Eternity Is Now in Session – Book Review
When I was young, I thought my eternal life would begin once my physical life ended.
But as I got older and read more and listened more, I realized my eternal life had already begun. I had already crossed over from death to life in the spiritual realm.
But what does that mean exactly?
This new book by John Ortberg fleshes out the concept of eternal life, Eternity Is Now in Session: A Radical Rediscovery of What Jesus Really Taught about Salvation, Eternity, and Getting to the Good Place.
“Eternal life isn’t just about the future. We can have it now. It’s not just about there. We can have it here.”
In a sentence, eternal life is knowing God. Not just knowing about him, but knowing him. (Well, as much as we can with our limited capacities.)
“Jesus—and the entire New Testament, for that matter—defines eternal life only once, with great precision, and in a way that has been largely lost in our day: ‘This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’ (John 17:3, NRSV). Eternal Life = Knowing God.”
Once our eternal life has begun, even physical death can’t stop it.
I recommend this book if you want to think more on salvation and the journey of walking with Jesus.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book.
“Heaven does not contain God; God contains heaven.”
~ * ~
“Everybody has a gospel. This is Jesus’ gospel: God is present here and now. God is acting.”
~ * ~
“Bringing up there down here is God’s project.”
~ * ~
“Every time you are in conflict with someone, when you want to hurt them, gossip about them, avoid them, but instead you go to them and seek reconciliation and forgiveness, the Kingdom is breaking into this world.”
~ * ~
“Salvation is not about what God wants to do to you; it’s about what God wants to do in you.”
~ * ~
“Our greatest need is not to be saved from what might happen to us but to be saved from what might happen in us; not from where we might end up but from who we might become.”
* * *
My thanks to Net Galley
for the review copy of this book.
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Definitely want to read this one! Thanks, Lisa, for bringing it to my attention.
Ooh, very timely! I’ve been thinking about this a lot since reading Luke 6:23 “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” (sorry the KJV is the only version so far on this new iPad.) The idea of “life after death” doesn’t work for me at all, but life outside of time (ie eternal) does, especially as (a) it can start now, and (b) it’s clearly a different kind of “life”, not some kind of return or continuation. I shall order this and readit on my next trip. Thank you!
p.s. the publisher has a pdf of the first couple of chapters: https://www.tyndale.com/p/eternity-is-now-in-session/9781496431646
Bam! Why have I never thought of eternity in this way before? Wow. This one grabbed me this morning and shook me–in a good way. Lisa, I really do think your simple post here and John’s quotes contained within planted a seed for a different view. And it’s good. Blessings, friend.
So true! I try to keep an eternal mindset, knowing there are things in this world that do affect eternity. Enjoyed being your neighbor on #DestinationInspiration today. 🙂
This sounds like a “must-read”. I loved this quote: “Heaven does not contain God; God contains heaven.”. I never thought about our eternal life beginning here on earth, but it makes complete sense. Thank you for the wonderful recommendation!
This sounds like an eye-opening book. I especially liked this quote, “Every time you are in conflict with someone, when you want to hurt them, gossip about them, avoid them, but instead you go to them and seek reconciliation and forgiveness, the Kingdom is breaking into this world.” And that could be said of many other Christ-like things we do. That definitely helps me understand what this reality looks like. Thanks for sharing.
Wonderful review. I once heard a speaker say that eternity began the minute we accepted Christ. I have never forgotten that and you brought it back to mind this morning. Thanks for sharing.
This is making me think Iwant to read this book. Jusus does say, the kingdom is here. Oh, you have my mind turning over in excitement and thoughts. Thanks for sharing.
Love the perspective and teaching, Lisa. God inspired for sure.
Everybody has a gospel!
That’s good! And we need to be sure that we’re filtering everyone’s gospel through THE gospel. Love these thoughts on eternity, Lisa. Thanks for this review.
Exactly. I’ve heard of some gospels that sounded more like bad news than the good news. 🙂