Eternal Life

Eternal Life

  • We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word and provides us with everything we need to know about Him and Eternal Life.(1) The Apostle John wrote his gospel to help people understand what was necessary to receive Eternal Life. 
  • John 20:31 - "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." 
  • Consider the following questions and the answers from the gospel of John.

1. What is Eternal Life?

  • Answer: Eternal Life refers to a personal relationship with God. It is described as being abundant (exceeding, above measure or rank, excellent, extraordinary, superior) and, because God is Eternal (without end), this relationship is unending. 
  • John 10:10b - "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." 
  • John 17:3 - "And this is Eternal Life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  

2. Who gives Eternal Life?

  • Answer: God through Jesus Christ
  • John 17:2 - "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He (Jesus) should give Eternal Life to as many as You have given Him."  

3. How do you receive Eternal Life?

  • Answer: Believe in Jesus Christ
  • John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." 
  • John 5:24 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." 
  • John 6:47 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life." 
  • John 11:25 - "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live'."  

4. What happens if I don’t believe in Jesus for Eternal Life?

  • Answer: You continue to be separated from God and under His Judgment. 
  • John 3:18 - "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 
  • John 3:36 - "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." 

And now, some questions for you…. 

  • Do you believe that Jesus is God’s only Son? 
  • Do you believe Jesus has the authority to give you Eternal Life? 
  • What do you need to do to have Eternal Life?

5. Conclusion: If you believe in Jesus Christ, you HAVE Eternal Life!!!

More About Eternal Life

1. Why do I need Eternal Life?

Answer: Without Eternal Life, a person is under a death sentence because of his or her sin. The Bible says that everyone has sinned and deserves death, which is eternal separation from God. The gift of Eternal Life saves a person from this fate. 

2. When the Bible says that Eternal Life is knowing God through Jesus, what exactly does this mean?

Answer: Jesus was asked by one of His Disciples, “How can we know the way (to Eternal Life)?”. Jesus responded by saying. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” When pressed by another disciple to “show us the Father”, Jesus replied, “The person who has seen Me has seen the Father”. In this conversation, Jesus clearly states that He is the only way you can have a relationship with God the Father. Some think this is a very exclusive statement. In truth, it is exclusive to “all who believe in Him”.  

3. Do I need to be baptized to have Eternal Life?

Answer: We believe that baptism is an act of obedience to Christ and is a visible way that we let others know that we have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life. When Jesus gave His disciples what is known as the Great Commission, He told them to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Baptism should be one of the first things a person does after they have believed in Jesus. Though baptism is very important and something we are called to do, we can find no evidence in scripture where baptism is a condition for Eternal Life. 

4. My mom and dad have Eternal Life, does that mean I have it too?

Answer: If your parents have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life, you probably have heard about Jesus from them, and that’s a good thing! But to receive Eternal Life, you must believe in Jesus Christ. 

5. Someone once told me I needed to say the “sinner’s prayer” to have Eternal Life... Is that in the Bible?

Answer: You will find many Christian materials that encourage you to say a prayer in which you acknowledge your sins, ask for forgiveness and tell Jesus you are putting your trust in Him as your Savior. Having a conversation with God and acknowledging your sins to Him, and saying You have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life is not a bad thing; however, you will not find this sequence anywhere in the Bible as a condition for Eternal Life. 

6. Is there a difference between being saved and having Eternal Life?

Answer: When a person believes in Jesus for Eternal Life, that person is “saved” from eternal death. But just as the word “save” can mean lots of different things in contemporary English (save time, save money, save a life, a baseball pitcher saving a game), the word save in the Bible can also mean something other than being saved from eternal death. That is why it is important to read passages of scripture in context to understand what type of “saving” is being described.    

7. I have heard that I need to repent of all my sins to be sure I have Eternal Life… is that true?

Answer: This is a hotly debated topic and one that divides many in the Christian community. The word repent in Greek literally means to “think after” or “change your mind”. Some believe repentance means to “turn away from sin” and is a condition for Eternal life. 

We believe that repentance is not a condition for Eternal Life. Of all the people who wrote books in the Bible, the Apostle John seemed to have a special desire to educate others about Eternal Life. In chapter 20:31 of John’s gospel, he writes: “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Believing in Jesus to receive Eternal Life is written in the gospel of John close to 100 times. The words repent or repentance are not found in John’s gospel. And when false teachers began to tell new believers there were other conditions to receiving Eternal Life, John wrote in his first epistle (5:13): “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have Eternal Life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” 

We conclude as we study God’s Word that repentance is a very important part of a person’s relationship with God, whether you interpret it to mean to change your mind or a desire to turn away from your sin. Though important in our relationship with God, repentance is not a condition for Eternal Life.    

8. I was baptized when I was a baby, do I have Eternal Life?

Answer: This is another hotly debated topic in Christian circles. Many people who believe that infants should be baptized disagree as to what purpose it serves. As stated in the earlier question “does someone need to be baptized to have Eternal Life”, we believe baptism is a public profession of faith. It is a symbolic way of publicly telling the world one has believed in Jesus for Eternal Life.There is no age barrier to baptism; however, the person being baptized should understand why they are being baptized and desire it as well. That is why we do not practice infant baptism.  

9. I am a member of a church, do I have Eternal Life?

Answer: When asked about their assurance of Eternal Life, many people will respond they have been a member of a church for a number of years. Church membership is a very good thing and the Bible encourages us to “meet together to encourage each other”. But church membership does not ensure Eternal Life; one receives Eternal Life by believing in Jesus Christ. 

10. What are the conditions of Eternal Life?

Answer: We believe there is one condition to Eternal Life, believing in Jesus Christ. There are some who believe you must live a sinless life or at least have “less sin” in your life and that you must make Jesus the Lord of your life to have Eternal Life. And some believe that you must live this sinless or “less sinning life” until you die, meaning you can’t be sure whether you have Eternal Life until after you die. We believe these conditions put the focus on the individual’s life and not on Christ. We believe these conditions lead to frustration and not the freedom that Christ desires. We do believe one should “sin less” if they have believed in Jesus Christ for Eternal Life. In fact, we have the ability to be sinless because of the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us. And we also believe that Jesus is Lord of all life, whether or not one professes Him to be, because the Bible clearly states it. We believe Eternal Life is a gift from God, because if there was anything thing we could do to earn or ensure it, we would boast and brag about it!  

11. I believed in Jesus for Eternal Life years ago, but I have done some really bad things since then... do I still have Eternal Life?

Answer: There are people who believed in Jesus for Eternal Life and went back to a life of sin and wasted many years of their life, and in some cases lost their physical life because of it. And though it may have seemed like a broken record as you read the responses to these questions, we believe the Bible teaches Eternal Life is not based on anything that you do; your Eternal Life is based on who Jesus Christ is and what He did for you and your belief in Him.