1 John 5:11-12, “11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
From even the most basic reading of the Gospels, it’s clear that Jesus said and did many things that were scandalous to His culture. Jesus’ willingness to dine with sinners offended many who didn’t have a right view of their own sin (Matthew 9:10-13). His disciples found it hard to receive His teaching in particular that He must die and rise again (Mark 8:31-33).
Among the most scandalous statements of Jesus is recorded in John’s Gospel. Jesus’ statement, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that “no one comes to the Father” except through Him (John 14:6) was offensive in Jesus’s time and ours also. It’s offensive to both cultures because it offends people’s sensibilities that salvation is something plus what they want. To submit to Jesus’ Lordship is to submit to the totality of His person and work. To those who think their goodness and righteousness are somehow good enough, they are instantly offended by the exclusivity of the gospel. To those who think their effort and merit can get them into heaven, the exclusivity of Christ points them to the wisdom of God in the Cross, which they view as foolishness. In today’s pluralistic and relativistic culture, the words of Jesus in John 14:6 and other places, are the least likely to be embraced and lived out, as any that came from the mouth of Jesus, the Son of God, and Savior of sinners.
In John 5:11-12, John brings this section on the testimony concerning the real Incarnation of Jesus to a close by teaching about the biblical Lord Jesus. Those who have the Son, to those who believe in the name of Jesus, God has granted eternal life. To those who do not have the Son of God and Son of Man Jesus Christ do not have life (1 John 5:11-12).
There are those today, who think they may have eternal life, but who deny the biblical testimony of Jesus. When people reject the biblical testimony concerning the person and work of Jesus, they reveal they do not have the biblical Lord Jesus. All those who receive the testimony of God believe in the authoritative Word of God and are those who trust in Christ alone. They alone are those who have placed their hope and eternal life in the Lord Jesus, and will never perish, but have eternal life.
The life God offers to His people in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, cannot be lost. It is eternal and forever secure, because God is faithful to all of His promises, which are yes, and amen in Christ alone. All those who believe in the Lord Jesus, cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ alone (Romans 8:38-39), who now calls His people, His friends, His beloved. All those who belong to the Lord Jesus will persevere to the end, because they belong to Christ, and cling daily to the His promises contained in the Word of God. While we will not have a full experience of eternal life until the age to come, even now it is ours in the present, enabling us to live with hope in this present darkness.
The sovereign God alone chooses to grant eternal life only to those who receive His Son, Jesus. Reformed evangelicals have no problem affirming this teaching, but we must equally not neglect to share the gospel with the lost in our families, friends, and neighbors. In practice, we have sound theology as Reformed evangelicals, but we must practice what we preach. If today you don’t know any non-Christians, aim to engage with your neighbors and those in your community and begin to share the gospel with them.