|RPM, Volume 20, Number 16, April 15 to April 21, 2018|
"I have been around this stuff (Christianity/ Church) all my life. Both my parents were pastors and I have never heard anything like this. I am already starting to think of my life differently." – a highly successful PhD upon reading the You Last Forever Outline
"Thank you for teaching and sharing with our kids. It is great for them to hear another pastor's voice. My son (7 years old) told me all about your talk!" – Pastor
"Ed and I were so sorry to have missed both your presentation and speaking with you. I heard many good things about your presentation and I believe it was very much a blessing to the congregation. Thanks so much for coming." – Church Secretary
"Your presentation gives people a mental hiccup which makes them stop and think about the Gospel in a new way." – Advertising executive and Evangelism Trainer
"The You Last Forever Card puts a lot of gunpowder in a small cartridge. It is a ministry model that is logo simple. It is not just a logo, but it has content. The visual is easily recognized, easily internalized and easily expressed." – Video Producer/Director and Business/Ministry Consultant
"You Last Forever is a well thought out and thoroughly Biblical Gospel presentation." – From a seasoned Pastor and Evangelism Trainer
Jesus frequently used the physical world to explain spiritual reality and truth. In this Bible study, I show how each person's physical body, from the moment of conception to the time of death, is a lifelong object lesson for living a life of faith in Jesus Christ. Each one of us is body and soul (or spirit). How profound that God wisely designed our physical life to prompt eternal spiritual life in us for now and forever.
It was my privilege to serve terminal patients as a hospice chaplain for many years. In that experience, I shared life and the Gospel with people who literally were here today and gone tomorrow. Living with one foot in this world, and my other foot straddling eternity, I began to see salvation from sin and death in a fuller and richer light. Through Bible study, reflection, prayer, and wide acceptance of what you are about to read, I confidently say, "You were made to last forever."
I. Receiving your physical life at conception illustrates receiving spiritual life from God at your regeneration. Regeneration enables you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from your sins.
John 3:6, 16 – Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit... For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
II. Your physical growth in the womb before you were born illustrates your spiritual life and growth in this world in union with Christ who is preparing you for Heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:45-49 – So also it is written, "The first Man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Ephesians 4:20-24 – But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self (lit., man) which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self (lit., man), which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
III. Your physical birth illustrates the physical and spiritual transformations that will occur when you die, and the transformations that will occur when you are resurrected and glorified to live forever with God in the new Heaven and new Earth.
Romans 8:11, 18 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you...For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
|No prior existence||No life with God. Dead and blind in sin|
Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."
Romans 5:12 "...through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned."
Romans 3:10 - 12 "There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; There is none who does good, There is not even one."
|To have physical life the baby must be begotten physically. (John 3:6)||To have spiritual life each person must be begotten/born spiritually by God. (Cf. John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, "Regeneration" John 1:12f; 3:3-7; 6:63; 1 Cor. 4:15; Philemon 10; 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18; see NASV margin 'or begotten' for these 1 John references.)|
John 3:3-7 – Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is (begotten).born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be (begotten)/born when he is old: He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be (begotten)/born, can He?" Jesus answered, "Truly truly, I say to you, unless one is (begotten)/born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is (begotten)/born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is (begotten)/born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be (begotten)/born again'." (italics mine)
|You are not a self starter physically||You are not a self starter spiritually|
|You can't beget or conceive yourself.||You can't regenerate yourself|
John 6:44, 63 – No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day... It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
|Outside source of physical life is necessary.||Outside source of spiritual life is necessary. (John 3:5-8)|
|Physical life comes from life in the larger world to which the baby is going.||Spiritual life comes from the unseen God who gives all life and desires our worship and fellowship. (John 1:12f; 3:5-8, 16f; 4:23f)|
|The mother and many others anticipate the baby's birth.||Angels rejoice over sinners who repent (Luke 15:7, 10) Angels aid those who inherit salvation. (Heb. 1:14)|
John 1:12f – But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were (begotten)/ born not of the blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man (husband), but of God. (italics, mine)
John 4:23f – But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people, the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit; and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
|We are conceived in the image of God as descendants of fallen Adam. He lost spiritual life for himself and his ordinary descendants (Gen. 5:1-3; Romans 5:12ff; 1 Cor. 15:45-49; Romans 3:9 -18; Ex. 4:11).||We must receive spiritual life from Christ the last Adam and be conformed to His image. (Rom. 5:12ff; Psalm 51:5; 8:29-30; 1 Cor.15: 3f; 21f, 45- 49; 2 Cor. 4:4; 5:17; Col. 1:15). In contrast to fallen Mankind, Jesus Christ, the God-man came down out of heaven to die for sinners so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life and be conformed to His image. (Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-40; Matt.1:18-25; Phil. 2:6-11; Jn. 3:16f, 36; Luke 24:44ff; Romans 8:29)|
Genesis 5:1-3, – This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.
