Nate’s Notes: Back to the Future

Source: IMDB

John 3:16-17 NIV 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 

Philippians 1:5-6 NIV 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the Eighties, is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean “time machine” invented by a slightly mad scientist. Marty must find a way to convince Doc that he is from the future, reunite his parents, and ultimately get back to the future.

Marty McFly, in a trilogy of movies, travels to both the future and the past. None of us will ever have that opportunity but all who accept Jesus as Lord know that they will have a glorious future with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the good news, the gospel. Our salvation in Christ is more than the forgiveness of sins. It is also being adopted into the family of God forever!

Timothy Keller wrote that “Jesus Christ has come from that eternal, supernatural world that we sense is there, that our hearts know is there even though our heads say no. At Christmas he punched a hole between the ideal and the real, the eternal and the temporal, and came into our world.”

No matter what is happening in your life, you are blessed. In the past Jesus saved you from the penalty of sin. In the present, He saves you from the power of sin. In the future the Lion of Judah saves you from the presence of sin. Amid natural disasters, tragic shootings, family strife, financial stress, and all other problems we have hope! Jesus has won the victory! Hallelujah! mentions a fascinating aspect of our eternal life because of Jesus. A common New Testament word for “eternal” is aiónios, which carries the idea of quality as well as quantity. In fact, eternal life is not really associated with “years” at all, as it is independent of time. Eternal life can function outside of and beyond time, as well as within time.

For this reason, eternal life can be thought of as something that Christians experience now. Believers do not have to “wait” for eternal life, because it’s not something that starts when they die. Rather, eternal life begins when a person comes to faith in Christ. It is our current possession and present reality.  John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” Note that the believer “has” (present tense) this life (the verb is present tense in the Greek, too). We find similar present-tense constructions in John 5:24 and John 6:47. The focus of eternal life is not on our future but on our current standing in Christ. We are seated in the Heavenly realms with Christ and are now members of the family of God. Remember that Jesus prayed: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The Lord’s kingdom is not just in heaven. The Lord’s kingdom is with us today.

The Bible links eternal life with the Person of Jesus Christ. John 17:3 is an important passage in this regard, as Jesus prays, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Here, Jesus equates “eternal life” with a knowledge of God and of the Son. There is no knowledge of God without the Son, for it is through the Son that the Father reveals Himself to the elect (John 17:6; 14:9).2