Some of the synonyms of ‘eternal’ are: without end, everlasting, endless, unending, and perpetual. Henceeternal life is life that goes on without ever coming to an end. According to Scripture, for the Christian, eternal life starts here on earth, goes through this earthly life, and continues into life after death when we see Jesus face to face. It is important to mention that, unbelievers will face eternity as well: their eternity however, will be without Christ and their existence will not be life but death-which is the second death mentioned in Revelation (see Rev 20:14-15). As sad as it sounds, their eternity will be with the devil and his angels in hell. That is the reason they need to believe in Jesus now while they have time.
It is easy to assume that eternal life is futuristic, after death or after we see Jesus face to face. Scripture however does not teach that. Jesus defines eternal life this way, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” John 17:3 NIV).
Again, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has (not will have) eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over From death to life” (John 5:24 NIV). In reference to His sheep in John 10:28, Jesus said, “I give (not will give) them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. Also, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have (not will have) eternal life” (1 John 5:13 NIV). Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? If yes, then your eternal life has already started; it started the minute you believed. John also says in John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has (not will have) eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
Since we already have eternal life, how should we live? We need to live with gratitude, assurance, confidence, humility, excitement, and expectation. Not all of God’s promises of heaven can be realized now, because we still live in our old tents of sin. But that day is coming when we will be clothed with immortality, and we can then experience everything the Father has promised us. Until then, let us practice some of the heavenly life as much as we can in these our mortal bodies. Things like praise and worship, joy and obedience will keep us focused on our heavenly home. Amen!