Col. 1:15, 19; 2:9 – He (Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation...For it was the father's good pleasure for all the fullness of God to dwell in Him...For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
Romans 5:12-17, – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned–for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam's offense, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
|Sin entered the world by his first sin||Perfectly righteous One died for sinners|
|Death through sin spread to all men||Free gift results in justification of believers|
|Judgment and condemnation||Abundant grace and gift of righteousness|
|Death reigned through one, Adam||Life reigns through One, Jesus Christ|
Romans 8:29-30 – For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and who He predestined, these He also called; and who He called, these He also justified; and who He justified, these He also glorified.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 45-49, 53 – Now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming...So also it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly ... For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
|You did not choose your parents or ask to be born.||You did not choose God to give you physical or spiritual life.|
John 15:16 – You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you."
John 17:1-3, – These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
II Peter 1:10f, – Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
|Sovereign physical determinations from conception: life itself, race, gender, intelligence, genetic makeup, family tree, time and place in history to be born which effect initial religion, culture, customs||Sovereign spiritual determinations from God's Spirit: spiritual life, blessings in heaven and earth. (Ephesians 1; Romans 8:28ff; 9)|
Acts 17:24-28 – The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, "For we also are His offspring."
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.
Ephesians 2:8f, – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Read Ephesians 1 for many of the benefits of union with Christ.)
|All DNA that is necessary for physical life is given at conception.||All that is necessary for spiritual life and godliness is given by God's power/seed at regeneration. (2 Peter 1:3)|
II Peter 1:2f – Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
I John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18, – If you know that He is righteous, you know that every one who practices righteousness is born/begotten of Him...No one who is born/begotten of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born/begotten of God...Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and every one who loves is born/begotten of God and knows God...Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born/begotten of God; and who ever loves the Father loves the child of born/begotten of Him...For whatever is born/begotten of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith...We know that no one who is born/begotten of God sins; but He who was born/begotten of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him. (italics mine)
|Prenatal life and growth are mysterious. (Ecclesiastes. 11:5; Ps. 139: 13-16)||Spiritual life and growth are mysterious. (John 3:6-12)|
Ecclesiastes 11:5, – Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
John 3:8, – The wind glows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born/begotten of the Spirit. (italics mine)
Both physical and spiritual life must come from outside ourselves. We are not self-starters physically or spiritually. If the life were not given, we would not have it. Once life is given, it is sufficient, and we respond by doing what a person with physical or spiritual life does. Also, we are on our way to the phase of our existence from which we have received our physical or spiritual life. We do not control or determine the life given but receive it and all that comes with it as a gift.
