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- "What are the foundational truths of Jesus we must believe to realize our salvation?"


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Why "everlasting destruction" is a mistranslation. How to overcome a major hurdle to the truth of the salvation of all through Jesus (excerpt from upcoming book Duration of Destruction)

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Read Jesus and Hitler on this site, or download it.

- Read the story of my somewhat winding road to Jesus: From stripping to Scientology to Jesus



Saturday, December 16, 2017

While I'm gone ...


Martin Zender
Zender
I've been gone for awhile, and will remain so for a bit more.

But I want you to learn when you come here, so I'm linking you to some great teaching by my friend Martin Zender on Romans 3:21-24. I've learned a lot from Martin, hopefully you will too.

Roman 3:21-23

More on Romans 3:21-23

Romans 3:21-24

Zender Newsletter archives  Martin's website

Friday, September 1, 2017

"Erasing Hell" author changing his tune?

Image result for erasing hell images I'm currently working on a 4-part critique of Erasing Hell, written by popular Christian authors/speakers Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle. This book attempts to refute universal salvation through Jesus. Both authors teach that God will punish for all eternity those who don't believe in Jesus in this life.

Since co-authoring the very popular Erasing Hell in 2011, Preston Sprinkle has been speaking frequently and positively about annihilationism. This is the teaching that those who don't receive Jesus in this life will be resurrected, judged, then completely annihilated by God—they will no longer exist. You can hear his podcasts from 2016 here. The podcasts are played in reverse order and are numbers 186-169. Sprinkle has made it abundantly clear that he is not an annihilationist.

In addition to this, in 2017 on the podcast Pastor With No Answers (episode 84), host Joey Svendsen challenges his guests at the 21:20 mark, "Put a number to the chances that universalism is true." Sprinkle squirmingly gives his answer at the 26:30 mark. He says he is a "hopeful universalist." His number: "33.3333%" that universalism is true. He has more positive things to say in the podcast about the subject of universal salvation. Listen for yourself.

I'm also currently preparing for a discussion/debate with annihilationist Chris Date on the Pastor With No Answers podcast in mid September. Chris Date is a host on the Rethinking Hell podcast.

Monday, August 28, 2017

"Christian Universalism isn't Heresy?"

Listen to my interview with Joey Svendsen of the Pastor With No Answers podcast.

This popular podcast is lay-it-all-on-the-table real. And Joey's a great guy, too.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

White lies matter


When presented with the truth that Jesus will save all humanity, some people wrongly assume that this means it doesn't matter how we live. They say, "Sin it up if we're all going to be saved in the end!" (Did I mention that they assume, and they are wrong?)

Related imageOne important area of life that affects us all is honesty, or its flip side, lying. I'm going to assume that we've all lied, and that we've all been lied to. Raise your hand if you like being lied to. I see. Either everyone has smelly pits today, or it's universal—people don't like being lied to. But for some reason we can easily justify lying to others.


Why do we lie?


We stretch the truth (sometimes to the point of breaking it) for many reasons. But the underlying motives are usually selfishness and/or fear, or we're running for political office. We predict that the truth won't benefit us as much as a lie, so we're dishonest.

Sometimes we fear punishment because we've done something wrong, so we lie to escape the consequences of our actions. But if our wrongdoing is discovered, the fact that we lied to cover it only adds to our punishment.

I remember when my kids were young and would do something wrong, whether intentionally or by accident. Sometimes they would lie to cover up their dastardly deed. But if I discovered their deed, it would often pale in comparison to the fact that they lied to try to cover it. Their dishonesty was much more serious to me than the fact that they ate my whole container of Oreos.

When you sit at the poker table, you expect to be lied to. Poker players quietly lie out of necessity—the bluff. It's part of the game.

Spies lie for patriotism, and because they prefer to remain alive.

Lies kept Anne Frank and her family safe from the German police for two years during World War II. Was this wrong? No. The motive was to save lives. And when the Franks were discovered by the Germans, they were sent to concentration camps, where some of them died.

