This is eternal life.

Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” When I read this Bible verse, I usually think about the imperative call to know the only true God; eternal life is tied to the true God, and none other.

But in addition to knowing the only true God, this verse calls us to know the only true God. That is, Jesus is not focusing His teaching solely on who God is, but also on our relationship with Him. He says eternal life is knowing God. An additional truth intrinsic in Jesus’ words is that if we know Him, we will also be known by Him. Eternal life is knowing – and being known by – the only true God.

shepherd_leading_flockJesus talked about knowing His people intimately. He said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14). Christian theologian John Piper explained this beautiful relationship between Jesus and His sheep:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them.” (John 10:27)

Jesus knows those who are his. What is this knowledge?

John 10:3 is a close parallel to verse 27. It says, “The sheep hear his voice, he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out.”

So when Jesus says, “I know them,” this means at least that he knows them by name; that is, he knows them individually and intimately. They are not anonymous, lost in the flock.

Verse 14 provides another insight: “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and my own know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”

There is a real similarity between the way Jesus knows his Father in heaven and the way he knows his sheep. Jesus sees himself in the Father, and he sees himself in his disciples.

To some degree Jesus recognizes his own character in his disciples. He sees his own brand mark on the sheep.

He is like a husband waiting for his wife at the airport, watching as each person disembarks from the plane. When she appears, he knows her, he recognizes her features, he delights in her, she is the only one he embraces.

The apostle Paul puts it like this: “The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are his’” (2 Timothy 2:19).

It is hard to overemphasize what a tremendous privilege it is to be known personally, intimately, lovingly by the Son of God. It is a precious gift to all his sheep, and it contains within it the promise of eternal life. (“Jesus Knows His Sheep”)

It is an indescribable blessing to know God and be known by Him. But not all people enjoy this intimate relationship with their Savior.

Jesus SermonAs Jesus preached what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, He warned us to “beware of false prophets”; these people look like His sheep, but they are really “ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Their message may sound attractive, but their fruit will prove otherwise (see 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 6:3-4; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Peter 2:1).

In this context, Jesus notes, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” Not everyone who has knowledge of Jesus, not everyone who does “many mighty works” in His name, will receive eternal life. Jesus said “many” will appeal to Him for admittance into heaven on this basis, but He will send them away: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me.’”

Juxtaposed against Jesus’ tragic declaration is its polar opposite. Eternal life is in knowing the only true God – and being known by Him. Personally. Intimately. Lovingly.

The great tragedy is that Mormonism, while demonstrating what look like “mighty works” in the name of Jesus, still leads people away from the one true God. Mormonism leads people to follow and worship a different god. Whatever this different god is, knowing and being known by it cannot lead to eternal life. Jesus made this very clear.

Friends, turn away from the impotent god of Mormonism; seek to know the one true God. His promise is sure: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish” (John 10:27-28).

PSALM 23 from on Vimeo.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in God the Father, Jesus Christ, Prophets, Salvation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to This is eternal life.

  1. falcon says:

    We’ve had LDS folks post insisting that the God of Mormonism is the same God revealed in the Bible, proclaimed by the first century church and that Jesus, despite the fact that He is “a god” in LDS lore, is the same Jesus.
    Ignorance I can handle, sort of, but out right lying is a whole other matter. Interestingly enough, converts to the LDS church aren’t given the full load (LDS) information regarding who Jesus is in their system. It’s not unusual, probably more usual, that folks join the LDS church thinking that it’s just another Christian denomination without any real distinctive doctrines. Lying can either be by commission or omission. In the case of the LDS church, it’s a lot of omission. Do the prospects that are being taught the missionary lessons get much beyond the idea that the gospel was lost and now it’s restored? Are the blanks ever filled-in regarding what exactly Joseph Smith was referring to by the lost gospel. Actually I don’t think that Smith even knew since he kept changing the message along with the vision that supposedly fueled the fire of his religion.
    It’s no small matter, the Doctrine of the Son. The Church did battle early on with those who would proclaim Jesus as something other than what had been revealed. That is that He is God incarnate. Jesus is eternally God, of the same and not like substance with the Father.
    When Smith went into full false prophet mode, he taught ideas that wouldn’t even have been considered “good” heresy in the early Church.

  2. historybuff says:

    Sharon mentioned that “Mormonism leads people to follow and worship a different god”, and Falcon said that “When Smith went into full false prophet mode, he taught ideas that wouldn’t even have been considered ‘good’ heresy in the early Church.” This is true about about not only Joseph Smith but also the LDS prophets who followed him.

    As an example, this being the Christmas season when we celebrate the birth of the Savior, we can well imagine that the Mormons are also celebrating the lives of Jesus’s wives and children. Wives and children? Yes. This doctrine has been taught by the Prophet Brigham Young and by Apostle Orson Hyde in General Conference. And as good LDS know, if it’s taught in Conference, it’s scripture:

    “[T]he inspired words of our living prophets become scripture to us. Their words come to us through conferences, the Liahona or Ensign magazine, and instructions to local priesthood leaders.” (Gospel Principles, 2009 ed., p.48)

    Or consider the LDS Manual, “Teachings of the Living Prophets”:

    “Prophets have the right to personal opinions. Not every word they speak should be thought of as an official interpretation or pronouncement. However, their discourses to the Saints, and their official writings should be considered products of their official prophetic calling and should be heeded” (Teachings of the Living Prophets, p.21.)