We all trace our God-given physical life back to Adam who is the root of the human race. Adam is also the source for the moral and spiritual corruption we see in ourselves and in the world. God gives us spiritual life through the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. The Savior died for our sins according to the Scriptures and rose again from the dead that we might not perish but have everlasting life. It is only through physical union or descent from the first Adam that we live in this phase of our existence as human beings. It is only by faith in Jesus Christ that we can enjoy eternal life now and throughout eternity as the beloved children of God.
|Unmistakable growth takes place after conception.||Spiritual life shows itself initially and thereafter in: faith and repentance, confession of Christ, spiritual hunger, witness, service, and fruit. (Eph. 2:1-10; 4; 1 Thess. 1:2-10; Acts 17:11f.)|
|Grows in the womb (Ps. 139:13-16)||Grow in God in whom we live, move and exist. (Acts 17:28; Ps. 139:1-12).|
|The baby has his own physical life from conception before being born into this world. (Psalm 51:5; 139:13-16)||A Christian has spiritual life before going to Heaven. (John 17:3; Philippians 3:7ff)|
|Baby in the womb is totally dependent on mother.||Believer is totally dependent on God who gives eternal life through Christ (Jn. 3:36; 6:68; 17:2, 3).|
|The health of the pre-born baby depends largely on the health of the mother. The placenta does for the pre-born baby what the baby does not know to do or cannot do for himself.||Spiritual health of a Christian depends largely on his "mother" church. The church is God's ordained institution for developing spiritual maturity in His children by faith. (Matt.16:18; Eph. 4; Rev. 2; 3; revival eras; Reformation; Westminster Confession of Faith XXV to XXX)|
|The baby has a physical lifeline, i.e. umbilical cord.||Faith acts as an invisible, spiritual umbilical cord connecting the Christian to God. (Jn. 6:29; Eph. 2:8; Heb. 11: 1, 6). Repentance is fleeing from the devil's poisons to feast instead on the Bread of Life. (1 Thess. 1:9; Eph.2:1-10; 4:17-5:21; John 6:27-71; 7:37-39; 17:17; Rev. 22:11; Psalm 19; 119)|
|Baby feeds in utero from the vast
resources of the world the baby is
| Believer feeds by faith on the benefits of the life, substitutionary death, resurrection, and heavenly intercession of Jesus Christ. (Jn. 3:13-17; 6:33-40; 7:17; 10:10; 12:25F; 18:37). Spiritual nourishment comes through faith by the means of grace: Bible, prayer, baptism, Lord's Supper, church discipline. By the Holy Spirit the unbeliever is convicted of sin, confesses Christ, repents, is adopted into God's family, is taught, gifted, sanctified, assured, has prayer and witness aid, and will be resurrected. (1 Cor. 2:9 12:3; Rom. 8:11, 23, 26-30; 1 Thess. 1:4-10; 1 Pet. 2:2) See also, help from angels. (Heb. 1:14)
Similarly, non-Christians are fed and led by Satan and false messiahs through means of damnation. (John 8:42-47; Eph. 2:1-3, 12; 4:18f; 1 Cor. 2:14; Jude 14f; Matt. 13:37-43; 24:5, 11, 24; 2 John 7-11)
|Expect normal prenatal growth, and development.||Expect normal spiritual growth & development. (Eph. 4:13-16; Heb. 5:11-14; Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 18).|
|Parents and caregivers are vigilant for lack of growth or abnormalities.||Biblical leaders are vigilant for: heresies, false professions, back-sliding, unchristian living in those who profess faith in Christ. (Jude 3, 4; Rev. 2, 3; Heb. 6:4-12; 12:9f.; Galatians 1:3-9; 1 Cor. 5 with 2 Cor. 2:1-11)|
|The growing baby becomes increasingly confined and uncomfortable in the womb as he nears being born into the world he is being prepared to enter, "If for this womb only I have these eyes, nose, mouth, arms and hands, legs and feet, I am of all babies most miserable."||A Christian longs for his heavenly home,"I long to depart and be with Christ for that is far better." (Phil. 1:23) "If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most to be pitied.' (1 Cor. 15:19)|
|The pre-born baby grows ears and eyes.||The Christian is called out of the darkness of sin and spiritual ignorance of this world to follow Jesus the Light of this world and heaven. (Matt. 4:12-17; John 1:4-9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 10:27; 12:35f.; 1 Cor. 2:9ff.; Rev. 21:23)|
|Imagine a baby in the womb saying,||Christians reject:|
|I don't believe there is a Mom.||Atheism|
|I wonder if there is a Mom.||Agnosticism|
|I will choose my biological mother.||Idolatry; Religious Syncretism|
|I think this womb is all there is.||Rationalism|
|I think I will just keep coming back here maybe in a different form.||Reincarnation|
|I am the authority here.||Pride|
|The womb is a temporary home for a brief
9 months and is not the baby's final destination.