The motive for deception is key as to whether the lie is justified or not.


A Biblical catch-22


Sometimes lying is justified if it's the lesser of two evils. Yes, the lesser of two evils is a thing that even Jesus talked about. Jesus said to the Jews in John 7:22–24,
22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. (NIV)

The Jews were constantly accusing Jesus of working on the Sabbath. Jesus reminded them that they circumcise on the sabbath to keep the circumcision law which said a newborn male was to be circumcised on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3). This catch-22 was solved by choosing the law of circumcision over the law of doing no work on the sabbath. One law was broken so that a greater law could be upheld.

Can we apply this principle to lying? I think so. There are definitely times when lying is the lesser of two evils. The problem arises from misapplying this principle and overusing it for selfish reasons.

You'll have to determine what to do in the situations that arise in your life. It would be impossible to list all the scenarios that could come up and what you should do in each. When faced with a situation where you could lie, checking your motive is always a good place to start.

God will eventually judge whether you made the right decisions or not. But you should be the first line of judgment for your own actions—"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (1 Corinthians 11:31 AKJV).


Biblical examples of "legal" lying


Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho, lied to keep two Israelite spies safe (see Joshua 2). She and her family were spared when Jericho fell (Joshua 6:16–25). Rahab is also mentioned with some of the heavyweights of faith for her work, which included lies (Hebrews 11:30–31; James 2:25).

In a very interesting Bible story, God sent a lying spirit to deceive Israel's evil king Ahab (2 Chronicles 18). This deception used by God led to Ahab's judgment and death. 

His Israelite slaves were multiplying too fast, so Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill all male Hebrew babies immediately after they were born by throwing them into the Nile. One of these babies, Moses, was saved and hidden, and a clever deception put him back with his mother until he was weaned (Exodus 1:15–2:10). Plot twist: then Moses grew up as a son to Pharaoh's very own daughter.


Diplomatic immunity


In Deuteronomy 13:1–5, God sends false prophets and enables them to do signs and wonders to test Israel's love for Him.
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. (NIV)

2 Thessalonians 2:8–12 tells us God will send a great deception in the end times,
then will be unveiled the lawless one (whom the Lord Jesus will despatch with the spirit of His mouth and will discard by the advent of His presence), 9 whose presence is in accord with the operation of Satan, with all power and signs and false miracles 10 and with every seduction of injustice among those who are perishing, because they do not receive the love of the truth for their salvation. 11 And therefore God will be sending them an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood, 12 that all may be judged who do not believe the truth, but delight in injustice. (CLNT)

Throughout Scripture God uses Satan (see previous passage), who is described by Jesus in John 8:44,
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Do these methods used by God give us a license to do the same? No. There are things God does that we can't do—send His Son to die to save all, sit on the judgment seat of the universe, flood the earth, destroy the earth by fire, kill 185,000 Assyrians in one night, and on and on.

God is the potter, and we are the clay (Romans 9:14–21). God is King, therefore He has full diplomatic immunity to do whatever is necessary to run His universe.


Liar, liar, pants on fire ...


In Proverbs 6:16–19 we see some things that God hates,
Image result for lying with fingers crossed behind back imageThere are six things the Lord hates. There are seven things he cannot stand: 17 a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, 18 a mind that thinks up evil plans, feet that are quick to do evil, 19 a witness who tells lies and a man who causes trouble among brothers.
International Children's Bible (ICB)

Two of the seven things listed have to do with lying. I think this should make it clear to us how God feels about lying, regardless of the color of the lie. God says in Revelation 21:8,
But those who are cowards, who refuse to believe, who do evil things, who kill, who are sexually immoral, who do evil magic, who worship idols, and who tell lies—all these will have a place in the lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (ICB)

It's not looking good for liars. Repent.


Why do the right thing?


Jesus died for all of our sins. So who cares how we live? God does. And so should you.