    So, what exactly did Orson Hyde and Brigham Young say about Jesus in General Conference? During General Conference on October 6, 1854, Orson Hyde stated:

    “How was it with Mary and Martha, and other women that followed Him? In old times, and it is common in this day, the women, even as Sarah, called their husbands Lord; the word Lord is tantamount to husband in some languages…”

    Later in the same address, Hyde spoke of Christ’s appearance to Mary after His resurrection:
    “She turned herself, and saith unto him, ‘Rabboni; which is to say, Master.’ Is there not here manifested the affections of a wife. These words speak the kindred ties and sympathies that are common to that relation of husband and wife.” (Journal of Discourses 2:81).

    Brigham Young spoke immediately after Apostle Hyde and said:

    “We have had a splendid address from brother Hyde, for which I am grateful. I feel in my heart to bless the people all the time, and can say amen to brother Hyde’s last remarks” (Journal of Discourses 2:90).

    Some LDS may wish to point out that Apostle Hyde and President Young were somewhat vague on the matter of Jesus’s wives and children in their Conference addresses; however, Apostle Hyde cleared all that up on March 18, 1855, when he included Martha and Mary among Jesus’s wives, and even asserted they had children together:

    “I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS MARRIED at Cana of Galilee, THAT MARY, MARTHA, AND OTHERS WERE HIS WIVES, AND THAT HE BEGAT CHILDREN.” (Journal of Discourses 2:210).

    Young and Hyde were not alone in preaching this “doctrine.” Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt wrote of Christ’s resurrection:

    “Now it would be natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were His wives” (The Seer, p.159).

    So what do the LDS believe about Christ being married to several women and having children? It depends on whether or not they honor the discourses of their prophets in General Conference.

    Christmastime can get complicated for Mormons.

  3. falcon says:

    It’s an interesting continuum that Mormonism finds itself on when it comes to the Doctrine of God. I find it fascinating that after the death of Joseph Smith, the Brigham Young sect went all Nauvoo while the Community of Christ did a total reversal. The CoC has been called Methodism with extra scripture. If you check out their website is like a different world. Then flip to the FLDS and they are full-bore Brigham Young in their approach to Mormonism.
    Funny though, if Joseph Smith were around today he’d opt for the FLDS until he figured out how much money the LDS sect has. He could front the LDS and still have his multiple wives on the down-low.

  4. historybuff says:

    Let me take this opportunity to wish a very Merry Christmas to all the Mormons, non-Mormons, apologists, critics, atheists, agnostics, and others out there who follow this blog. One thing we can all share is the Christmas spirit of good will toward our fellow man — and woman. Let’s all take a minute and consider how best we can be of service to those we know and love, and to those we don’t know at all.

    Merry Christmas to you all —

  5. Mike R says:

    Great article Sharon .

    John 17:3 is a powerful verse . May the Mormon people come to know the One True Creator of all there is , soon . He is revealed in the Bible , and He’s waiting to hear from them .

  6. falcon says:

    My question for Mormons is always, “Where did you get this stuff?” Consider the jumping off spot if you are LDS. You have to accept Joseph Smith as a true prophet of God who restored the lost gospel. OK, well I’d suggest instead of “feeling” it, you actually do some study. The “feelings equals truth” is a whole lot more fun and ego boosting if someone believes they are having a spiritual experience. That is, God is speaking and revealing things to them.
    Since Mormonism came out of the Evangelical Christian revival era of the early 19th century, many of the practices present there spilled over into Smith’s creation. There’s a reason Smith went out into the woods to seek God. It was a fairly common practice and hard as it may be for Mormons to accept, all kinds of people emerged from the woods having had a spiritual experience. So it’s really a matter of determining what went on in the woods.
    In Smith’s case, once he got a crowd to follow him, he just free lanced his way into all kinds of visionary experiences. His little band were very much into “second sight” experiences where they’d see things. Ever wonder about the witnesses to the golden plates. Did they actually “see” them with their physical eyes. Sorry, that’s a big negative. They saw them with the “eyes of faith”.
    Given the opportunity, I could get the average Mormon to see all sorts of things and have major spiritual experiences. It’s really not that difficult to do with a willing subject.
    That’s why we as Christians go back to the Word and judge everything by God’s revelation. About a week ago I watched a National Geographic Channel feature on “The Cult of Mary”. There was a woman depicted who has a little shrine in her house with a statue of Mary. This woman sits there with her husband and all of a sudden she drops to her knees in ecstasy and begins to move her lips as if she’s talking but nothing is audible. So there you have it. It makes her feel good so it must be true.
    “Explorer examines the global phenomenon of the “cult” of Mary. The episode opens a window into the many ways devotees venerate the Virgin Mary. From a small community in Alabama to thousands of people gathering in Mexico, Mary draws millions of people to shrines and sustains religious tourism that’s estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year. The film is a journey into the heart of modern-day Mary devotion around the world.”