|Earth is our temporary home for a few years and is not the Christian's final destination which is the new heavens and new earth. (John 14:1-6; 2 Cor. 4:16 ff.; 5:1-5, 8; Hebrews 11:10, 13-16; Ps. 90:10, 12; Eccl. 12:1; Rev. 21; 22)|
|Until the baby is born he is not separated physically from his mother. At birth, the baby begins to realize the fullness and personal nature of the mother's love. (Is. 49:15)||Nothing whatsoever in this life or the next will separate the believer from the love of God in Christ Jesus the Lord. (Rom. 8:29 ff.; John 10:27-29; Eph. 2:7)|
Ephesians 2:4-7 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
The local church of the Thessalonians is an example of Christians growing together in the Lord. The apostle Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 1:2-10, "We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind."
|Your work of faith||Your labor of love||Your steadfast hope in Jesus|
|His choice of you||The Word came in power, in the Holy Spirit and in much conviction to you||You became imitators of us and the Lord|
|You received the word in much tribulation with joy in the Holy Spirit||You became an example to all the believers||The Word and your faith toward God has gone forth together|
|You turned from idols to serve the living and true God||You wait for His Son from Heaven||We will be delivered from the wrath to come|
It is generally unmistakable when life exists. Life shows itself in hunger, growth, and movement. Physical growth and spiritual growth are often predictable and can be nourished. Abnormalities can be detected and prevented in many instances if life itself is present. Just as a baby in the womb is fed from the vast resources available to the mother, a Christian is fed spiritually from God's vast resources. Faith acts as an invisible, spiritual umbilical cord connecting the believer to God through Christ. The Lord nourishes His followers by the means of spiritual life and grace available through Biblical churches. Physically and spiritually we are what we eat. According to their natures, Christians and non-Christians spiritually feed on what God or Satan offers.
Repentance is an initial and continual turning from the Devil's deceptive poisons, to feed by faith on the Bread of Life.
Development in the womb has spiritual implications as shown by the examples of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:21-26; Romans 9:10-13), David (Psalm 51:5; 139:13-16), John the Baptist (Luke 1:41-44), and Jesus (Luke 1:35, literally, "the holy one begotten shall be called the Son of God.") Exhortations in Scripture to grow beyond our initial childlike understanding of Christ and His salvation (1 Cor. 14:20; Eph. 4:14-16; Heb. 5:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:2) should not make us ignore the illustrative value of the crucial first nine months of a person's life when he grew, and matured inside his mother (cf. Acts 17:28; John 3:6; Psalm 139; Is. 46:3, 4).
