FOUNDATIONS: Who will be saved? Anyone who hears My Word and believes…” John 5:24
Hello and welcome to Foundations where with each video I’ll go through one memory verse from the Bible that you can learn which teaches key foundational principles about God. Strategically memorizing one or two Scriptures each week that teach foundation principles is a great way to develop a solid understanding of God and to keep yourself centered in His Word.
Today’s foundation verse is one of my favorite verses for witnessing and sharing the Gospel. It ranks right up there with John 3:16. It’s John 5:24, spoken by Jesus:
“Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. ” (John 5:24 CSB)
What is going to happen to you when you die? This verse answers that. The topic of this verse is eternal life and it contains 5 foundational principles about God and eternal salvation.
First, it shows that eternal life is available to anyone. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love and, out of His love, God made it possible for every one of us to spend eternity with Him, experiencing all of His blessings and life. God has not restricted eternal life to only a few, but as it says here, ALL may receive this gift.
Second, there is one requirement to receive eternal life: Believe in Jesus. Specifically, this verse says eternal life will be given to anyone who “believes Him who sent Me.” Jesus is speaking here, so “Me” in this verse refers to Jesus and, therefore, “Him” refers to the Father. Is is the Father who sent the Son. The phrase “believes Him who sent Me” means believing the reason the Father sent the Son. What was the reason? That mankind has sinned before a perfectly holy God and is under judgment. Yet, out of His love, God the Father sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross to pay for your sins and mine and then Jesus rose from the dead to show us the eternal life that is available. It is believing what God the Father says: That you have sinned and need a Savior, Jesus, to pay for your sins. All who believe this will be given eternal life. Those who don’t will still face judgment.
Notice also that there’s no other requirement for receiving this eternal life other than to believe in Jesus. There are some who say that in addition to believing you must obey every commandment to be saved and live a life worthy of salvation. This verse says otherwise. It says one thing: believe in Jesus plus nothing else and you have eternal life.
So far, this verse is very similar to John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB95). But now we learn a couple of foundation principles that go beyond John 3:16, which is why I love this verse so much.
So third, this verse tells us when eternal life begins. It begins the moment you believe in Jesus. Notice the present tense of these words. It says the one who believes in Jesus:
- HAS eternal life (present tense)
- HAS passed from death to life (again, present tense). The person who believes in Jesus has already passed from death to life.
In other words, God is not waiting until the end of your life to see how well you lived, how much you obeyed, to make some final decision about whether you will be given eternal life and be saved. Instead, the very moment you place your faith in Jesus, you HAVE eternal life and you HAVE passed from death to life. Salvation starts the moment you believe.
And then fourth, we see the surety of our salvation, that this eternal life can never be lost. For Jesus said, whoever believes “has eternal life and WILL NOT come under judgment.” This phrase is looking forward into the future after the moment you believe, saying from that point forward you will never come under judgment. The one who believes in Jesus will never be judged for their sins because all sins were paid for at the cross. Your debt to God has been paid in full by Jesus.
For those who say that you also have obey all of His commandments to be saved, this verse says no to that. Instead, it says the one who believes in Jesus will NEVER come under judgment. The only way that could happen, the ONLY WAY, is if at the very moment you believe in Jesus, all of your sins are forgiven: Past, present and future. To the one who believes in Jesus, even though they still battle with sin every day, all of their sins have been nailed to the cross and paid for. They already have eternal life. They already have passed from death to life. And they will never come under judgment. That is why the Apostle John told us in 1 John 4 that we can be confident that we have eternal life and why Paul told us in Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and why he told the Corinthian church four times that now all things were lawful to him. In other words, there was now no law that could condemn him. We are free in Christ. When we place our faith in Jesus for salvation, we can be confident that we have eternal life at that very moment and can never lose it.
But then, fifth, we have to realize that this verse is also a warning for those who have not placed their faith in Jesus that God’s judgment is coming. We would not need a Savior unless there was something to be saved from. What is it we need to be saved from? God’s holy judgment. In addition to God being love, God is also perfectly holy. The Bible says that all of us must one day stand before God and be judged, and that He is so holy, so perfect, that even 1 sin is enough to separate us from God for all eternity into a place of punishment called Hell. God is perfect and it only takes 1 sin to fall short of what God requires. It’s not about comparing yourself to other people and being better than most others are. It’s comparing yourself to God’s perfect standard and, to that, God’s Word says that all of us have fallen short. Not even 1 person has met God’s perfect standard. Therefore, we all need to be saved from God’s holy judgment. And the name of our Savior is Jesus, God’s Son.
The amazing thing about this is not that God is going to judge sin, but that God has provided a way out of that judgment, something none of us deserve. We all deserve to be judged and eternally separated from God. But instead, God has given us a way to be forgiven and totally restored. He’s given us eternal life with Him, if we will but take it by turning in faith to Jesus. Time is almost up, after which it will be too late. World events show that Jesus is right at the door, ready to bring an end to this present age. Today could be the last call. So if you have any uncertainty about whether God will save you, don’t delay any longer. Make the decision today to place your faith in Jesus for eternal life. It’s as easy as A, B, C.
Just between you and God in prayer:
ADMIT to God that you have sinned and fallen short of His holiness.
BELIEVE that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross in your place to pay for your sin and that Jesus rose from the dead to show you the eternal life, a much better life, that He offers you.
And then CALL. Call upon the Lord to save you, trusting in Him to forgive you and abundantly pardon you. If you do, you will find compassion and abundant forgiveness. More than that, God’s Holy Spirit will come to live inside you, enabling you to do what you could never to before, which is turn from sin and have a changed life. Those who place their faith in Jesus will inherit eternal life and a secure foundation for a better future, one far beyond anything you can imagine.
I encourage you today to memorize this foundation verse to lock it into your soul and build yourself a foundation in God’s Word that lasts.