He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life…
I. ALL MEN NEED SOME REFUGE FROM THESE APPREHENSIONS. Our ignorance prevents us from seeing into a future state, and our sinfulness damps what discoveries we may make by a sense of foreboding and an apprehension of punishment. Man needs light and peace.
II. MOST MEN FEEL THIS NEED MORE OR LESS, AND RESORT TO EXPEDIENTS AGAINST THE FEAR OF WHAT FOLLOWS DEATH. No man of ordinary culture is asleep on this point, and this leads to modes of thinking and action which only disappoint.
III. APART FROM REVELATION, ALL SYSTEMS IN WHICH MEN SEEK REFUGE ARE VAIN. Some, indeed, have been partially successful. Cf. the rites of Paganism and the delusions of Mohammed. But go where we will, if not to Christ, we have no rest.
1. Shall we go to atheism, the madness of human nature? This does not extinguish fear. It is certain we exist now. Howl By chance, says the atheist. But on the same principle of chance may not life be protracted after death?
2. Shall we go to Deism? Nothing can assure the Deist that the Bible is not the Word of God. All he can say is "probably" it is not. But suppose it should be true, what is his position then?
IV. CHRIST ONLY HAS THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE.
1. He is the only effective teacher of it. The idea of immortality existed before; but He brought it down from the clouds into sober certainty (John 5:25). So with the apostles (2 Corinthians 5:1). Who dared to say "We know" but disciples of this Master?
2. He has revealed the only scheme of it consistent with the principles of the Divine government. By answering all the designs of justice in punishing, it has removed the necessity of punishment, and gives room for salvation.
3. The miracles of Jesus prove that He has eternal life
(1) By establishing the divinity of His mission.
(2) By proving His power to do whatever He has promised.
4. Facts of every-day occurrence prove that Jesus has eternal life. We do not see Him call Lazarus from the grave, but daily He calls dead souls into life. Every true Christian has witness within himself of this.Conclusion.
1. Those who reject the Gospel Saviour reject their life.
2. Those who receive Him are eternally secure.
(A. M'Clelland, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.