|From the perspective of the womb the baby at birth is gone never to return to start over or to warn or help younger siblings later.||Neither deceased Christians nor non-Christians can go back to earthly life to warn others. (Luke 16:19-31) Jesus by His resurrection proved the sufficiency of His sacrificial death to rescue sinners. He is the first-born from the dead and the firstfruits of the coming Resurrection harvest. Thus, He warns the wicked and guarantees forgiveness and a glorious physical resurrection to all who believe in Him as Savior and Lord. (Ps. 2:7-12; John 11:25, 26; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 42ff.; Colossians 1:18; Acts 17:30f; Romans 8:11; 10:9-13)|
|Parents prepare a place for the baby to be with them.||Christ promised, "I go to prepare a place for you; I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (Jn. 14:2, 3; Rev. 1:17f.; 5:9, 10; 7:9; 21:3, 4)|
|The baby cannot understand the world he is going to for at least three reasons: 1. The baby has minimal capacity to understand||Christians cannot fully comprehend their eternal destination. Neither can non-Christians. (1 Cor. 2:9, 10; Gen. 19:14) 1. Even mature Christians are as children in understanding.|
1 Corinthians 13:11f – When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
|2.Life in this world is much different from life in the womb.||2. Heaven is far different from this life. (Rev. 21; 22; 1 Cor. 2:9; 15:35ff.; Rom. 8:18-25; Eph. 2:7; 1 Jn. 3:2f). Hell is likewise beyond human comprehension. (Matt. 5:29f; 10:28; 25:41ff; John 5:29; Luke 16:19ff; Rev. 20:15)|
|3. The pre-born baby has not yet seen this world.||3. Christians have not yet seen the glories of Heaven. (1 Cor. 2:9; 13:12; cf. 2 Cor. 12:1-7)|
|The baby is born clueless into this world not knowing what to expect.||We do not have to go clueless into eternity because Jesus knowingly and purposefully came down out of heaven with salvation and told Christians and unbelievers what to expect in eternity. (Matt. 25:31-46; John 1:9-13; 3:11-21, 31-36; 11:25f.; 13:3, 4; 14:1-6; 17:1-3, 8, 24; Eph. 2:4-7)|
|The mother and many others anticipate the baby's birth.||Angels rejoice over sinners who repent (Luke 15:7, 10). Angels aid those who inherit salvation. (Heb. 1:14)||Birth canal danger||"Valley of the shadow of death." (Ps. 23:6)|
|Baby goes towards the light, sound, medical personnel, and parents helping the baby through.||Christians anticipate being with Christ and the church triumphant. (Heb. 12:1f, 22-29; Matt. 22:32; Phil. 1:22f; Rev. 6:9-11; Ps. 23:6) Go towards God and Heaven. (Heb. 4:16; 11:13-16; Acts 7:55ff; II Peter 1:12ff; II Tim. 4:6-8)|
|The baby enters this world with empty hands.||The Christian enters heaven with empty hands. (Job 1:21; I Tim. 6:7; cf. Rev. 21:24, 26)|
|Do you remember or think about the womb you left even if you are sleeping in a fetal position?||"Behold, I will create a new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered ..." (Is. 65:17; Rev. 21:1, 4)|
|Nine months is a short, specific time for the baby to develop for this life.||Life here is short to prepare for eternity. (Gen. 47:8, 9; Ps. 90:9-12; Eccl. 12:1; Is. 40:6-8; I Peter 3:8-17)|
|The baby's body in the womb was the same body born into this life. Yet the newborn body has different abilities here than what it had in the womb. (cf. organ functions, eating, breathing).||The Christians's resurrected body will be the same yet more glorious body than his mortal body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-54; 2 Cor. 5:1-4; Rom. 8:11,18- 23; Phil. 3:21; 1 Jn. 3:2).||Who could guess that a helpless baby would grow up to be a loving mother, a skilled mechanic, an excellent teacher, a conscientious civil servant, or a nurse?||CS Lewis said that the people around us now will be in eternity, "immortal horrors or everlasting splendors." The Weight of Glory. (Rev. 22:8-15; Rom. 8:18)|
Both birth and death are transitions from familiar surroundings to completely new and different surroundings. The same person who was conceived in the womb, and born into this world, will pass into eternal Heaven or Hell. The identity of the person does not change though where he is and how he is changes dramatically in a relatively short time. He cannot return to his former surroundings nor can he undo what brought him to his new location. In death, as in birth the individual is caught up in something much larger than himself.
God is working out His Will to glorify Himself by redeeming the Elect. From the mass of mankind, fallen in Adam, God has chosen to save from sin and condemnation a vast multitude of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language to be His family. By means of an individual's personal faith in the one mediator between God and Man, the God-man Christ Jesus, he is saved. The marred image of God that the sinner inherited from fallen Adam is renewed in the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Last Adam. As we have borne the image of the fallen earthy man Adam, so shall Christians eternally bear the image of the God-man from heaven.
