Do You Believe This?
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he shall never see death.” John 8:51 A casual reading of this verse might cause someone to think the Word of God is in error. "See there," some might say, "there's never been any believer who hasn't died in the end." But the Word of God IS true. The Word of God IS faithful. The principle is the same here as the one in Genesis in which God said to Adam and Eve: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for IN THE DAY that you eat of it you shall SURELY DIE.” Genesis 2:16-17 We know that after Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit they lived on, in fact they went on to bear children. So what's going on here? Can the Word of God be wrong? No, of course not. We need to define death. Death is separation. When one dies physically, his soul is separated from his body. He does not cease to exist, he simply goes to LIVE in another place. Adam and Eve died spiritually ON THE DAY they partook of that fruit. Their spirit died. They were no longer in intimate contact with God. They were broken off from his presence. Realizing this, they went and hid. Jesus repeats it In the story of Lazarus: "Jesus said to Martha, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me SHALL NEVER DIE.'" John 11:25-26 After saying this to Martha the sister of Lazarus, Jesus added: "Do you believe this?" He said this BEFORE raising Lazarus. Martha had never heard anything like this before. She had never seen anyone live past very old age. "Do you believe this?" Jesus asked. You've never seen it, and it defies the understanding but I ask you, "Do you believe this?" And that's what he will ask concerning his Word. Those things you don't understand, do you believe them still on the basis that God said them? Do you trust the integrity of his Word? On another occasion, Jesus said that unless you eat his flesh and drink his blood you have no life in you. That statement defied human understanding and: "From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more." John 6:66 Notice that Jesus did NOT run after those who left. He could have said, "Wait, wait, let me explain." But he didn't. He let them go. Because if anyone chooses to believe the Word of God only insofar as he can understand it, then they do not trust the Word of God. They will always turn away when they come across passages they do not understand. There's no sense in trying to explain. He let them go. Then Jesus asked the twelve if they wanted to leave also, he was willing for even his close ones to leave if they wanted to, and Peter said: vs 69: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And that's what it comes down to for all mankind. There are going to be passages in the Word of God that we will not understand. The very disciples of Christ who walked with him personally did not understand, and were free to go if they so chose. We have a choice: we can look at the Word of God through the eyes of human understanding and conclude that the Word of God isn't trustworthy, or we can trust in the INTEGRITY of God, meaning that we place absolute trust in him and in his Word, whether we understand it or not. The choice is ours. "Do you believe this?"