"Why would I obey God if He's going to save me anyway?" The answer? Love.

When a person begins to truly understand God's love for them, he will love Him. "We are loving God, for He first loves us" (1 John 4:19 CLNT). God is the initiator of love. We are the beneficiaries and responders to His great love for us. Obedience based out of fear and obligation is still obedience, but it's not God's goal. His goal is a harmonious relationship with His children based on love.

And that's no lie.

Sincerely,
Wes

Friday, June 23, 2017

Look at what you CAN'T see

Image result for trouble in your face image
We see and feel them all around us—troubles, afflictions, tribulations, pressures—and they're usually right in our face. That's why they get the bulk of our attention.

But it's what we can't see that deserves our attention. These are the things God tells us to focus on. Why? Because they're so bloody good!

The following is a mash-up of 2 Corinthians 4:17–18 using a few Bible versions,

For the momentary lightness of our afflictions, troubles, tribulations and pressures is producing for us a transcendently transcendent eonian weight of glory, 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eonian.

Some things to note:
  • Though the afflictions of life can feel like boulders on your shoulders, when compared to the future weight of glory, they are in reality momentary and light. But we must look on the heavy duty unseen to see the relative smallness of our afflictions.
  • All this stuff we're suffering through produces something for us, "a transcendently transcendent eonian weight of glory" (v.17). In the Greek transcendently transcendent is hyperbolen eis hyperbolen. Hyperbolen means: a throwing beyond, excess, superiority. And it's used twice here. We're looking at a weight of glory that is beyond the beyond. Even though we can't grasp the full greatness of this, we can know that it is indeed great, great enough for us to focus on the future weight of glory and not the current crap in our face.
  • Eonion means lasting for the age(s). It's contrasted with the momentariness of our afflictions and pressures.

And suffering produces other good things in us, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance" (Romans 5:3 - NIV). And James 1:2–4 in the NIV,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Perseverance, maturity, completeness—God installs these qualities in us on the assembly line of suffering.


Everybody hurts


Jesus blazed the trail for us in the suffering department. And He suffered to the point of death. Hebrews 2:10 says, "Everything was made for God and by God. It seemed good to him that Jesus' life should be made complete, by going through the hard things that happened to him" (Worldwide English New Testament). 

Whether we like it or not, suffering completes us.  We can usually see the truth of this after the suffering is over. But while we're in the center of it we're usually blind to God's intended result. This is where we need to see the unseen with the eyes of faith.

And if it makes you feel any better, realize that ALL people suffer—rich, poor, short, tall, attractive, ugly, skinny, not skinny, Kardashian, non-Kardashian. Everybody you see today (and everyday) has something in their life that hurts.

I'm often lifted in my spirit when I see someone suffering far worse than me. I don't get joy in their suffering. But when I see someone persevering through great suffering, it gives me hope and proof that it can be done. I'm inspired by their ability to smile and live life with joy despite great affliction. And humanity is full of stories of people who've suffered greatly and come out of it better people than before the suffering began.

Suffering completed Jesus. But I'm sure He kept smiling. Not a fake smile. A joyful smile that came from focusing on the end result of His afflictions.

Even God suffers as He patiently endures the waywardness of His creation. But He knows the end that He will eventually create for all.


Delayed gratification


These are dirty words in our everything-is-at-our-fingertips world. But we don't get to choose the lifespan of our suffering. Suffering to some degree will be with us from cradle to grave. And the afflictions we now face will make the "eonian weight of glory" that much more special through the principle of contrast. Our joy then will be enhanced when contrasted with the suffering we've gone through to obtain the end result.

But we don't always have to wait 'til the next life to enjoy the end of suffering. A mother can joyfully hold her fresh new baby after months of carrying the child and going through the excruciating pain of childbirth. A graduating student can get their diploma or degree after years of going through the hardships of school. And there are millions of other victories to be gained in this life, but most of them come after some kind of suffering.

