What do you think of that statement?  There is only one life.  In some ways it sounds wrong.  Is this all there is?  Is our present life on this earth the only life we get? 

Many naturalists and secularists would agree.  Our natural, physical life here and now is all we know.  You are born, you live and you die.  Hopefully you can give your life some meaning and purpose by what you do, but don’t look for anything more.  This is all you get.  There is only one life. 

What’s the matter? Have I lost my faith?  No, not at all.  But I still say, there really is only one life.  You may be thinking that I am referring to a distinction between physical life and spiritual life.  Yes, but not entirely. 

You see, there is only one life, and that is the life God gives.  When you were conceived in your mother, your life was worked by God (Psalm 139:14f).  Every breath you take is a breath God gives you.  You are alive because of God. 

Yet we still die – life ends. “Sin pays off in death,” the Scripture says (Romans 6:23).  Death contradicts God’s work of life.   It even seems to have the last word, for we all die.  No one is excepted. 

In the face of this reality, the Scripture says of Jesus Christ:

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5). 

There is one life death could not destroy.  Oh, death thought it had Him (if we can speak of death thinking) when Christ was dead and buried.  But death could not hold the one who is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26).  God’s gift of life cannot be extinguished, for Jesus lives, and lives forever. 

Now Jesus promises,

“This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3). 

There is only one life – this life, the life of Jesus Christ.  Knowing Him you have His life.  Anyone who does not have Jesus has no life (1 John 5:12).

“The thief,” Jesus says, “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10).

So, you see, there is only one life, the life God gives, the life that is ours in Jesus.  It begins now but continues forever. 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life;  he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24).

Eternal life is a present possession for the believer in Christ.  And when Christ returns, this eternal life will be revealed in the resurrection of the body. 

One more thing.  You probably already know that Jesus gives this life wherever people come together to hear His Word and to receive His body and blood.  But do you know anyone else who does not know or trust in Jesus?  Who is not close to Him?  Without Jesus, they have no life. 

You have this life.  Did you know you can give it away?  Tell them about it.  Tell them what you have.  Bring them into the worship of the Triune God where life is given.  For there is only one life.  His name is Jesus. 

Did you know that your congregation is a mission outpost?  A place where Jesus gives His life for you and for others?  You also are sent by God to bring life, to invite people you know to receive life in Jesus.  As Jesus promised,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (John 5:25). 

So it’s true.  There is only one life – eternal life in Jesus.

+Herbert C. Mueller
First Vice President