Living the Christian life in this fallen world anticipates sinless eternal fellowship with God in Heaven. Faith acts as a spiritual lifeline or umbilical cord by which the Christian feeds on the grace of God who uses the Bible, prayer, sacraments, church oversight, and the work of the Holy Spirit in applying salvation. By faith, the believer is a new creature in Christ and lives by God's grace, doing God's will for God's glory.
At death, the Christian's soul will be made perfect in holiness in the presence of God. At the resurrection, the believer's body will be raised up from the dead as a glorious new body that will never suffer, wear out, or die. Each believer as the image of God will be a perfect soul in a perfect body living and serving Almighty God forever. Hallelujah!
You were made to last forever. The three circles represent the three phases of your existence. No phase can be isolated from the other two.
You pass through this life and into eternity as a unique and distinct individual.
None of us is a self starter. Through your biological parents you received the gift of life and the privilege of having been made in the likeness of God.
Imagine an unborn baby saying, "I don't believe there is a Mom. Or, I wonder if there is a Mom. I think this womb is all there is. I think that I will just keep coming back here, maybe in a different form. I wonder if there is life after being born."
Before you were born you could not see, describe, understand, or control the world you were coming to.
Purple represents your royalty. You are made in the image of God. This is shown in your personality, creativity, intelligence, and conscience. You have eternity in your heart and you yearn for paradise.
Purple also represents your personal suffering, disappointments, pain, sickness, broken relationships, guilt, sin, shame, misery and even death.
People deny and disobey the very God who sustains them. You can be physically born into a religion but that does not give you spiritual life with God.
Ungodliness and unrighteousness separate us from God. The Devil who is the personal enemy of our souls would have us be enslaved to him forever.
In human history only one Person, Jesus Christ, has credibly said, "I have come down from Heaven." He came from eternity. Listen to His credentials as the Savior of sinners.
He fulfilled Old Testament prophecies that God was going to send the Messiah.
He did supernatural works to show that He was God.
At the point of being threatened with death He did not deny His claim that He is equal to God.
He died on the cross for our sins so that we would be forgiven.
He was the perfectly righteous, sinless, obedient Son of God dying on behalf of sinners that we might be forgiven.
As the God-man he could pay the infinite price and exhaust the wrath of God against us. He could exhaust Hell.
He was physically raised from death to life on the third day just as he said.
You can read all about what I have said in the Gospels of the New Testament.
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through faith in Him could be saved. (John 3:17)
Think of faith in Jesus as a spiritual, invisible umbilical cord whereby you feed from the blessings of God and His bounty. You feed on God's Son, God's Word, and God's Spirit, and are truly nourished instead of feeding on the Devil and his lies and toxins.
You are body and spirit. You need both of God's gifts of life – physical life and spiritual life. "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Remember the physical dynamic of the mother giving and the baby receiving and growing in preparation for the world that the baby was going to enter? It is very similar for the Christian in the spiritual dynamic as God nourishes Christians by the Bible and His Spirit in anticipation of going to Heaven.
Worship, serve, and pray with other Christians in a Bible-based church and be fed as all Christians are from the bounty of God.
Believe and rejoice! In this life, you bear the image of the fallen Adam in his sin, brokenness, guilt, and misery. By your faith and union with Jesus Christ, who is the last Adam, the heavenly One come down to save the world, you can grow in His image in perfection, glory, and holiness that will be consummated in Heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49 Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2)
May this be your prayer as it is mine:
Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Jesus into the world to die for sinners that we might be forgiven. I pray that you will forgive me of all my sins in thought, word, and deed. I ask that you fill me with your Spirit and teach me the Bible so that I may know the truth, the love, the grace, the joy, and the hope that you intend for your children. Amen
Thank you for listening. May God bless you with eternal salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ the Lord."
John 3:6 "That which is born/begotten of the flesh is flesh; that which is born/begotten of the Spirit is spirit." (italics mine)
John 3:16, 17 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him."
John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
John 1:12,13 "But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were (begotten)/ born not of the blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man (husband), but of God." (italics mine)
Ephesians 2:8, 9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."
