Eternal Life

John 3:16 tells us that Jesus Christ came so that we should not perish but have eternal/everlasting life. This means that if you only come to salvation for the forgiveness of your sins you do not understand the full purpose of salvation, which is eternal life. Eternal life is not living forever in Heaven.

John 17:3 says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent”. The word “know” in this passage means to “experientially know” or “to be acquainted with”.

Wrong understanding of what is eternal life has led to some people thinking that they can postpone accepting Christ as their Savior and Lord until late in life because that is the right time to take the “insurance for after life”. Death came to many people before they could accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord because of this wrong understanding of what Christ died to give us.

What complicates matters is the teaching that life on earth is all about preparing for life after death. While it is true that the decision to spend eternity in Heaven or hell is made while we are here on earth, it is not true that the main reason we need to accept salvation is to secure our place in Heaven. Jesus died to give us eternal life, which starts here on earth.