What is eternal life?

Will you receive it?  There's no doubt that life ends.  The question is, "Then what?"  An even better question is, "Who is qualified to answer?"

God's Gift

Eternal life is just that - eternal.

It means "forever".  It means when life ends here, it continues somewhere else.

The Bible uses the phrase in a positive sense.  It is a quality of life that begins on earth and continues in heaven (Romans 6:4).  It's something Jesus gives next to which all other life just isn't quite life at all.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Jesus, John 10:10

Eternal life is a free gift, offered only through Jesus Christ.

Men offer a variety of opinions as to how people can receive eternal life.  God offers only one.

"God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (Jesus).  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."  1 John 5:11-12

The alternative is death.  Not just physical death, which everyone experiences, but "eternal death", meaning separation from God in Hell (Mark 9:43-48). Eternal death is what we deserve.  It is the penalty for sin.  You see, all of us have missed God's standard of holy perfection.

Time and again we have chosen our own desires and followed our own course, rather than following God.  We have sinned.  

"There is no one righteous, not even one..no one who seeks God.  All have turned away...no one who does good, not even on."   Romans 3:10-12

Eternal life is that costly gift that costs us nothing.

It is free to us, but so costly to God (1 Peter 2:21-25).  God made it available to us through the death of His Son, Jesus.  Someone had to pay the price of sin; the penalty had to be assessed.  Only Jesus was qualified to take our place, to make the payment.

And as strange as it may sound, God offers us this gift without cost.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ."  Romans 3:23-24

He knew we could never earn eternal life, so He gave Jesus in our place.  That is so characteristic of our loving God.


Eternal life is God's great way of saying, "I love you" when we said, "I hate you".

God's love motivated Him to give.  The cross, the nails, the thorns, and all the other terrible things that go with them came together at a point in time to express ultimate love - not to friends, but enemies.

He didn't do it because we're so good.  We're not.  Our actions, our attitudes, and just what we really are inside say, "God, I reject you."

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16


Eternal life makes a difference in how we life now.

I say, "I knew there was a catch".  Well, this one is designed to make your life complete and fulfilling.

Jesus says, "I've paid the price...I'm offering you life...but I want something in return - you!  I want you to love Me and allow Me to guide you in your day-to-day decisions."

He wants to be our Lord.  He wants our complete attention and He deserves it.  (Hebrews 1:3-4)

When we fully understand the price that has been paid for our eternal life, we gladly respond to Jesus out of love and ask Him to lead in our lives.

Eternal life is a fantastic possibility. 

Living in friendship with Jesus forever has benefits in the present.  All the character qualities that make life pleasant and enjoyable flow from allowing Him to control us.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."  Galatians 5:22

It's all a possibility.  The requirements have been met in Jesus' death and resurrection.  The gift is wrapped.  Faith opens it and treasures it.


Eternal life is offered with simplicity, received by faith.

Believe the Good News that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sin.  The resurrection confirms that the offer is real.

"I passed on to you...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised up on the third day, according to the Scriptures."  Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:3

In doing this, you are trusting yourself to Jesus Christ for eternal care, relying on His wise protection, and accepting His Lordship.  You are willing to follow His lead.

Automatically, instantly, you receive His gift of eternal life.  Physical death, whenever it happens, becomes merely a momentary inconvenience between what you now experience of eternal life and what you will experience with Him forever.

Invite Jesus Christ to come into your life, to invade your own human personality, and to begin the process of transforming your life into a representation of Himself.

"Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me."  Jesus, Revelation 3:20


1.  How we receive eternal life - Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23, 10:9-10

2.  We do not deserve eternal life - Romans 3:10-23; Isaiah 53:6

3.  What eternal life cost God - 1 Peter 2:21-25

4.  What comes with eternal life:

     We are declared righteous - Romans 4:22-5:1

     Hardships come with loving purpose - Romans 5:1-5, 8:26-30

     We get the help of the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 6:17

     We become members of God's family - 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

     We receive all the gifts a loving God bestows on His children - Romans 8:32

5.  We can live "eternal life" today - John 3:36, 15:1-11

6.  We can be sure of our life in Christ - John 20:30-32; 1 John 5:12-14; 2 Timothy 1:12

7.  Jesus is the source of eternal life - John 1:1-4, 11:25-26, 14:6

8.  Our eternal life in the future includes our resurrected bodies - 1 Corinthian 15:42; 

      1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

The Readable Series

A ministry of CE National