1 Corinthians 15:45-49 "So also it is written, 'The first Man, Adam, became a living soul.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
Romans 8:11, 18 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you...For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Use YLF to benefit personally as a living soul in relationship with the true and living God through faith in Jesus Christ. See the eternal importance of every aspect of your life. Draw upon the Lord's resources to meet your needs. Discover the love, power and will of God available for your good and God's glory according to the Bible.
Share YLF with believers and non-believers of all ages even if you do not know ahead of time the spiritual state of your hearer. YLF recognizes the seamless nature of doing evangelism and discipleship together and can be used very freely to help you discern the spiritual understanding and needs of the hearer.
Biblical; Relevant to Life; Flexible Presentation Styles; Easy to Learn and Teach; Understandable by children and adults; Visual; Cross Culturally Adaptable. YLF has been well-received in numerous contexts by people from many backgrounds.
Small Groups and Sunday School; One on One; Sermons; Funerals; Church/Chapel Visitor Follow up; Evangelism Efforts; VBS; Book Tables; Mailings; Seminars and Conferences; Youth Ministry; Pregnancy Counseling; Hospital, Nursing Home, Hospice, Jail Ministries
Review www.youlastforever.com video and materials to get YLF into your mind and heart for your own life. Talk with others about Jesus Christ and eternal life by using the teaching and tools of You Were Made to Last Forever. Carry the wallet cards to speak from, give to others, and refer to website. Link your church, ministry, or business website to www.youlastforever.com to share the Gospel.
www.youlastforever.com; Web Video and Transcript, Wallet Cards, Booklets, and Downloads; Onsite Training Seminars; Conference Speaking.
To have eternal life is to be forgiven and know personally the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (John 17:3; 16:7-15; Matt. 28:19) Each Christian is a living soul in relationship with the only true and living God. Cultivate and enjoy your relationship with all three Persons of the Trinity.
|Father||Son (Jesus Christ)||Holy Spirit|
|Gives power to become the children of God||Is building His Church by drawing people to Himself to be saved by His blood||Calls, regenerates, assures, gifts, fills, sanctifies, seals, preserves, and will resurrect and glorify God's elect|
|Knows what we need before we ask||Lives in Christians and will be with them always||Works mysteriously|
|Gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask||Is enthroned in Heaven with all authority in Heaven and on Earth||Opens and closes "doors" for Christians|
|Pities those who fear Him||Gives abundant life||Gives fruit of the Spirit|
|Answers prayer||Answers prayer||Answers prayer|
|Protects His own||Calls, leads His sheep||The Spirit says, "Come..."|
|Never leaves nor forsakes His children||Is preparing a blessed home for Christians||Searches all things, even the depths of God|
|Does His Will in Heaven and on earth||Stands at the door of the Church and knocks||Anoints God's servants|
|Desires people to worship Him in Spirit and Truth||Feeds His people through the Lord's supper||Increases faith|
|Beholds the evil and good||Is the light of the world. His followers shall not walk in darkness||Intercedes in prayer for believers|
|Father of mercies and God of all comfort||He is there when 2 or 3 meet in His Name||Walk in the Spirit|
|Honors those who serve His Son||Gives spiritual gifts to all the members of His Church||Empowers believers to do the will and work of God|
As Jesus came down from above, so does every good and perfect gift from the Father. (James 1:17) The sample subjects listed below are examples of how God's giving, and our responding are expressed:
Breathed out by God; holy men of God spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit; true, eternal in the heavens, complete, Christ centered; inerrant; infallible. Be not only a hearer of the Word but a doer of it.
Proceeds from the Father and the Son. Active at Creation. In redemption, the Holy Spirit effectually calls, regenerates sinners to believe and confess Christ is Lord, fills, assures, gives the Spirit of adoption, sanctifies. preserves, guides, equips, gifts, enlightens, empowers, intercedes, resurrects, glorifies. Fruit of the Spirit.
Wisdom, patience, love, forgiveness, power, integrity, faith and repentance, humility, joy, peace, goodness, self-control, gentleness, courage.
