In fact, it was to give us everlasting life that God made us be born on this earth, as well as find and hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Once one is born from the womb of his mother, it is when he encounters of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that he is born again. When he is thus born again in this way, he will surely receive everlasting life. God did not just let us live in the flesh, but He made us believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and be born again, thereby receiving everlasting life and becoming God’s children.
However, the religionists on this earth do not realize this. This is why when Jesus Christ spoke to Nicodemus, Nicodemus could not understand what Jesus Christ was saying. Indeed, the many religionists of this world know nothing. They know nothing about being born again of the water and the Spirit, receiving everlasting life, or entering the Kingdom of God to live forever, and even worse, they have no idea how they can become sinless.
It is by our faith that we receive everlasting life, and it is also by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are born again. These religionists do not realize this. That is why they ask, just like Nicodemus, “Should I go into the womb of my mother again to be born again?” This is what some people say. Actually, it’s not just some people who say this, but even the best revivalist pastors in Korea are like this. I actually heard some of them preaching, and what I heard demonstrated clearly that they knew nothing about being born again.
One of them said along the following line: “No one knows whether he himself is born again or not. So the Bible says, ‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Jesus Christ said that one must be born again of water and the Spirit. The water here is amniotic fluid, what the pregnant women have. For men and women alike, for a human life to be born, a sperm must meet with an egg. Among all the sperms, the probability of a specific sperm combining with the egg is one in two hundred million. Every sperm has to run desperately to reach the egg first. Only one sperm can be made into life by its desperate endeavor. This is how you and I were born, how people are born in the flesh. To be born again of water and the Spirit is also like this. Although there are millions and billions of Christians on this planet, those among them who are actually born again are extremely rare, and so we must be faithful to God to our death, serve Him to our death, and run to our death. But we don’t know exactly who among us has actually been born again. We are just trying to be diligent.” But what a preposterous interpretation is this? None other than this pastor is like Nicodemus. In other words, he has no idea how to be born again.
My fellow believer, to be born again of water and the Spirit is to believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, was baptized, shed His blood on the Cross, and rose from the dead again, all to save you and me. The reason why God Himself came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man and was baptized in the Jordan River was to accept all our sins onto Himself and blot them out, to enable you and me to be born again, to make us sinless, and to give us everlasting life. It was to give eternal life to you and me that God Himself was baptized, shed His blood, and died on the Cross. In other words, it is Jesus Christ who has saved us from our sins through gospel of the water and the Spirit. God did not ask us about this, but He did this all on His own to give us everlasting life. And we can receive eternal life by believing in this Truth.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). From our carnal point of view, it is impossible for anyone to be born again. How could a grown man go into the womb of his mother and come out again? Since virtually all teenagers nowadays are bigger than their mothers, it’s impossible to even think about this. This is why some people, in their carnal thoughts, simply cannot understand how they can be born again and receive everlasting life. How can we live forever then? The very concept of everlasting life itself, when looked at from a carnal perspective, is no more than a wish. However, our Lord told us clearly that we must be born again, and that to be born again is to be born through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In fact, our Lord came to this earth all on His own without asking us, and to make you and me sinless, to give us everlasting life, He accepted all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist. Having thus shouldered the sins of the world through His baptism, He died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us all. If God Himself is telling us that He did all these things to give us everlasting life, then we must believe in this. Whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit fulfilled by Jesus Christ will be born again and receive eternal life, but whoever does not believe will not be born again and perish away.
It is by faith that we receive eternal life. This does not mean that you and I would somehow live forever on this earth, but it does mean that we will live forever in the everlasting Kingdom of God. This is why the Lord says that one can see His Kingdom only if he is born again. This earth was created by God, but He also made Heaven. In other words, while God made the visible domains of the whole universe, He also made His domain that cannot be seen by our naked eyes. It was to let us enter there and live forever that God gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It was to actually give us everlasting life that God planned our new birth, offered His body sacrificially, and thereby made it possible for us to be born again, thus granting us our true new birth and eternal life. Therefore, it is entirely by believing in what God has done for us that we are born again and receive everlasting life.
To Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, our Lord said, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?” (John 3:10), and He then said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness” (John 3:11). Here, the Lord used the word “We.” This essentially manifests that our Lord is not working here all by Himself. The triune God works together in accordance with each other. Jesus Christ came to this earth because God the Father had sent Him. The Creator God, in other words, sent His Son to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man. Our Lord fulfilled our salvation on this earth, and the Holy Spirit bore witness of this. This is why our Lord said here, “Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness” (John 3:11). Jesus Christ did not save us all by Himself, but our salvation was achieved by His Father, Jesus Himself, and the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus Christ used the expression “We” here.
It was to make His creatures be born again, to give them eternal life, and to turn them into God’s children, that our Lord said this here. He went on to say, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:12-13). Jesus Christ called Himself as the Son of Man because God Himself had come to this earth incarnated in the flesh. This Jesus Christ, God Himself who came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, is the Son of Man. There is no one who has ever ascended to Heaven but only this Son of Man.
In fact, before Jesus Christ came to this earth, there had been no perfect remission of sin. And since Jesus Christ is the true God, He could ascend to God the Father. There is no one else but Jesus Christ who has ascended to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is through this Jesus Christ that God has given everlasting life to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has made it possible, in other words, for His believers to enter the Kingdom where they can live forever.
It is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can receive everlasting life, and you and I have come to know and believe in this very gospel. This is precisely how we have found everlasting life, encountered everlasting life, and received everlasting life. We have been blessed by God to receive this eternal life, as it is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Our Lord Himself said this.
Yet despite this, there are still many people who refuse to accept it. Unfortunately, such people have already been condemned. Not to believe in what God has done for us is to ask for condemnation. Those who were born on this earth in the flesh, and yet do not believe in this Truth inside their hearts, are all condemned forever both in this world and the next world to come. They will be condemned forever in both this world and in the eternal pit of fire prepared for them.
However, to those who believe in this Truth, everlasting life has come. Our Lord has given eternal happiness to all those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Life on this earth, where you and I struggle with our flesh, our circumstances and situations, is not all that there is. This, in fact, is no more than an illusion and a shadow. To those of us who are born again of and water and the Spirit, there will come the actual and real life, that of everlasting life. As such, we the believers have received everlasting life. God has given everlasting life to all of us who have been born again. He has given us eternal life, so that our souls would never die but live forever. None other than this is the love of God, the amazing and boundless love that God has bestowed on us so abundantly. And by our faith, we have received this love and our actual, everlasting life.
Our Lord Came to This Earth Just Once
Although our Lord came to this earth, people did not receive Him, for their deeds were evil. Put differently, there were those who did not believe in Him, and as a consequence of their disbelief, they were unable to receive everlasting life, but remained as sinners heading to hell. What kind of people are incapable of being born again of water and the Spirit? John 3:19 says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Whether one can be born again or not, in other words, is determined by whether he loves the light more than wickedness.
You and I, and everyone else on this planet, all practice evil. And our deeds are always wicked and insufficient. Although we all are wicked and insufficient, there still are those who want to live virtuously in their hearts. On the one hand, there are those who yearn to receive the light into their hearts and to truly practice virtue, but on the other hand, there are those who love wickedness more than the light, even in their hearts. These people, the latter, must repent. They must turn around.
God has fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that all the souls that yearn to receive salvation and everlasting life would indeed receive so by faith. Therefore, your hearts are more important than your deeds. While we really are incapable of practicing goodness, we must still have virtuous hearts that desire and love goodness. The Apostle Paul was also like this, as he confessed, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Romans 7:19). What the Apostle Paul was saying here is that even though he truthfully wanted to practice goodness, he ended up practicing wickedness instead, for in his flesh he was incapable of practicing virtue; this does not mean that the Apostle Paul somehow liked wickedness more than goodness. No matter how insufficient one might be, if in his heart he admits this, wants to seek goodness, and yearns to be saved, then he can indeed be born again by believing in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is only after this that the truly born-again spirits can then do God’s holy works.
