TODAY’S READING: JOHN 5-6
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should eternal life, and i will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:39-40
Christians are quite fond of saying that they have read the end of the Bible. Therefore, they know who wins in the end – God.
However, I’m convinced most Christians do not believe their own words. I’m convinced that most Christians do not actually believe that God wins the victory in the end.
I say this because most Christians seem to believe that because the way is narrow only a small, select group of people will be saved and therefore have eternal life. Everyone else will be damned to eternal and burned up in the lake of fire forever. In other words, in the end, death will claim the lives of millions, even billions, of people.
In the end, on the last day, if death claims the life of even one person, then did God truly win?
In John 6:33, 35, Jesus said, “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…I am the bread of life.”
The Greek word for world in verse 33 is kosmos. It means the world, the created world, the universe, all created things.
Hmm…all created things.
Yesterday, I wrote about “What Happens to All Things?” All things are summed up, reconciled, made to be in harmonious friendship with God through love.
Jesus says that he gives life to the world, all created things, everything in heaven and on earth. Over and over, scripture says that God and Jesus give life, specifically to the dead. The dead are all people that walk according to the ways of this world, which means everyone is the dead.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus also said, “For I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” (John 12:47)
The mission of Jesus was not just for you as an individual. His missions is for the world, all created things – to save them, to give them life.
Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on my authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 12:49-50)
The commandment the Father gave Jesus is to speak eternal life. Jesus speaks life to everything. If he does not speak life to everything, then Jesus will not fulfill the command of his Father. But, Jesus only did what he saw the Father doing and only said what he heard the Father speaking. So, we know that Jesus fulfills the Father’s command to speak eternal life.
Also, we know that God’s word does not return void. What God speaks actually happens. So, if Jesus, who is God, speaks life to all things, then all things will have life. If all things, even just one created thing in heaven and on earth, does not have eternal life, then death will have scored a victory.
However, scripture says and Christians proudly proclaim that God wins not Satan, who brings death because he has the power of death.
Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
If Jesus destroys Satan, the one who has the power of death, by his own, then can there be any death left?
The one who wields death has been destroyed.
“‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
Death gets swallowed up in the victory of Jesus.
What is the victory of Jesus?
He gives life to the world, every created thing, all things.
If one thing dies, then death is not swallowed up in victory.
“For he must reign until he has put all things in subjection under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26)
Can death be destroyed if anything, anyone, dies?
Would not something, someone, still be in death?
If so, then death would still be existing and not destroyed.
So, for the last enemy, death, to be destroyed, everything, all created things, the world, must have life.
The problem is that most Christians have a short-term focus.
Notice that Paul said the last enemy to be defeated is death.
The word last is the key to understanding that, in the end, everything will have life.
Let’s look at John 6:37-40, 43-44 to see the importance of the word last.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
What does the Father give to Jesus?
John 3:35 says, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.”
The Father has given Jesus all things, everything in heaven and on earth. Therefore, all things will come to Jesus. And, everything that comes to Jesus he will never cast it out. If he did cast them out, then they would not have life. So, for Jesus to receive everything that the Father has given him means that everything will have life.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
Remember, Jesus came down from heaven as the bread of heaven to give life to the world. This is the commandment the Father gave to Jesus – to speak eternal life.
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he given me, but raise it up on the last day.”
The Father put all things in Jesus’ hand. Jesus is to lose none of the all things that his Father put in his hand. Therefore, he is to give life to all things, every created thing, the world. Jesus will give life to all things on the last day.
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Everyone who looks at, beholds, Jesus and believes in him will have eternal life.
What does it look like when you truly behold Jesus and believe in him?
Philippians 2:9-10 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Every knee bowing and every tongue confessing is everyone beholding Jesus and believing in Him.
“No one cay say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)
“It is the Spirit who gives life.” (John 6:63)
“The Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)
If everything, all things in Jesus’ hand that have been given to him by the Father, bow the knee and confess that Jesus is lord, then everything has the Spirit. And, because the Spirit gives life, if everything has the Spirit, then everything has life.
“Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him on the last day.”
Why does Jesus say “do not grumble?”
Jesus and the Jews have been talking about Moses, Israel, the manna, and the wilderness journey. The Jews grumbled and complained throughout their wilderness journey but particularly about the manna. Speaking of the wilderness journey, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:10, “Nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.”
So, Jesus says do not grumble because the Destroyer, Satan, will destroy you. You will have death.
To come to Jesus, to be drawn by the Father, we need to stop grumbling, stop complaining about what God is or isn’t doing. The sooner we do this, the sooner we have life. Otherwise, we will have to wait until the last day.
While it may look like death is all around us and that God is causing, or at least, allowing death to take place, we must know that this is not the truth. We know it’s not the truth when we change our focus to the last day. For on the last day, everything we will have life. It’s on the last day that Jesus raises everything up.
The last day refers to the last day of the feast of booths or tabernacles. In the Old Testament, the only day we see the phrase “the last day” is in reference to the last day of the feast of booths (see Nehemiah 8:18). Interestingly, the people set up their tents in the square at the Water Gate.
In John 7, Jesus comes to Jerusalem on the feast of tabernacles. John 7:37-39 says, “On the last day, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”‘ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The feast of tabernacles speaks of Jesus’ second coming. We have already seen that on the last day all things come to Jesus because they are drawn by the Father and have put in his hand. Jesus loses none of these things.
So, on the last day of this feast, symbolic of his second coming, Jesus gives living water, the Spirit, life, to everything.
“God, who gives life to all things.” (1 Timothy 6:13)
“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…I am the bread of life.” (John 6:33, 35)
“The last enemy to be defeated is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26)
Jesus gives life to the world.
This is good news. This is the gospel.
As Christians, we are to know this beyond doubt. It is to be our hope so that we live and preach life to the world, becoming ministers of reconciliation with Jesus.
It’s high time Christians start believing and living the words that come out of their mouth.
In the end, God wins.
Death is defeated.
Death is swallowed up in victory.
For the world.
Every created thing in heaven and on earth.