“And the life everlasting. Amen.”
May it be so. Truly what has been stated in the Creed shall come to pass. The saints have affirmed life everlasting because God himself has promised it through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to have everlasting life – a life free of decay, where death shall be no more, and in which the former things shall pass away. A new heavens and new earth where God himself will be our source of light; darkness will forever be gone.
“For in this tent we groan,” says the Apostle, yet we know that we that our destiny is not to be free of body but to be fully realized in our body; to be further clothed. Again the Apostle says, “For if in Christ we hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” And elsewhere he speaks, “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.” Our faith rests in the sure return of our Lord to judge the quick and the dead and to usher in a kingdom in which life will be renewed and last for all of time. We will share in the divine nature and be like Christ when he appears.
Though we hope not in this life alone, we are sure to exhibit the effects of life everlasting while in this present state. The Apostle calls these manifestations the “fruit of the Spirit.” We are made alive in Christ and now indwelt with the Holy Ghost straightaway to show forth the glory of our God who has graciously made us his own. This is life everlasting even now. The peace that surpasses all understanding; this is life everlasting. Eagerly waiting for the hope of righteousness, saints in Christ show forth the promise of everlasting life through charity and those three great Christian virtues: faith, hope and love.
Once more the Apostle pronounces, “Through grace we have been saved by faith, and have been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God himself prepared beforehand that we might walk in them.” This is life everlasting. Pray without ceasing, love without bounds, trust in what is to come and share the hope of life everlasting in Christ Jesus alone. May our prayer be that of the great English reformer Thomas Cranmer:
“Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.”