Life doesn’t justify living (but eternity does).

Life doesn’t justify living, but eternity does.

Steve Harper writes, “The life we live now we live by faith in Jesus Christ, and this alone paves the way for the unspeakable joys of heaven.”*

Stephen was the first to be martyred among those who knew the apostles. Polycarp was the last. He was 86 years old when they came for him. When they came for him, he met them at the door and fed them a meal then he asked for time to pray. As they were carrying him to the arena to kill him, he heard a voice that said, “Be strong, Polycarp and play the man.”

When they urged him to recant the gospel, Polycarp said, “Eighty-six years have I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” They threatened him with wild animals and then with fire, and still he refused to back down from the gospel.

A first-hand account of his death records the following:

“Then the fire was lit, and the flame blazed furiously. We who were privileged to witness it saw a great miracle, and this is why we have been preserved, to tell the story. The fire shaped itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, and formed a circle around the body of the martyr. Inside it, he looked not like flesh that is burnt, but like bread that is baked, or gold and silver glowing in a furnace. And we smelt a sweet scent, like frankincense or some such precious spices.”

Life doesn’t justify living, but eternity does.

I’ve never been a fan of the kind of Christianity that focuses on where you go when you die. Salvation is so much more than a ticket to heaven. But to live a life so anchored in truth and power and prayer, so anchored in the truth that there is more to this life than just living it and staying alive at all costs, so anchored in grace that nothing rocks the boat …

Well, that is worth living for.


*From The Way to Heaven: The Gospel According to John Wesley, by Steve Harper. 

Carolyn Moore

I follow Jesus within the communities of Mosaic Church, Asbury Seminary and the Moore household.