By words justified and by words judged or condemned; Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. We are known by, and blessed or cursed by the words we say. Discerning whether to speak or not is praised. Preach the Gospel. Lie not, curse not, profane not, nor course talk or jesting, boast not except in the Lord. God made your mouth.
Dominion over the creatures, Work, the weekly Sabbath, heterosexual Marriage, Procreation of offspring; the Replenishing and Subdue the earth.
One man and one woman since Creation; Not good for man to be alone. Be fruitful and multiply; lifelong covenant, commitment, fidelity; God hates divorce; (unfaithfulness and abandonment exceptions); a good wife is from the Lord; husband to give wife Christ-like sacrificial love; wife to respect husband. Family: Children are a gift and blessing from the Lord. Fathers provoke not your children to anger. Nurture, provide for, train, and educate the children in the Lord. Children obey your parents that it may go well with you. Care to orphans and widows. Love to Christ is to be stronger than earthly family ties, yet love to Christ is shown by loving family.
The bride, and body of Christ. Bought by the blood of Christ. To be built by Christ until the end of the world. Includes Old and New Testament believers justified by faith in the Messiah. Is composed of a great multitude from every family, race, tribe, people groups, and languages. Visible and invisible; militant and triumphant expressions. Spiritual gifts are given to Christians to mutually build up the Body of Christ in love and maturity.
The Lord was the king, judge, and lawgiver in ancient Israel. Checks and balances necessary for human rulers. Israel rejected God as King and chose an earthly king like other peoples. God still rules over heaven and earth. The king is not above the Law. Leaders and nations rise, and fall within the Will of God. Power of the sword given to the state. Separation of Church and State. God-fearing statesmen needed. Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. His kingdom is not of this world but transcends national boundaries and authorities. Church has a prophetic function to the State.
God makes poor and rich. Riches cannot ransom or deliver from death. Tithe. Pray and work for daily bread. Faith, virtue, a good name, wisdom, and a godly inheritance are more precious than gold that perishes. Seek godly contentment.
Work whole-hearted as for the Lord and His glory, not as a man pleaser. Honest scales, personal excellence and diligence praised. Learn from creatures. Avoid Sabbath work; observe 6-day work and 1-day rest and worship cycle. Work included toil, thorns, and thistles after the Fall of Adam. In Heaven, the curse is removed and God's people shall serve Him.
All things in God's will. Compare revealed and decreed (secret) will of God. Not a sparrow falls outside of God's will. The secret things belong to God. Includes pain and suffering. Many things occur through ordinary or secondary causes. God's ways are mysterious in Providence so that often we do not understand our own lives. We must walk by faith believing that God does all things well and for the believers' good.
Truth is in order to godliness and freedom. Think God's thoughts after Him. Teachers of the Scriptures will be more strictly judged. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Parents are responsible for educating children personally or through agents they approve. Continually learn and obey the Word of God. Be not only a lifelong but an eternal learner of God, His grace and truth.
Given to Moses through the ministry of angels; is a school master to lead us to Christ for salvation; by obedience to the Law shall no person be justified (because the corruption of original sin makes it impossible). Christ kept the Law of God perfectly. Jesus said, "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandment, and abide in His love." (John 15:10)
Expand this exercise to other topics:
Sanctity of Life
The Earth and Nature
"You Were Made to Last Forever"
Evangelism and Discipleship Training by Chaplain Richard Fisher
To support You Last Forever Ministries with tax-deductible gifts:
Give online at www.youlastforever.com or www.ibtonline.org/contributions or make the check payable to and mail to:
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PO Box 9161 Chattanooga, TN 37412>
Write "You Last Forever" or YLF in the memo portion of the check.
For inquiries on other types of donation, please call
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(Copyright 2002, revised 2018 Richard Fisher. All rights reserved. Use freely unchanged) Unless otherwise noted the Scripture, quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1973 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www. Lockman.org) Italicized Scriptures were done by Chaplain Fisher.
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