Let us not end up as the pitiful that fail to be born again and to receive everlasting life even as God has already given them to us. It hurts my heart so much to see that even when God has pointed out to us the way to receive everlasting life by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there are far too many people who love wickedness more than goodness, and have therefore rejected this genuine gospel given by Jesus Christ. Sadly, such people have already been condemned and judged. In both this world and the next, they are forever in hell.
The opposite of everlasting life is everlasting punishment. This everlasting punishment is to live forever in hell, in the pit of eternal fire. Everlasting life, on the other hand, is perpetual happiness. Which one do you want to receive—everlasting life, or eternal punishment? All of you would want to receive everlasting life, not everlasting punishment. Therefore, as God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and as He has saved us through His light, love, and Truth, we must believe in this with our hearts. Do you believe in this, my fellow believers?
Those who hate the light do not come to the light. Why are they unable to come to the light? They do not come because they are afraid that their darkness might be revealed. Though we may not be perfect in our deeds, our hearts must still desire the Truth and yearn for goodness, for what must be kept is the heart. The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverb 4:23). If our hearts go astray, then everything else will go astray as well.
“But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:21). My fellow believers, do we really want to do the Truth? Those who want to do the Truth keep coming to the light. When they come to the light, any and all darkness is exposed. Whatever is exposed is turned into light (Ephesians 5:13). Because we are always insufficient, we continue to make mistakes, commit sins, and practice wickedness. Sin is sin. We need to admit that our Lord took away even this, and by doing so, become the people of faith whose hearts are born again of water and the Spirit. Those who acknowledge their insufficiencies, whose hearts sincerely desire to live according to the will of the Lord, and who want to live for this Lord that has given them everlasting life—these are the people who are truly born again. When the Lord alone has the Word of eternal life, why should we go to anyone else? (John 6:68) We can never betray our faith in Jesus Christ.
God has given us everlasting life. Our lives on this earth are only momentary. Very soon, we will go to the place where we are to enjoy the blessings and joy of everlasting life. But there is a condition here: Only those who are born again of the water and the Spirit can receive this everlasting life. In the Kingdom of God awaits eternal happiness. To His believers, God has given this blessing that entitles them to live happily forever. Because life on this earth is like the brief wind that passes by us momentarily, we do not cling to it, but we march forth only toward the Light of Truth, praise and thank God for giving us eternal life, and dedicate ourselves to spreading this Light throughout the whole earth.
By giving us eternal life, God has allowed us to live happily forever. Those of us who have received this blessing of everlasting life cannot help but praise God. Because of the gospel of the water and the Spirit He has given us, we have received everlasting life, and we have now come to exalt our God everyday and take pride in Him. How could we, now that we have received everlasting life, ever be satisfied by the things of this earth, and how could such earthly things dictate our happiness and unhappiness? Nothing on this earth can ever move the born-again who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. These people who have received everlasting life from God do the blessed work that leads other souls to also receive eternal life, spread the Light of Truth, and serve the Lord. And on the day when the eternal Kingdom of Heaven is granted to them, they will put behind all their earthly lives and enter this Kingdom of God. We the born-again live out our faith like this. This is the life of the born-again.
My fellow believers, do you believe that God has indeed given us everlasting life? We must have faith in His Kingdom and set our priorities right. Though we sometimes are prone to struggle bound by this earth, we must live out our faith in the Light of Truth until the day the Lord returns, believing that we are the ones who have actually received everlasting life from Him. We should not have superficial faith or crass thoughts. Though this life may be a constant struggle for you, do not be saddened or angry, just as a famous poet said, “Tell me not in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream.” You know better than anyone else there is absolutely no need for this.
