Living and Looking for Eternity
Category : General
St. John 12: 25 (KJV)
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
It has been noted that “He who, under the influence of immoderate desire of the present life, cannot leave the world but by constraint, is said to love life; but he who, despising life, advances courageously to death, is said to hate life. Not that we ought absolutely to hate life, which is justly reckoned to be one of the highest of God’s blessings; but because believers ought cheerfully to lay it down, when it retards them from approaching to Christ; just as a man, when he wishes to make haste in any matter, would shake off from his shoulders a heavy and disagreeable burden.”
The sense is, that whoever is so in love with this present temporal life, as to be anxiously careful of it, and takes all precautions to secure it; and rather than to expose it to any danger, chooses to deny the faith of Christ, and desert His cause and interest; as such an one shall not long enjoy this life, so he shall come short of an eternal one: and he that hateth his life in this world: on the other hand, whoever seems careless about it, and not to consult the safety of it, but is unconcerned about it; yea, as if he was throwing it away, as of no great moment and significance, rather than do anything to preserve it, which would be scandalous to himself, and be dishonorable to his Lord and master; he shall keep it unto life eternal: he shall be preserved in his temporal life, in a remarkable manner, until he has done the will and work of God, notwithstanding all attempts upon it; and he shall appear to have that spiritual life, which is the beginning and pledge of, and which springs up unto, and issues in eternal life; and that he shall enjoy in the world to come. This Christ said to let His disciples and followers know, that they must suffer and die, as well as He, though not on the same account, and for the self-same reasons; and that their sufferings and death in His cause, and for His Gospel, would turn to their advantage.
As Christ loved not his life to the death for us, so neither must we for him. If every hair of my head were a man, I would suffer death in the opinion and faith that I am now in, said John Ardley, martyr, to Bonner. God be praised, said Dr Taylor, since my condemnation, I was never afraid to die. God’s will be done; if I shrink from God’s truth, I am sure of another manner of death. There is in all human nature a principle which would seek as the highest good the life of the body and of the soul, as distinct from the higher life of the spirit, and would shrink from sacrifice and death; but the true principle of life is of the spirit, and only in the sacrifice of the desires of the lower physical and emotional life is that spiritual life realized.
So in short, to love this life is not in itself wrong, provided that we only pass through it as pilgrims, keeping our eyes always fixed on our object. For the true limit of loving life, is, when we continue in it as long as it pleases God, and when we are prepared to leave it as soon as he shall order us, or — to express it in a single word — when we carry it, as it were, in our hands, and offer it to God as a sacrifice. Whoever carries his attachment to the present life beyond this limit, destroys his life; that is, he consigns it to everlasting ruin. For the word destroy does not signify to lose, or to sustain the loss of something valuable, but to devote it to destruction.
Have a Great and God filled Day