The River of Life

I love standing on a bridge, staring into the fast-moving waters of a river, on their way to the sea from their source in distant hills. The length of a river is like the span of a human life. Some lives are long, but others, sadly, can be much shorter. None of us know just how long the river of our life is going to be.

Like a river, each human life has a source at conception followed, nine months later, by birth as a tiny baby. We grow slowly to maturity and, as adults, we experience all the adventures and ups and downs of life, till one day the personal river of our life enters the sea of eternity and our life on earth will be no more!

The Beginning and the End

Our physical human life has both a beginning and an end. Birthdays are celebrated with varying degrees of excitement. But whilst we rarely dwell on the fact, death is always an imminent possibility – especially as we get older. We all know when we were born, but none of us know when the end will come. But is death really the end?

A very sick man was being interviewed on TV. When asked how he was feeling he replied, “I’ve been wondering if I’ve been good enough!” Realising that he might not survive Covid, he was wondering what lay beyond the grave. Would he then have to face his Maker?

I love visiting new places, but I’m no lover of the journey. I could do without all the airport hassles and being cramped up for hours on end in an aeroplane. The process of dying is a bit like such a journey – a necessary part of reaching a new destination. As a Christian, I’m really looking forward to Heaven but, if I’m really honest, I am not terribly excited about the process of getting there!

But, unlike the man who was being interviewed, I’ve no worries about whether or not I’ve been good enough. For, the believer in Jesus has already been forgiven and accepted as a citizen of Heaven. It was Jesus who had to be good enough to pay the price of all our wrong-doings – or sin as the Bible calls it – not you! That’s the awesome reality of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus paid the price of our sins when he died on the cross and as a result, physical death, and what happens next, have no fear for anyone who truly believes and trusts in Him.

Right of Entry

When flying to the United States, from some airports, you can go through all the immigration procedures to America before actually leaving your own country. Then, when you land in the States you have no concerns. Your passport has already been validated and your entry qualifications have been pre-approved.

It’s a bit like that when a believer in Jesus dies – they already have their ‘right of entry’ into their new country – Heaven. Their entry qualifications were pre-approved before leaving Planet Earth! And that suggests a very important question: If your entry qualifications can be pre-approved, why wouldn’t you want to be sure of gaining entry to Heaven, before leaving Planet Earth?

Only One God

So, let’s ask some pretty basic questions about God, you, creation, good and evil, your life on Planet Earth, Heaven, Hell and what you can look forward to when you die. Let’s begin with creation.

No matter what scientists may say about the origin of the universe, it doesn’t make sense to think that the whole of the universe – which contains more stars than there are grains of sand on Planet Earth – could have created itself, out of absolutely nothing! It really is much more likely that a blind-folded chimpanzee could bash out an error-free copy of the complete works of Shakespeare on a typewriter – and then do it again!

Just as a painting must have an artist, and a bridge must have a builder, common sense dictates that a physical creation must have a Creator, the One who we call God. I know that, for some, this simple statement poses an even bigger question: Where does God come from?

But it would be a huge mistake to miss out on getting to know the God who made us, just because you don’t yet have an answer to the bigger question. It would be like a baby refusing to take milk from its mother, because the baby couldn’t account for where Mum came from!

No-one can ignore the fact that throughout known history man has looked heavenwards and asked, Who am I? Where did I come from? For, within every human being there is a God-sensitive spirit that, ultimately, wants, and yes, needs, to connect with its Creator.

In the event of sudden disaster, the universal cry of mankind is usually, “Oh God!” Why is it that from the very core of our humanity, people cry out to God in desperation when they are suddenly faced with the imminent possibility of meeting Him?

There are thousands of different religions, through which people try to find and worship God. Together they are abundant evidence that there is a God-shaped hole in every single one of us – a hole that mankind has always tried to fill, in a myriad of different ways.

But thousands of different religions can’t all be true, with their wildly different beliefs, can they? Absolutely not. Each religion may claim to be true – and no-one doubts the sincerity of believers in all the world’s religions – but sincerity is not a guarantee that what they believe IS true! The people who think the world is flat are very sincere about their beliefs!

Just as you can’t have conflicting ‘truths’ about what water’s made of, you can’t have conflicting truths about God. Wherever you go on the planet, water is always H2O – which means that each molecule of water contains two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. It can’t be anything else. That’s the truth. And wherever you go on the planet, God is always God. He does not vary from one place to another. There can only be one Creator, there can only be one God.