You and I have been wonderfully blessed. We are witnesses spreading the Light of Truth on this earth, the messengers of the Light. God once said to the Prophet Isaiah, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). I beseech you, my fellow believers, to make sure to keep the faith that you now have, to not be satisfied by the things of this earth, to place your heart in your God who has given you everlasting life, and to find your satisfaction in God. Your life will then be full of only great blessings, happiness, and brilliant light. I praise God and thank Him with all my heart for giving us everlasting satisfaction.
We Must Believe in the Gospel Bread of the Water and the Spirit That Enables Us to Receive Everlasting Life
In John 6:27, Jesus said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life.” My fellow believers, not all foods are the same; there are perishable and imperishable foods. Our Lord had performed miracles and signs in the vast wilderness. By blessing a single lunchbox with only two fish and five loaves of bread, He had fed over 5,000 people to fullness, and still there were twelve baskets of leftover to spare. So in those days, the people of Israel followed around Jesus whenever they got hungry. But the Lord said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you.” People then asked, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
As a matter of fact, people work to make a living. Also, they eat to maintain their lives. But, at times, it’s not so clear whether they eat to live or they live to eat. Few people have the exact answer. Whether we eat to live before God, or we live to eat, is akin to asking whether it is the chicken or the egg that came first. Actually, it is to prosper and live well that the worldly people work. It is to live that we eat, since we can live only if we eat.
The reason why the people of Israel were following Jesus around was because they yearned to have the bread of the flesh. They were following Him again because the last time they were starving in the wilderness, Jesus had preached the Word of Truth and then performed miracles and signs to feed them. Jesus was on the other side of the sea this time, but the people had followed Him to even here. By then, of course, they were all very hungry. Jesus then said to them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). What Jesus wanted to say to them was that He had already given them everlasting life.
These people then asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” They had thought that they could receive everlasting life if they did the works of God. Aren’t today’s Christians also like this? They think that they can be blessed and saved if they do the works of God. This is why many Christians are devoted to their churches, planting many new churches and doing many virtuous deeds throughout their lives. In contrast, however, Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29). In other words, God Himself specifically explained how one could receive everlasting life; He made it clear that this everlasting life is found in those who believe in the Son.
When Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29), the crowd asked Him again, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You?” (John 6:30) Jesus then said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32-33). Then these people said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always” (John 6:34), to which Jesus answered by saying that He Himself was this bread of life, saying, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst . . . The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:35, 37). Our Lord described Himself as the bread from Heaven.
Jesus then continued to say: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:38-40); “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life” (John 6:47-48); and, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51). Referring to Himself, our Lord made it abundantly clear that He came down from Heaven. And He also said that He came down from Heaven not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. He said that He was doing the works of the Father exactly as the Father had commanded him; He was following the will of the One who sent Him.
What, then, is the will of the Father? It is to believe in the Son. So the Father said to us, “Do you want to receive everlasting life? How would you receive this everlasting life? Whoever sees the Son and believes in Him will receive everlasting life.” In other words, explaining Himself, Jesus said, “I am the bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will receive everlasting life.” Just as our Lord said here, whoever sees the Son and believes in Him will indeed receive eternal life. Put differently, those who eat our Lord by believing in Him are the ones who, through their faith, eat this salvation brought by our Lord, and they will receive everlasting life. This is what our Lord said.
Yet despite this, many in the crowd failed to recognize that Jesus was sent by God the Father. Everlasting life is mentioned frequently in this Gospel of John. It tells us time after time that God has given everlasting life to those who believe in the Son. Yet the crowd kept asking Him for the bread of the flesh. But it was the bread of eternal life that Jesus wanted to give to them, and He also told them that He Himself was this bread of life. This is why our Lord told them, in effect, “Eat Me, and you will receive everlasting life.” However, just like Nicodemus, the crowds were so ignorant of everlasting life that they were all puzzled, wondering to themselves, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
So our Lord said to them: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:53-58). In short, if one eats Jesus through faith, he will receive everlasting life. Jesus is the very bread that brings eternal life to all who believe in Him. Whoever believes in the Son of God has everlasting life. This was the core message that Jesus was trying to relay to the Jews in His dialogue with them.
