Knowing God = Eternal Life? :: By Anna Hoak

John 17:3 says that one goes with the other:

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Which credibly implies that 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 Him would result in the opposite of eternal life: eternal death.

Take, for example, Revelation 3:1: “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.'”

Do you know what that statement makes me think of?

Matthew 7:23: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

“… I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” It sounds like Jesus wanted to make something exceptionally clear: that there will be many people who consider themselves His followers (Christians) who will not be admitted into Heaven.

It sounds harsh, but we must realize something. If we are to take the Lord at His word, then we must take Him at 𝘢𝘭𝘭 of His word. So while He is Loving and Merciful, Forgiving and Kind, He is also a God of Holy Justice… and Wrath.

The thing is, He gave us a way out of suffering His Wrath and Justice that we earned with our sins.

He poured it out on a Scapegoat. On Someone who didn’t earn it and didn’t deserve it, on the One Person who deserved the very opposite of what He got. The Father poured it out on the Person who saw where we were headed, who loved us dearly and therefore voluntarily switched places with us when the Wrath, Justice, and Separation from the Father came crashing down.


He took what we deserve. And He offers us eternal life instead of our justified punishment… if we’ll take it.

Those of us who take it and then take it seriously will know Him intimately, and they will reside in His presence eternally.

The only way to know Him intimately is to have Him live with you. And the only way He will live with you is if you have a clean house.

If you are one of those who doesn’t know Him intimately, you’re starting out with a serious problem: You can’t clean out your own house. You don’t have what it takes to do so, not in your condition. But He knows that too, and Merciful that He is, He offers to do it for you. All you have to do is ask Him to do it, sincerely, and He will–right then and there.

But there 𝘢𝘳𝘦 follow-up conditions. You can’t entertain, adore, and possess that which is the opposite of Him and expect to live together and be His.

It’s like trying to live with and make a life with someone who lives a life you are diametrically opposed to. It never works.

He gives us a way out, and He gives us rules to live that new life successfully, but there is a flip side.

Those who have not truly taken part of the supernatural transaction of a traded-in life… they will find out that God’s Justice and Wrath was not a suggestion.

Heavy stuff, I know. And almost nothing seems light these days.

So let’s take a breath, take a step back from our crazy modern lives, and look back to the past. Let’s peer into the world of 2,000 years ago. Back in the days of Roman-occupied Israel.

Jesus Christ’s apostles were some average men of their day who experienced something life-changing. Naturally, they started telling everyone they could about what had changed and why.

And in turn, they changed the world.

One of the reasons their message was so radical was because the Jewish people knew just how unworthy they were to be in the Presence of God Almighty. It was taught to them along with their very language. It was impossible except for a very select few, priests. Men who were supposed to be chosen by God to live a holy life and enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem.

For most men, never mind women, to experience the Presence of God was simply impossible. Never going to happen. And yet here these fishermen were, telling them that because of Jesus’s death and resurrection, anyone who wished could enter into that Presence!

It was incredible news.

Now, contrary to popular belief, the gift the Good News presented didn’t cost them anything to obtain, but compared to God sacrificing His only Son, who laid His life down Willingly for us… what He asks of us? It’s tiny.

All He asks is that we take Jesus up on His offer of a supernaturally changed life. It requires us to purposely give up our own will in favor of His, to live our lives day in and day out in whatever way He asks us to. He will teach us how to do this, and He gives us a manual for this life, too – His Word.

The blessing we get in return is to know Him personally in this earthly life and to live in Heaven with Him when we die. That’s more than fair, in my humble opinion.

So if you haven’t already, trade in your life (lived by your own will) for a Life lived by His will.

It will be obvious that a person knows Him and lives by His will because the ‘knowing’ the verse above uses is not knowing about someone; it’s knowing Him the way two very close friends or spouses know each other.

Do you know Him as well as you know the person you’re closest to on earth?

If the answer is no, maybe you should take a moment or two and think about what that could mean for your eternal destination.

There are many things we can deal with getting wrong in this life, but this? My friends, this is the most important thing to get 100% correct. There is no margin for error.

So ask yourself: Do I really know Him the way the Bible says I need to?

-Anna Hoak