We are told in the Bible to look to Jesus (Who, by the way, we can't literally see). He's our example. He lived 2 Corinthians 4:17–18. Hebrews 12:2 tells us,

We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.
                                                                               Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus knew His mission that brought Him to earth wasn't going to be easy. He knew He would be hated by the world that He created. He knew He was going to die for His enemies as they mocked and scoffed at Him. BUT ... He could also see the joy waiting for Him when His momentary troubles were over.

Was it worth it? Yes! He's no longer on the cross, He's "sitting at the right side of God’s throne!"


You haven't seen or heard ...


1 Corinthians 2:7–16 from the Concordant Literal New Testament (I know this is a long quote, but drink it in, it's powerful),

Related imagebut we are speaking God's wisdom in a secret, wisdom which has been concealed, which God designates before -- before the eons, for our glory, 8 which not one of the chief men of this eon knows, for if they know, they would not crucify the Lord of glory. 9 But, according as it is written, That which the eye did not perceive, and the ear did not hear, and to which the heart of man did not ascend -- whatever God makes ready for those who are loving Him. 10 Yet to us God reveals them through His spirit, for the spirit is searching all, even the depths of God. 11 For is any of humanity acquainted with that which is human except the spirit of humanity which is in it? Thus also, that which is of God no one knows, except the spirit of God. 12 Now we obtained, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may be perceiving that which is being graciously given to us by God, 13 which we are speaking also, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, matching spiritual blessings with spiritual words. 14 Now the soulish man is not receiving those things which are of the spirit of God, for they are stupidity to him, and he is not able to know them, seeing that they are spiritually examined. 15 Now he who is spiritual is, indeed, examining all, yet he is being examined by no one. 16 For who knew the mind of the Lord? Who will be deducing from Him? Yet we have the mind of Christ.

That's the key to this whole thing, "have the mind of Christ!" When we know God and His Son, we have the mind of Christ in us. We can see things from God's perspective, not just our limited human point of view. Suffering is all around us, but with the mind of Christ—God's Spirit in you—you can see beyond the in-your-face afflictions in life to the joy that is waiting for you.

If you don't know Jesus, call on His name now. Get the mind of Christ today.


Sincerely,
Wes

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Jesus and the dirty IRS Agent

Get ready to open your wallet America. The tax man cometh! And he wants to squeeze every penny out of you that he can. Then after all your pennies are gone, he'll come for your life (or maybe he'll just steal one of your pigs).

One real head-scratcher in the IRS code is why you lose the child tax credit when your child turns 17. I've now lost this credit three times. From my experience, kids' expenses go up the older they get. Apparently this code was written by someone who never had kids of their own. Someone who hates kids and their hard-working parents, but loves the perks of their government job ... and had to find a way to pay for their private insurance that we lowly citizens don't have access to.   

Ahh, the IRS. Don't you hate it? Always putting its sticky hands into your pocket to swipe your hard-earned cash.

Oh well, whatta ya gonna do? Tax collectors have been taking more than their fair share ever since taxes came into being.

Are all tax collectors evil? Probably.

But even dirty IRS agents aren't beyond the long arm of Jesus.

The following story is a small picture of Jesus' plan for underhanded tax collectors ... and the rest of us.
  
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy (you're shocked, I'm sure). He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19) (I added the part in red.)


Little Zacchaeus and the bigger picture


Jesus is currently saving the world one sinner at a time.

When Jesus stops by your house, what will you do? Will you welcome Him gladly, like Zacchaeus did, even though he knew he was a sinner?

Will you welcome Jesus gladly regardless of what the mutterers and gossips will say? Because you know they'll say something. But that's not going to stop Jesus. Will their opinion and greasy words stop you?

Notice the immediate influence of Jesus on Zacchaeus' life (verse 8). He acknowledged his wrongs and sought to make them right. This is repentance in action. This is part of what happens when someone meets Jesus - change for the better.

