Why Does Jesus Christ Say the Bible Doesn’t Contain Eternal Life?
When we speak of the Bible, everyone knows it as the canon of Christianity. All Christians have a Bible, during our devotionals and at meetings we read the Bible, and we rely on it even more in missionary work and preaching. The Bible could be said to be an inseparable part of every Christian’s life.
Through reading the Bible, we learn that God created the heavens, the earth, and all things in them, that God once used a flood to destroy the world, that God led Moses out of Egypt, and that He proclaimed the laws and commandments and guided the Israelites in their lives, and taught them to worship God. We also learn from the Bible that, in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus performed many divine miracles, cured many sick people, made Himself a sin offering to redeem all mankind, that His mercy and love were genuine, etc. Through reading the Bible, we come to know God’s authority, we increase our confidence in following God, and we do more good deeds in our lives and work. These are all things we gain from reading the Bible. No one can deny the value of the Bible’s existence to us, or the benefit and help it brings us. Therefore, many Christians believe the Bible is our path to gaining life in our belief in God, and that only by persisting in reading the Bible can we gain eternal life. But some people read that the Lord Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And you will not come to Me, that you might have life” (John 5:39–40), and they feel confused: Since the Bible contains the words of God and the testimony of man, reading it should be able to give us eternal life. Why, then, does the Lord Jesus say the Bible doesn’t contain eternal life?
In fact, this is an easy question to answer. We only have to look at the inside story behind God’s work recorded in the Bible during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, as well as the results this work achieved, to understand why the Lord Jesus said that.
In the Age of Law, Jehovah God primarily proclaimed the laws and commandments, and led the lives of the then newly-created mankind on earth. Although God also expressed some truths, He spoke those words primarily to make people obey His laws and commandments, worship God, learn to build altars, and learn that if they violated His laws and commandments, they were to make offerings to God upon those altars and repent. He didn’t do anything to change people’s life disposition, He simply did these things to lead people’s lives. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption, and during this time He performed many divine miracles; He healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, calmed the waves and wind with a word, and used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5,000 people; and He spoke many words, primarily to teach people to confess their sins and repent, love others as themselves, be tolerant and patient, not to judge others, to forgive seventy times seven times, etc.
The Lord Jesus preached the way of repentance, and when people accepted the way of repentance, the result was that they confessed, repented, and their sins were forgiven, outwardly they performed more good deeds, they didn’t steal, rob, strike or scold others, or drink, and some people were able to work diligently, expend for the Lord, forsake everything to follow the Lord, and spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus. But merely being gaining the Lord’s redemption for our sins does not represent that the root cause of our sin is resolved, nor that we are on a clear path to gaining eternal life. Even from the moment we believe in the Lord, we are controlled by our arrogant, conceited, selfish, despicable, twisted, and deceitful dispositions, and so we often engage in conflict, or belittle and exclude others; for the sake of our interests and reputations, we often scheme, deceive, and lie; in our belief in God, we often are unable to worship God even as we worship and follow men; at meetings and when we preach, we often exalt ourselves, and can’t honor God above all or testify God; and especially in times of disaster, we always run the risk of misunderstanding, blaming, or even betraying God. These expressions prove that the work done by God in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace was not to change our life disposition, but was instead to teach people to know their own sin, and to be able to confess their sins and repent.
The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever” (John 8:34–35). “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Today, we often sin, the corrupt dispositions within us have not been purified, and we are still slaves to sin, so how could we say we have gained the way of eternal life and are ready to see the face of God? God is holy, and will never allow people full of sin to enter His kingdom. So, if we only accept God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, no matter how we pursue, what price we pay, or how we suffer, we will never achieve change in our life disposition, we cannot achieve the effect of escaping sin, and even less can we gain the way of eternal life.
So what is the way of eternal life then? We all know that mankind dies because of sin. If mankind gains the truth as life and resolves the problem of sin, God will bless mankind by removing death and granting him eternal life. So, a change in life disposition occurs in those who gain the way of eternal life. Their corrupt dispositions are purified, they escape the forces of Satan, and they no longer suffer the constraints and bondage of their satanic natures. Finally they gain the truth as life, become compatible with Christ, and never again sin to resist God or betray God. Only the way that can bring these results can be said to be the way of eternal life.
Perhaps some might ask, “Then how can we gain the way of eternal life?”
The Lord Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). Also, chapter 9, verse 28 in Hebrews says: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin to salvation.” In the Book of Revelation there are also several mentions that “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (See Revelation 2–3). Through these prophecies, we can see that the Lord Jesus will return in the last days to bestow salvation upon us a second time. In the last days, God will express the language of life, which we do not see in the Bible, and which are new words God will express outside the Bible.
A book says, “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history. Those who are controlled by regulations, by letters, and shackled by history will never be able to gain life, and will never be able to gain the perpetual way of life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life”). From this, we can see that only Christ of the last days can express the truth that purifies our sins and gives us the way of eternal life. We must let go of our view that the Bible contains eternal life, receive Christ in the last days, and gain the truth from God before the everlasting stream of living water of life can enter our lives. The Bible cannot substitute for God’s authority and power, it does not represent the life God bestows to man, and it does not represent the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is only a record of God’s previous words and works, which is to say that the Bible is merely testimony of God. The source of eternal life is Christ, not the Bible. The Bible is not a substitute for God, and it has no life. Christ is the Lord of the Bible and the source of life, and only by accepting God’s salvation in the last days do we have the chance to gain eternal life.
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