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1 John 5:10–13
From the Confessions: The Nicene Creed
“the life of the world to come”
Pulling It Together
We confess that there is an eternal life prepared for God's people in heaven. Everlasting life is a free gift from God (Rom 6:23). Jesus was sent by his Father so that we might not perish but by believing in what Jesus has done for us, live with him forever (John 3:16). There is nothing else that the believer wants more than this unceasing time with God. We may hope to see a departed family member in heaven, but for the true believer, there is no greater longing than to be with God. The only way to have either in the life to come is to know God here first (John 17:3).
This is critical, for there are many who will say that they were Christians or believed in God or were good people, and somehow, therefore, deserve to be in heaven. Such people will be disappointed because they will not be given what they never wanted to begin with. What God offers in the life to come is himself. Those who did not desire him here will not want him there either. “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked” (Gal 6:7). Only through wholehearted belief in God's promises, bought and paid for by Christ's death and resurrection, and guaranteed by his Spirit, may one hope to receive the inheritance of eternal life in heaven with God.
This eternal life to come is what Christians confess—because it is promised by Jesus.
Prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I praise and thank you for everything you have done to make an eternal home for me with you in heaven. Amen.
Three Keys to What Lutherans Believe is a three-session introduction to themes in Lutheran theology. By focusing on key biblical concepts, it demonstrates the primary themes that Lutherans emphasize in thinking about the Christian faith and the teachings of Scripture. The study may be particularly suited to new member classes, adult baptismal or confirmation instruction, or for use with young adults. For use in shorter sessions, leaders may choose to divide each lesson into two parts to create a six-week study.