Our Readers Ask . . .
Why Does God Offer Humans the Gift of Everlasting Life?
▪ The Bible says that God holds out to us the opportunity to obtain “everlasting life.” (John 6:40) What, though, motivates him to offer such a prospect? Is it simply a matter of justice?
Justice involves treating people according to what is fair and right. Do we really deserve life? No. The Bible says: “There is no man righteous in the earth that keeps doing good and does not sin.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) Sin carries a penalty. God warned the first man, Adam, that in the day he sinned he would positively die. (Genesis 2:17) Later, the apostle Paul was inspired to write: “The wages sin pays is death.” (Romans 6:23) So if all descendants of Adam justly deserve death, why does God offer the possibility of endless life?
The offer of everlasting life is “a free gift.” It is an expression of the greatness and expansiveness of God’s love and undeserved kindness. The Bible says: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom paid by Christ Jesus.”—Romans 3:23, 24.
Though we all deserve to die, God chooses to give everlasting life to those who love him. Is that unfair? The Bible says: “What shall we say, then? Is there injustice with God? Never may that become so! For he says to Moses: ‘I will have mercy upon whomever I do have mercy, and I will show compassion to whomever I do show compassion.’ . . . Who, then, really are you to be answering back to God?”—Romans 9:14-20.
In some areas of the world, a high government official or judge can pardon a criminal who is serving a severe sentence. If the criminal willingly conforms to punitive orders and exhibits changes in his attitude and behavior, a judge or president may choose to pardon him by lessening his sentence or totally forgiving his sentence. This action may well be an expression of undeserved kindness.
In a similar manner, Jehovah can choose not to demand of all sinners the punishment they deserve. Rather, motivated by love, he can grant everlasting life to those who love him and conform to his standards. The Bible says: “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
Jehovah’s greatest act of love in our behalf was his sending his Son to suffer and die for us. Jesus said of his Father: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16.
All those who do come to love Jehovah and do his will are equally acceptable to God, whatever their background. Thus, the hope of everlasting life is primarily an expression of undeserved kindness, an act of superlative love on God’s part.
[Blurb on page 29]
It is primarily an expression of undeserved kindness, an act of superlative love