1 Jn. 5:11-13
Our topic today is about eternal life. One of the most important question men has to face is whether
he has eternal life or not. Life after death is an issue which we cannot take for granted and set aside.
It’s either you have eternal life or you don’t have. It’s either you are saved or not. There is no middle
ground here. If you have Christ, you have eternal life. If you don’t have Christ, you have no eternal life.
It’s that simple. Another key word in this short Epistle is the word “know” which we will see at the end
of this message.
I. What is eternal life?
A. Eternal life is defined in John 17:3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
B. In some verses eternal life refers to Jesus Himself (1 Jn. 1:2; 5:20)
C. In others it is a gift from God (1 Jn. 2:25; 1 Jn. 5:11; John 10:28), which is received
through faith in Christ (1 Jn. 5:13; John 3:16).
D. Eternal life, appears most often in the Gospel of John and the Epistle of 1 John. John
emphasizes eternal life as the present reality and the present possession of the
Christian (John 3:36; 5:24; 1 John 5:13). John declares that the Christian believer has
already begun to experience the blessings of the future even before their fullest
expression: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and
Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
E. Eternal Life is Present Possession (as we have mentioned above)
1. John writes of “eternal life” as present possession.
a. “God has given us (not will give us) eternal life” 1 Jn. 5:11
b. “He that hath the Son hath (not will have) eternal life” – 1 Jn. 5:12
c. “…that ye may know that ye have (not will have) eternal life”- 1 Jn. 5:13
F. Eternal life” as a future hope
1. Paul writes eternal life as future hope
a. “…you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life” – Rom.
b. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life – 1 Tim. 6:12)
c. “in hope of eternal life…” Titus 1:2.
G. Eternal life begins when a person becomes a Christian and this life never ends.
Illustration: Only the Body Dies
Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a
word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is
all-out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal; a body that death cannot touch, that
sin cannot taint, a body fashioned like unto his glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was
born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will
live forever. (Today’s Best Illustrations – Today’s Best Illustrations – Volumes 1-4.)
II. Eternal Life is in His Son (1 Jn. 5:11b, 12)
A. The great truth to which the Spirit, the water, and the blood bear testimony. God
hath given us eternal life – a life of never-ending glory.
B. And this life is in his Son; (the Lord Jesus Christ), it comes by and through him; he is
its author and its purchaser; it is only in and through Him. God has provided none
C. The solid truth that no one can refute is that without the Son, there can be no
eternal life, no heaven, no salvation.
D. “he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
1. It is well attested by the words of Jesus Himself in. Jn. 14:6 Jesus saith unto
him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but
2. It is also written in Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is
none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Illustration 2: How World Religious View Death
“Once you’re dead, you’re done for.” There is no existence after death. —Atheism; Communism.
There is a return trip. At death the soul enters a new body for a return trip. The process is called
reincarnation. —Hinduism; Some Buddhism.
Everybody will be OK. All will go to heaven. —Universalism; Modernism
Some will be OK. Others will be annihilated, with no consciousness, as if they were permanently
asleep. —Jehovah’s Witnesses; Christadelphians
Those who do not go to heaven will have another chance after death to make the right decision, to
alter their destiny. —Mormonism.
There will be a sort of semi-hell after death (called “purgatory”) that will burn out personal
wickedness, until some are ready to enter heaven. —Roman Catholicism; some Spiritualism
Judgment for all. The “saved” go to heaven on the basis that Jesus Christ was punished for their sins
on the Cross, and that during their lives they turned from sin to receive His forgiveness. The “lost”
are judged according to their sins, and punished in hell. —The Holy Bible
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
III. That ye may know that ye have eternal life, (1 Jn. 5:13)
A. John wrote the Gospel of John so that we may believe and have eternal life (Jn.
B. Here he tells us that he wrote this letter so that we may KNOW we have eternal life.
Know is the key word in the closing verses of this letter.
C. The purpose is, God wants us to be enjoying assurance of salvation. This is very
important. Whoever lacks assurance of salvation lacks joy, growth, and usefulness.
D. The closing context of 1 John (5:13-20) lists seven things that believers know. Their
knowledge of gospel truths provides a worldview, which when combined with
personal faith in Christ, is the bedrock foundation of assurance.
1. Believers know they have eternal life (v. 13)
2. We know that God hears believers’ prayers (v. 15)
3. We know God answers believers’ prayers (v. 15)
4. We know that believers are born of God (v. 18)
5. We know believers are of God (v. 19)
6. We know the Son of God has come and given us understanding. (v. 20)
7. Believers know Him that is true, (v. 20).
Illustration 3: W. B. Hinson
Thinking of the fullness and duration of this wonderful life, W. B. Hinson, a great preacher of a past
generation, spoke from his own experience just before he died. He said, “I remember a year ago
when a doctor told me, ‘You have an illness from which you won’t recover.’ I walked out to where I
live 5 miles from Portland, Oregon, and I looked across at that mountain that I love. I looked at the
river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God’s own poetry to my soul.
Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting His lamps, and I said, ‘ I
may not see you many more times, but Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and River, I
shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen
from your sockets in the great down pulling of the material universe! anonymous
Eternal life is the most important thing and it can only be found in Christ. It is a present
possession as well as future hope for all true believers. Do you have Christ in your life? If
your answer is yes, then you have eternal life. If your answer is no, then why don’t you
repent from your sins now and receive Him as your personal Saviour, tomorrow may be