Who Alone Has Immortality?



Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.


We are considering the passage: “That which has been made was life in Him” (see John 1:3–4)—the created thing has only existence until it is placed in Christ by surrender. Then it has life, eternal life. 

This is far-reaching in its consequences. All coming to Jesus has the feeling of a homecoming upon it. All going away from Him has the sense of sadness upon it; sadness, for the life forces out of Him begin to decay and crumble. We say of a man who steps out of Christ, “That man is going to pieces.” He literally is going to pieces. Life has no inner cement to hold it together, so he is disintegrating. Suppose this process of disintegration continued beyond the borders of this life as we see it taking place here, would the personality finally snuff itself out, be unfit to survive? John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Do those who continuously and persistently live outside of, apart from, and against Life perish? Do they perish by their own attitudes and actions?

In 1 Timothy we read of “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality” (6:15–16). Does Jesus Christ alone have immortality? It says so. Then do we have immortality only as we surrender our mortal selves and become in Him, who alone has immortality? The Scriptures and the processes of decay when we are out of Him both say yes.

Would grace follow that man through this life and beyond the borders of this life, and if he finally rejected that grace and the light flickered and went out, would there be a teardrop on the cheek of grace and a sigh: “You would not”? That would fit into the character of God as seen in the face of Jesus, and it would fit into the observed processes taking place now. Apart from Him life disintegrates, and if kept up long enough, would perish.


O God, Thy grace is following us, following us, wooing us to Life. Help us to yield to that blessed wooing and embrace Life, for suppose we live and miss Life? Then it is better that we should not have been born. Help us. Amen.


It would be better I had not been born, if I am not reborn.

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Eli Stanley Jones was an evangelical Methodist missionary to India who sought to make a clear distinction between biblical Christianity and Western culture. For 70 years, Dr. E. Stanley Jones proclaimed the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, earning him the title of "the world's greatest missionary evangelist" by Time magazine in 1938, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1963, and two Nobel Peace Prize nominations during his lifetime. An author of 29 books, he moved among statesmen and among leaders as counselor, friend, and worker for peace and helped hundreds of thousands, from village outcasts in India to molders of public opinion in America, Japan, Europe, and India.


  1. E. Stanley Jones, by asking this question, “Suppose this process of disintegration continued beyond the borders of this life as we see it taking place here, would the personality finally snuff itself out, be unfit to survive?” seems to imply that after death a human personality (human being) eventually ceases to exist. This isn’t solid Christian teaching. He also implies the false doctrine that people have an opportunity to reject grace after death (“Would grace follow that man through this life and beyond the borders of this life, and if he finally rejected that grace . . .”)