Yet the Jews present there could not grasp this, and so they wondered, “Are You then the bread that came from God? You told us to eat You, but how exactly can we eat You? Should we just carve out Your flesh and eat it? Do You take us to be cannibals? How could we eat You?” Our Lord then explained to them in detail by saying, “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me” (John 6:55-57).
In essence, when Jesus said that whoever believes in the Son has received everlasting life, this is what He meant: Those who believe that our Lord came to this earth, blotted out all our sins, and has become our true Savior; who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior; who also believe that He accepted all our sins onto His own body through His baptism, carried these sins of the world to the Cross, was crucified to death, arose from the dead again in three days, and has thereby blotted out all our sins; and who believe that our Lord is this Savior—these are the ones who believe in the Son, the very people who have received everlasting life by eating, through their faith, the flesh and blood of the Son.
Those who believe in the Son of God have received eternal life. They have become the ones who now have everlasting life in their possession. In short, it is by believing the Son of God that we can receive everlasting life. None other than this is the very message that I have tried to explain to you until now. This Son of God took our sins upon His own body through His baptism, was condemned for our sins by giving up His body, arose from the dead again, and by doing all these things, He has brought salvation and given everlasting life to all those who believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God as their Savior. This is precisely why he who believes in the Son has everlasting life.
Jesus said, “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55). It is by believing in Jesus that you receive eternal life. You can be saved and receive the remission of sin by believing in Jesus Christ. It is by eating and drinking the flesh and blood of this Jesus that you can receive everlasting life. When Jesus said that the way to receive eternal life is to believe in the Son of God, He meant that you can have this everlasting life only when you believe that the Son of God has blotted out all the sins of the world through His own flesh and blood. Indeed, to give us truly everlasting life, our Lord gave us His true flesh and blood, and has thereby saved us all.
The flesh of our Lord is food indeed, isn’t it? This does not mean that we would somehow take a bite out of His arms and legs and eat them, as if we were a bunch of cannibals. No, this means that it is by believing in the Son of God that we receive everlasting life. That is what is meant by “eating the Son of God through faith.” It is when we thus believe in Jesus with all our hearts that we receive eternal life. Jesus told us, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). Those who have truly eaten the flesh of the Lord and drunk His blood now have everlasting life. This is because God the Father had decided to save us through His Son and give everlasting life to all who believe in this Son; therefore, to those who have eaten the flesh of the Son and drunk His blood, God has indeed given everlasting life.
How do we eat the flesh of the Son of God? We eat it through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. To save you and me from all our sins, God sent His Son to this earth, and allowed this Son to accept all the sins of mankind through His baptism. At that moment, not only were our sins passed onto Jesus, but all our insufficiencies, weaknesses, and blemishes were also passed onto Him. And after passing our sins to His Son, God then rendered Him to be crucified. And to those who believe that His Son has thus saved them and made them sinless people through baptism and the Cross, God has given everlasting life, together with the remission of sin. This was the method by which God gave everlasting life to all those who believe in His Son, and this was the will of God.
God wanted to give the true remission of sin and everlasting life to all mankind. So He gave everlasting life through His Son. Jesus the Son of God came to this earth, accepted all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist, and after putting all our sins on His own body, He was crucified to death and rose from the dead again. By doing these things, Jesus became the Savior who fulfilled our salvation to perfection. And God has made it possible for whoever believes in His Son to receive everlasting life. When humanity, because of Satan the Devil who stood against God, had reached death, God sent His Son to us, and thereby He gave the remission of sin to those who ate and drank the flesh and blood of His Son through their faith, delivered them from death, and granted them everlasting life. In other words, God has given everlasting life to you and me who believe in Jesus Christ and His Truth. Do you believe this, that God has given eternal life to our souls? This is why he who believes in the Son has everlasting life.