So, who is this one Creator God? And why does it matter?

The Bible begins with those never to be forgotten words – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And John’s Gospel begins by telling us nothing that exists was made without Jesus. Which is another way of saying that the man Jesus, born as a baby as the Son of God, really was also God.

And here is a unique fact that distinguishes belief in Jesus (or Christianity if you prefer) from every single one of all the other religions. Jesus came to Earth looking for man, so God could have and enjoy a relationship with him. All the other religions are only an expression of man’s search for God, whereas Jesus came to be the answer to all those searching questions.

It’s a fact, therefore: God is looking for you. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. Jesus actually said He had come to seek and to save the lost. And He told the parable of the lost sheep which He, as the Good Shepherd is always looking for.

No-one looking at the world today could conclude that everything in it is good. There are extremes of evil as well as extraordinary evidences of self-sacrificial good. And honesty means we also have to recognise that, in each and every one of us, there is the capacity to do both good and evil. The Bible says it this way – we have all sinned and come short of God’s glory.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to Earth to pay the price for your sin and for mine. He became the Saviour of the World so that all those who believe in Him could become children of God and be born again into His Kingdom. Which simply means that the evil in each one of our hearts, which would exclude us from being able to enter Heaven, could be forgiven.

With our sins forgiven, our spiritual inheritance of eternal death can be replaced by the free gift of eternal life. This is called salvation, or being saved.

To summarise, therefore, we have a choice. We can choose to follow Jesus into life or remain in a state of permanent separation from God, which is death, or what the Bible describes as Hell. And that’s the eternal reality for all men and women.

Choosing Life

When we choose Jesus in this present life, we are following the One who died for our sins. And because He was without sin, the curse of death was not on Him, the grave could not hold Him and He rose again from the dead.  He’s alive now – and for evermore.  He wants us to be with Him – now, for the rest of our earthly lives, and then, into eternity beyond the grave.

So, returning to the picture I painted earlier, of flying to the USA from an airport where you can be welcomed into America, even before you have left your own country, think about it this way. When you recognise the sinfulness in your own heart and, therefore, your need of a Saviour, and confess your sin to God and invite Jesus to be your Saviour and the Lord of your life, it means you can become a citizen of Heaven – even before you have left Planet Earth! You then have the entry qualifications for Heaven and have already become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Your ‘spiritual passport’ is stamped ‘Heaven bound’!

Then, when your physical life does come to an end, you have nothing to fear, for your destination is already assured. That’s why the Christian believer has no reason to fear death. With your sins forgiven, the Saviour, who loved you enough to die for you, will be welcoming you into His Kingdom.

Our eternal existence after death is at the core of the Bible’s teaching from beginning to end. Which, therefore, begs the most important question that anyone ever has to face – where do you want to spend eternity?

So, what will happen when the river of your life joins the sea of Eternity? The choice is yours – enjoy eternal life or endure eternal death?  Those are the options Jesus put to all people – including you and me.

Not only did the coming of Jesus divide the timeline of history, His teaching divided mankind into those who choose life and those who choose death. It doesn’t make a lot of sense not to Choose Life!

Your Choice! Your Prayer!

Thank you Jesus for making it possible for me to choose life, even though I deserve death. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. I confess and repent of my sins and ask you to forgive me. I invite you, Jesus, to be my Saviour and Lord and ask that when the river of my life runs into the sea of eternity I will find myself Heaven bound! In the Name of Jesus. Amen

The River of Life is Copyright © Peter Horrobin 2023. To subscribe to Peter’s Blog please go to:


  1. Dear Andy
    Thank you so very much for your response to my River of LIfe blog. Fiona and I were so very sorry to hear of Eleanor’s situation. I will wrote to you both separately, but for now thank you for this very special contribution to the River of Life and our journey from time to eternity. I am sure it will bless many people.
    Much love and many blessings and prayers from Fiona as well

  2. Dear Peter,

    Thank you for sharing your word about the river. This is a particular encouragement to me to as I watch Eleanor, my wife’s life slowly ebbing away, taking her towards the eternal sea. The transition process is certainly challenging, but we are both aware of God’s comfort in it. I read your email yesterday, but I woke up this morning having had a vivid dream that was along the lines of your airport ticket analogy. I’d like to share it with your readers.