    Scroll down when you access this link:

  7. falcon says:

    There is a big step a Mormon has to take when it comes to seeking information regarding questions they have regarding their religion. That step is actually a reach. They have to reach up on that Mormon shelf where they have been storing all of those questions and doubts they’ve had, dust them off and begin to examine what’s been troubling them.
    I remember Jim Spencer recounting how he’d leave information around the house hoping that his wife might pick it up and read. She didn’t appreciate Jim’s doubts and seeking of information. Jim describes how his wife told him she took Dr. Walter Martin’s book “Kingdom of the Cults” and threw it across the room when she encountered some information about Mormonism that upset her. She then went and grabbed the book and kept reading. We know the rest of the story. They both eventually left the LDS church and Jim became a pastor and writer ministering to the needs of those who were at the same point he had been.

  8. historybuff says:

    This Christmas season it’s worth mentioning that when I was growing up in the LDS Church, Church leaders made it very clear that Jesus was born on April 6th and that we were celebrating Christmas in December “under duress.” This was because traditional Christianity had so corrupted the concept of God(s) that they had adopted pagan winter rituals to taint the birth of the Savior, much the way Aaron had constructed a golden calf for the early Israelites to worship.

    “April 6, 1830, is the date on which The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. The Prophet Joseph Smith was divinely authorized to reestablish the Church of Christ on this day and it may be the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on earth. (D&C 20: 1). “

    “… Scholarly consensus recognizes that early Christians probably appropriated December 25 from pagan festivals such as the Dies Natalis Invicti, established by the Emperor Aurelian. … Presidents of the Church, including Harold B. Lee and Spencer W. Kimball, have reaffirmed that April 6 is the true anniversary of Christ’s birth….”

    This fit very nicely with the unique Mormon concept of God(s) and with the Church’s belief that early Christians were in a state of “Apostasy” from true Christianity and that a “Restoration” was needed.

    To Mormons, therefore, every Christmas celebration or party this month is further testament to traditional Christianity’s apostasy from God.

  9. historybuff says:

    The LDS beliefs about Christmas are really insignificant compared to their other beliefs about Christ. It’s amazing how easily the LDS accept the Mormon concept of the Godhead, multiple gods, the idea that God was once a man and that men may become gods, and the belief that Jesus was married to several wives and had children. But this gullibility extends beyond their religion.

    For all their supposed virtues, good judgment does not seem to extend to their choice of religious leaders or investment advisers. Money Magazine, November 2014, states:

    “In a video of a 2013 sales presentation, Curtis De¬Young, founder of American Pension Services, a Utah-based retirement plan administrator, promised retirees the freedom to “take control of your own destiny” with a self-directed IRA. At the end of 2013 his nearly 5,500 clients had IRA accounts worth $352 million. But a lawsuit filed in April by the SEC claims that ¬De¬Young steered $22 million in clients’ money into now worthless real estate investments and loans to friends.”

    It’s unfortunate that Mormons will evidently believe anyone who is in a position of authority. This gullibility has earned Utah a reputation as the “fraud capital of the United States.”

    It’s bad enough when such gullibility leads the LDS to sacrifice their financial security. It’s infinitely worse if this gullibility leads them to sacrifice their eternal salvation.

  10. falcon says:

    This is what eternal life is not.
    It’s not thinking that if you do a bunch of stuff prescribed by some religious sect, that you will become a god. Oh, that is, if the quantity and quality of your work is deemed to meet the standard. Now if it isn’t you are out of luck. You just spent a lot of time, effort and money to achieve the highest level of reward and you’re going to get stuck back at one of the lower levels. Oh, but wait. Maybe, just maybe you didn’t do enough, but you did a whole lot and just got your toes over the line to qualify for a bail-out. Bail-out, what’s a bail out? Well in the LDS sect system of achievement, if the god of this planetary system thinks you did the amount necessary to qualify for the bail-out, he’ll shoot you an assist. This is LDS grace and you get pulled over the finish line.
    But get this. There are some folks in the system, very few, but they get identified by the movers and shakers at the top of the LDS ladder to qualify for a special blessing. If someone gets picked, they then go to the temple and are basically sealed into the Celestial Kingdom right now. They’ve been declared to have done enough. AND WOW…………..they did it without the assist from the planetary god of this world. They didn’t even need the grace.
    Man, what a deal.

  11. historybuff says:

    Some Christians and even some Mormons may not understand what Falcon means when he says that some Mormons get to be “sealed into the Celestial Kingdom right now. ” Some may be doubting that this could even be an accurate description of LDS doctrine. Well, it’s accurate, and it’s called “having your calling and election made sure.” Don’t believe it? Here it is in the LDS Church’s own words:

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