The Bible says, “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” (Psalm 90:10). But this is not all there is to our lives. God has given everlasting life to us. This eternal, never-ending, and everlasting life has been given to you. Those who have, through their spiritual faith, eaten and drunk the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God have all been washed from their sins, and they will live forever in the Kingdom of God. This life is different from the life of any other creature now living in this world. God has enabled mankind to live forever, but only if they are born again from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
I am so grateful that God has given us everlasting life. While living on this earth for 70-80 years, we go through all kinds of emotions, from joy to anger, sadness and happiness. Yet just how short are our lives on this earth, when they last only 70-80 years? How meaninglessly do our lives pass by us? They pass by us in the blink of an eye.
My fellow believers, there was a time when I, too, was young, just like the young people among you. But I am already in my 50s now. I thought I would never get old. I thought there was no place in my dictionary for this word “fifties,” that I would be forever young, but my youth passed by me instantly, and having aged in no time, I am now in my 50s already, when I have to be accountable for all my affairs and am burdened by the responsibilities of life. My fellow believers, life goes by in an instant. Even if we were to live for 70-80 years, those of us who are in their 20s have already lived 1/3 of their entire lifetime. When they live for the remaining 2/3 of their lifetime, they will all return to a handful of dust, and nothing will remain of them.
Are our lives but empty dreams then? Some of you may think so. Our God the Father, however, loved us so much that He sent us His Son, had Him accept all the sins of the world by receiving baptism on His body, and gave up this Son on the Cross to be crucified, thus making Him bear all the condemnation of our sins. By doing so, God has given the remission of sin and everlasting life to all those who believe in this Son. Do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Do you have everlasting life? I beseech each and every one of you to believe this, that you do indeed have everlasting life. Your life will then never be wasted in vain.
This everlasting life is to live happily forever. It is completely perfect, free from any tiring imperfections. It is perfect because we will be transformed into divine character and body to live forever. None other than you and I, who believe in the salvation of the baptism and Cross of Jesus Christ the Son of God, have received this everlasting life. Do you believe this?
Sometimes, it is possible even for you, a believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to be depressed by your sense of inferiority or handicaps, and wonder, “Why am I like this?” But you have to recognize this: The children of doom who have not received the remission of sin may well dwell in this depression, but you, who have been born again by believing in the Son of God, are not to be enslaved by any such depression. Far from it, you are the one who now possesses everlasting life, something so wonderful that you should actually be proud of yourself. You can live forever, for as someone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you have now been washed clean from all your sins. Moreover, as someone who is in possession of everlasting life, you can also spread this eternal life—given this, your existence is indeed truly wonderful. For us to live in this world for 70, 80 years, in fact, is also to serve the Lord. In other words, God has saved us so that we would do His works to share everlasting life with others. Can you feel this, my fellow believers? Can you believe this? It’s none other than you yourself who now have everlasting life in your possession.
Who else and what else in this world can ever give us the spiritual bread? Only our Lord can give us the spiritual bread through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is why it is such a blessing to believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit given by our Lord. And this is why what is on this earth looks so trivial to us. Because we are living on this earth as travelers on a brief journey, and because everyone in this world must be born again through the faith that we are preaching, nothing in the world can captivate us the born-again. That the joy of this earth, its happiness, and everything in the world seem so trivial to us is precisely because we now have everlasting life. With eternal life in our possession, we do not look toward this world and yearn for it, a world that will pass by us ever so briefly. Since we live on this earth as pilgrims, and we have now received truly everlasting life, our lives are lived to praise our God. Therefore, even as we are facing suffering, sadness, and hardship while living on this earth, our hearts are still always joyous.
The flesh of the Lord is food indeed, and the blood of the Lord is drink indeed. By believing in this Lord, we have become the ones whose hearts no longer thirst. Because the Lord Himself has become the spring of life, our souls do not thirst. We may thirst if we look toward the world, but when we look toward the Lord, we never thirst.
My fellow believers, God has bestowed His amazing grace of salvation on you. If you look toward the Lord in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by placing your faith in this gospel, you will all be blessed to never thirst again forever.