I wonder what the mutterers said after Zacchaeus was transformed by Jesus? Doesn't really matter anyway. I'm sure the poor and those he had cheated were thrilled with Zacchaeus' new life. 

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. And that day was Zacchaeus' day of salvation.

OK, maybe you're not a dirty pig-stealing IRS agent. But we're all lost without Jesus. And since He said He came to seek and to save the lost,” He'll do just that.

All of us are lost without Jesus, and all of us will be saved by Jesus. It's basic math, not confusing IRS math.

If Jesus hasn't already saved you from your sin and set you free, He will.

Be ready. Your day will come.

  

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"Is Tom Brady content yet?"

In 2005 Tom Brady - at that time the 30-year-old winner of 3 Super Bowls - made some surprising statements to 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft.



His three Super Bowl wins came in his first five years in the NFL. That's pretty good.

Since 2005, Brady has lost two Super Bowls and won another. That's 4 trips to the top of the mountain! Maybe he's getting bored.

If Tom's still lacking contentment after winning 4 Super Bowls, will winning more rings do the trick? How many will it take - five ... six ... one for each finger? I don't think so. Eating sand will never satisfy a guy who's made to eat steak. And eating more sand will never change this fact (though it may lead to some incredibly clean bowels).

Though Brady makes a lot of money, it doesn't seem to be his driving force. He's not even one of the top ten highest paid NFL quarterbacks. He's currently #12, in your program and on the pay scale.

Image result for gisele bundchen pray for tom brady
Hmmm ... I can't decide whose hair is more magnificent.

Contentment enhancers


Tom now has something he didn't have back in '05 - a Brady Bunch. He's married to a rich Brazilian supermodel with a cool German-looking name, Gisele B√ľndchen (go ahead, say it out loud, it's fun - Ju-zel Boond-chin!). The Bunch also has three kids and an extra mommy of the oldest son.

Maybe marriage and kids have answered the question Tom didn't have the answer for in 2005. Obviously marriage and kids can surpass any satisfaction and contentment gained from career accomplishments. But even the depth of satisfaction that can come from having your own bunch can fall short of fulfilling our greatest need.


Our greatest need


I heard the story of a man who spent his whole life striving to climb to the top of the success ladder. One day, late in his life, he finally made it. "This is what I've always dreamed of," he thought to himself. He looked around with pride in his life-long accomplishment. Then, in an instant, the happy feeling was gone. He barely had time to enjoy it. With a heavy weight in his chest, he looked around and realized that he'd set his ladder against the wrong wall. Crappers.

A man can make it to the top of the ladder, even the top of the mountain. But there's something way above these two high points in life. You knew I'd get to it eventually, so here it is: God. Yeah, He's our greatest need, our ultimate goal. What's higher than Him? What else in life is more worthy of our attention and devotion than Him?

You see, God knows that He is our ultimate goal, so He diminishes anything else that we would chase after in place of Him. Yeah, He lets us go on these wild-goose chases as we chase success, fame, money, Super Bowl rings and an innumerable array of things. He may even let us chase our whole life. He may allow us to chase and never attain that which we think will satisfy us. But if we do grab it (whatever "it" is), God will ensure that the joy will be short-lived.


Absentee Child


We've all heard about absentee fathers - the ones who aren't there for their offspring either physically or emotionally or both. Based on the events leading up to this year's Super Bowl, it's clear that Tom has a great relationship with his earthly father.



An earthly father's presence in his child's life is essential. When the father's gone, there's a huge void that only the father can fill.

But how big of a void exists when your heavenly Father, your Creator, is absent from your life? Is He absent because He left you, or because you've unknowingly (or knowingly) turned your back on Him while you're busy chasing your dreams that don't include Him? Are you an absentee child? Is Tom Brady an absentee child? In fact, we are all absentee children in some way until we come to our heavenly Father.

Acts 17:26-27,

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.