    I saw myself accompanying Eleanor through a chaotic airport scene. I realised that it was the departure lounge for a flight to heaven. Eleanor and I both had legitimate tickets, and were at peace, but we were surrounded by lots of panicky people who did not. The rich, the powerful and tricksters were all desperately trying to obtain tickets by any worldly means possible, but they seemed unwilling or unaware of their need to surrender their lives to Jesus, so of course they were unsuccessful.

    We arrived at the aircraft where the flight attendants (angles) were busy but calmly evicting who did not have a valid ticket but had somehow evaded earlier checks. I was reminded of, the man, who was not wearing wedding clothes at the feast, who cast into outer darkness (Mathew 22:11-13). We said our farewells and Eleanor was escorted to her seat.

    One thing that puzzled me was why I also had a ticket, when it was clearly not my time to travel. Then I realised (as Peter points out) that I received my ticket to heaven was when I invited Jesus to be the Lord of my life, and thereby became a citizen of heaven.

    I am sharing this as it may be an encouragement to others walking a similar path to me. I think it is also a challenge to us all to share the hope of the gospel with the lost, whilst there is still time.

    Love and blessings,

  3. Thank you for your encouragement – judging by some of the comments posted on the website God will use the River of Life to touch many people. That is why I wrote it.

  4. Peter, thank you so very much; I am going to be sharing this with so many people!
    All praise and glory be to our God – the
    one and only true and living God.
    I am rejoicing in my King for the doors that He is opening for you.

  5. Dear Sam,
    I will be delighted for you to translate The Rover of Life blog into Hindi and circulate it as widely as possible. And for others to translate it into other Indian languages as well. I pray that it will be a blessing to many and draw many to the Saviour in these perilous times.
    Many blessings

  6. Peter, greetings, from Sam Joseph (75yrs age) in Bangalore, India. Thank you for a summary of our foundational belief system as followers of Jesus. I have followed your teachings from Ellel 365 and other books . I teach sometimes in Hindi. Do I need any special permissions to translate this in Hindi with full attribution to your blog ? Regards. Sam

  7. A great exposition of the truth of the Gospel. Rather long for a time limited witness while waiting for a bus, but really good to give to someone genuinely interested, in the form of a tract. Will certainly print it and pray for the right opportunity to give it away.
    Thank you Peter.

  8. My heart is touched by the way you teach, my friend, as always. I love the illustration of the passport and already being welcomed in, the destination set. I’m reminded of my days at Blairmore when I was blessed to welcome you and Ellel to America. Our eternal destination is secure! God bless you as you continue your life’s work.

  9. Thank you Dave for your encouraging words – I [ray that the Lord will use this [iece to tpuch many hearrs and that ot will get passed on around the social interaction world.

  10. This has surely got to be the finest exposition of the Gospel I have ever read.
    If logic, common sense and reasoning were to count then there wouldn’t be an unbeliever on the face of the earth.
    However they don’t. This is solely down to the Prince of this World – Satan, and his demonic forces, otherwise sensible men and women across our world would not have been blinded to the truth of the gospel.
    We must, therefore, pray to the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ, to send more of His angelic army to fight against the powers of darkness and set the captives free!

  11. God bless you my brother for sharing the truth of our Heavenly FATHER ‘S beauty of the truth of who created everything beautiful in HIS TIme.Heaven awaits His children! The truth shall set you free. Shalom love ❤️

  12. Last night I was with a “former Muslim who has been a friend for quite some time. He has left Islam behind – but has not quite stepped “across the Finish Line” to surrender his heart to Jesus. I Entirely agree with all the comments I have just read!

    And am Deeply Grateful for your succinct “Profile” of God’s Plan for Relationship with us – for Eternity; because of the New Covenant, purchased with the blood of our Living High Priest and King! Jesus!! Hallelujah for our Family of followers of Jesus!

    Genesis 12 : 3!!

  13. Simply brilliant Summary of Faith in God, His Son and the Holy Spirit –
    fully inclusive and impossible to fault, using words a child can understand, kicking the sceptics who are blind to the Truth.

  14. Wonderfully explained. Thank you Peter. We met over 20 years ago in London at church. I was visiting from the States and have followed you since. I loved your 2 books on deliverance which I bought at that time. God bless you for spending your time here on earth sharing the good news.

  15. Dear Peter great illustrations. I think we are all concerned about the actual process! leading to death, and would like it to be quick and painless. but we should have no fear of dearth itself. The Word of God says:

    ‘Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.’

    In Jesus’ Name Fear of death begone.

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