Ninth Sunday after Trinity – Friday
I give unto them eternal life. – John 10:28.
Thus says Jesus concerning His sheep, the believers. And what do the Scriptures teach concerning eternal life? They teach that the souls of all believers are with Christ the moment they leave the body in death, that body and soul shall be reunited on the day of resurrection, and that the believers shall thus live with Christ in everlasting joy and glory.
To the dying thief the Savior said: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Dying Stephen said to the Savior: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). And the voice from heaven said: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth” (Revelation 14:13). And concerning the eternal consummation which the Last Day shall usher in, when all the dead shall rise, the Apostle John writes by inspiration of the Holy Ghost: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2).
On the night in which He entered upon His suffering, the Savior prayed: “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me” (John 17:24). And the Holy Ghost moved David to prophesy concerning eternal life: “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Ah, my dear Christian, let us always cling to these words of life, and trust in them, “though the night of death be fraught still with many an anxious thought” (TLH 206, 1). May these and similar words of life awaken in us a fervent longing for the life everlasting! Let us hold fast to the forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ, through which alone, but most assuredly so, we shall inherit eternal life.
Ah, yes, let us hold fast to the forgiveness of sins; then we need not worry or doubt at all that we shall obtain everlasting life.
PRAYER – Lord, my God, forgive my sins for Christ’s sake; forgive my sins until I shall depart this life. Amen, I know Thou wilt do it. And then graciously give to me eternal life, since Jesus hath purchased it for me with His blood! Amen! I know Thou wilt do it. O Lord, Thou dost beckon me, Thou dost call me through Thy Word to life everlasting. And Thou wilt not disappoint me. O no, Lord, Thou wilt surely abide by Thy promise. Amen.
Exult, O dust and ashes, The Lord shall be thy part;
His only, His forever, Thou shalt be and thou art.
Jesus, in mercy bring us To that dear land of rest,
Who art, with God the Father And Spirit ever blest.
(TLH – Hymn 605, 4b, 5b)