He's so close, and yet so far away if our focus is on other things - even good things - that just can't satisfy and bring contentment like Jesus can. Are you and Tom Brady seeking Him and reaching out for Him?


Tom Brady's just like us


I don't know what Tom Brady knows about Jesus. I don't know if Tom Brady knows Jesus. I don't know if his Brazilian supermodel wife knows Jesus. I know she asks people to pray for Tom to win Super Bowls, so she must think Someone is out there hearing those prayers. But praying to win the big game and knowing God are two different things.

I'm no Tom Brady. I can't pull off the magnificent hair thing ... or the 4 Super Bowl thing. But I can match Tom in this - I'm human and so is he (except on the field, there he's a machine!). I've asked the same question Tom Brady asked in the video (but with different words) - "Is this all there is to my life?" I asked this question in my early twenties. Tom waited til he was thirty. Maybe you've asked this question. If you haven't done it yet, you will. You can read my story here.


Learn from Tom


One lesson you can hopefully take away from Tom Brady's experience is this: reaching the mountaintop of a career or some other endeavor will not provide lasting contentment. It may not even provide enough contentment to last to the end of the day that you reach the summit.

There are innumerable mountains that we can spend our valuable time climbing in this life. And none of them reach as high as Jesus. But the cool thing is this - you don't need to climb a mountain to get to Jesus. He has to come to you, because you can't get to where He is on your own. Believe in Him and call on His name - He'll show up.


Learn from me


Maybe you can learn something from my life. I hope you can learn that true, lasting contentment can only come when you have a relationship with your heavenly Father. Nothing in my life brings me happiness and contentment like my relationship with Jesus and my heavenly Father. And I have an awesome family that makes me as happy as they possibly can. I love them with all my heart. But even they can't take the place of God in my life. And they don't have to. I can have both, just like Tom Brady can have all his Super Bowl rings, his Brady Bunch and Jesus. He just needs to realize that Jesus is #1. But even if you have nothing in life, you can still have Jesus.

Jesus said this to a group of religious people in John 5:39-40,

"Search the scriptures, for in them you are supposing you have life eonian, and those are they which are testifying concerning Me, 40 and not willing are you to come to Me that you may have life." (Concordant Literal New Testament)

The mountaintop for these people was knowing the Scriptures. But they didn't realize that the Scriptures they idolized pointed them to Jesus. And they refused to believe in Him and come to Him. So they didn't receive the eonion life only He could give them. They had life, but they didn't have The Life that came by knowing Jesus.

Jesus spoke this to His Father in John 17:3,

"Now it is eonian life that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Him Whom Thou dost commission, Jesus Christ." (CLNT)

The Life is knowing Jesus and and His Father. Tom Brady has a life that is probably envied by millions. But does he have The Life? I don't know.

I have The Life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, not even magnificent hair.

Sincerely,
Wes

P.S. - The story of the prodigal son (or absentee child) is the story of each one of us.

P.P.S. - Here are some other Scriptures that relate to this post that will help you:
Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15 - NIV)
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21 - NIV)
Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who is drinking of this water will be thirsting again,
14 yet whoever may be drinking of the water which I shall be giving him, shall under no circumstances be thirsting for the eon, but the water which I shall be giving him will become in him a spring of water, welling up into life eonian." (John 4:13-14 - CLNT)
"Verily, verily, I am saying to you that he who is hearing My word and believing Him Who sends Me, has life eonian and is not coming into judging, but has proceeded out of death into life." (John 5:24 - CLNT)
Jesus, then, said to them, "I am the Bread of life. He who is coming to Me should under no circumstances be hungering, and he who is believing in Me will under no circumstances ever be thirsting." (John 6:35 - CLNT)
[Jesus said] "The thief is not coming except that he should be stealing and sacrificing and destroying. I came that they may have life eonian, and have it superabundantly." (John 10:10 -CLNT)
Jesus is saying to him, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one is coming to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6 - CLNT)