What is Eternal Life?

"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life" (Luke 18:18)? What was this ruler enquiring about? What is "eternal life"?


The Lord's disciples understood "eternal life" to mean SALVATION. After the ruler refused to do what the Lord asked of him, they asked, "Who then can be saved" (Luke 18:26)? The writer of the book of Hebrews helps us understand that eternal life is in fact eternal salvation, "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9). "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:12).


Eternal life is also the PROMIES of God. "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life" (I John 2:25). Paul spoke to Titus concerning eternal life, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2). Eternal life has been promised to man from Almighty God even before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6).


Eternal life is that which the Christian has HOPE. "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:7). "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2). But what is hope? Hope is defined as "a feeling that what is wanted will want and to expect" (Webster's). The apostle Paul said, "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it" (Romans 8:24-25).


Man lives in hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ, for JESUS CHRIST is our eternal life. The apostle John speaks of Christ as our eternal life, "(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)" (I John 1:2).


Finally, eternal life will be our eternal salvation in HEAVEN. "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 22:1-5).


Next time, how does one obtain eternal life?