What is the most important thing you must know? Perhaps some would argue that you must know how to do your job, or you will lose your job and source of income. Others might say you must know those you care most about (and those who care about you) because we need one another. Maybe some would argue that you must know what makes you happy because everyone wants to be happy. There are certainly those who would declare you must know your god and/or your religion, or you will have no lasting purpose.
There is probably a long list of claims we could put together about the most important thing you must know in your life. Most likely, though, most of those answers probably have something to do primarily with this life.
THE ANSWER IS IN THE LIFE TO COME
The most important thing you must know in your life, though, is how you can live forever. How can you know God and spend eternity with Him? He created you, and only He can fulfill your greatest needs and longings. You must know Him.
Consider – if you were on your deathbed, but there was a cure, what would be the most important thing you could know? The cure!
Well, this life is about to end for all of us. Whether the end is today, tomorrow or fifty years from now, the end is coming. What then?
In his first letter, John has incredible wisdom and insight regarding this topic. “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
THE LIFE TO COME IS IN THE ANSWER
Jesus is the Answer. Eternal life is only found in and through knowing Him. In fact, John emphasizes throughout his letter three things you must do to know the most important thing in your life – to know that you have eternal life.
- Trust in Jesus.
It is those “who believe in the name of the Son of God” who can know they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). You must believe Jesus is who He said He was – that He is the eternal Son of God who came to this earth to live a perfect life, die on the cross for your sins, and rise again to win the eternal victory over sin and death for everyone who trusts in Him.
You must trust in Jesus to have eternal life and to know that you have eternal life.
- Obey like Jesus.
This truth is all over John’s letter. Those who know the Son of God, obey the Word of God. Period.
Obedience is proof that you are a child of God and are being changed each day by His Spirit living in you. Does this mean you never sin? No, John made clear that perfection in this life is not what he was talking about (see 1 John 1:8 – 2:2).
What it does mean is that we will never find contentment and satisfaction in sin. We will not continue in sin. We will repent of sin and grow in obedience.
“But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in God: The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:5-6).
You must increasingly obey the Word of God like the Son of God if you have eternal life and want to know that you have eternal life.
- Love like Jesus.
If you trust in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation and, as a result, obey His Word, then you will also love God and love others. Jesus Himself said that it is that love that sums up His Word (Matthew 22:37-40) and proves we are His disciples (John 13:34-35).
To “walk just as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:6) requires love. “The one who loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:21).
Like Jesus, loving God and loving others are the obvious fruit in your life if you have eternal life and know that you have eternal life. Love is the natural overflow of someone who has experienced God’s love.
DO YOU KNOW?
Do you know the most important thing you must know – how to live forever with God? How sure are you?
On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching through 1 John 5:13-21 on the “Proof of Assurance.” I want to discuss two requirements for lasting Christian assurance.
John wrote his letter to help you know. God desires that you know. Do you know?