Eternal life is not a present possession of human beings. It is promised as a gift from God to those whom He is willing to save from eternal death. They are those who have believed the gospel (good news) preached by Jesus and his apostles. Jesus taught:
“. . . Jesus answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, who shall not receive an hundredfold now in this time - houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions - and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29,30).
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14,15).
His Apostles taught:
“Paul . . . an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:1,2).
“And this is the promise that he has promised us - eternal life” (1 John 2:25).
Eternal life requires our nature to be changed from mortality to immortality. However eternal life is more than living for ever: “. . . in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who 'will render to each one according to his deeds': eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, and honour, and immortality” (Romans 2:5-7).
God gives opportunity to men and women to arrange their lives now so that Jesus can give eternal life at his return. “But Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life'” (John 6:68).
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:11,12).
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(Quotations are from the New King James Version of the Bible)