Has Jesus given eternal life to every person?  What we can say with biblical clarity is that the life and death of Jesus purchased temporal life for everyone. This is Paul’s argument to the Athenians in Acts chapter 17:

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring” (Acts 17:24-28, KJV).

…it’s only through Christ that we live, move, and are alive.

Paul is emphatic that it’s only through Christ that we live, move, and are alive. His application of that truth is not just to believers—it’s to everyone. Never one, saint or sinner, eats daily food but they are nourished by the body and blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf, reflected in every water spring.

The wages of sin is death, immediate permanent death (Romans 6:23). The only reason why anyone has life is because of Jesus—the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Therefore, we understand that our present temporal life cost God Calvary.

Yet we also recognize that Calvary is the price paid for eternal life. Both eternal and temporal life cost the cross of Christ. The difference between the two is our choice. We didn’t have a choice to be born the first time. We didn’t choose to come into this world. But it is our choice to be born again. God has given us this life. We choose eternal life. Both required Jesus’ perfect life and substitutionary death. One requires our response in the form of appreciation, an acceptance of the gift given, an RSVP to the love bestowed. Amen.

James Rafferty

James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.