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A Longing for Eternity

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Why should you believe in God?

The famous Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno once wrote:

“It is the ardent longing for a God who guarantees the eternity of consciousness that leads us to believe in him” (Unamuno, Tragic Sense of Life, p. 186).

Unamuno recognized that people long for eternal existence.

Life is short. Painfully so. As you get older, you wonder, “Is this all there is? Could this really be close to the end?” Your life seems so significant and so full of unrealized potential. It looks like you were made for more than what you can accomplish in this life. You need more time.

You need forever!

As Unamuno says, you long for eternity.

But people don’t just want an offer of eternal life—as Unamuno also says, they want a God who guarantees it.

There are many so-called gods worshiped around the world by a bewildering variety of religions, and many offer some kind of hope for eternity. But they don’t provide guarantees.

Instead, these religions hold out eternal life as a reward reserved for the most faithful, devout, compassionate, and submissive. They say that if you try hard enough to meet the standards, then maybe, just maybe, after death, you’ll be worthy enough to end up in “the Good Place.” But there are no guarantees. It all depends on you and your best efforts, and there’s no way to know if you’ll succeed. You can hope for eternity; you don’t have a guarantee.

That’s why I love Jesus.

The Lord Jesus Christ is so different from every other would-be Messiah, and His good news stands out from every other religious message.

Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for your sinful life, and rose from the dead so that He could give you everlasting life.

He promised everyone who believed in Him would never die (John 11:25-26). He guaranteed it, saying if you believe you will never perish, never thirst, never hunger, never be judged, never be snatched away from His hand, and never be cast out. As Jesus said:

“For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).

He will do it. It’s certain. And it’s all by pure grace. If you’re a believer, then your eternal destiny is guaranteed. That’s a fundamental existential reason for you to believe in God.

If Unamuno is right that people long for a God who guarantees eternity, then people are really longing for Jesus.

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