What is the Biblical definition of eternity? When do we receive eternal life? Do we receive it now (I John 5:11, I John 3:15, John 3:36), or in the age to come (Luke 18:30, Matt 25:36, Titus 3:7)?
ESV - 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
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Genesis 4:3, Cain brought an offering to God. Genesis 4:4, Abel did the same. God did not look favorably on Cain' s offering. Why? Cain kills Abel! BUT God hears Abel crying from the ground, verse 10. Abel is ALIVE! He still is today! Why? Because somehow-we aren't privileged to know Abel knew God's requirements for the offering and accepted the terms. He had faith! Hebrews chapter 11:4 "...Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks." Abel has eternal life. When we accept God's ways as the rule of our life, we are born in the spirit by faith. We must take God at His Word. We do not have to die to have eternal life. It begins when we step into a life of faith. Ephesians 1:13,14 "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth...you were sealed...the guarantee of our inheritance...purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." Ephesians2:4,5 "But God who is rich in MERCY, because of His great love...even when we were dead in our sins made us alive together with Christ." 2 Corinthians chapter 5 we have assurance of the resurrection. Back up and read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." This refers not only to a better quality of life, absent before our faith, but an eternal life, and God's peace living in US daily! John 10:9 1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life..." Romans 8:9-11 "But you are not in the flesh..the Spirit of God dwells in you...And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness...He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life..through His Spirit Who dwells in you." How fortunate we are to have this Holy Book as our eternal journey progresses.
Man was created from the beginning to be eternal. God did not take that away after man's fall. The question to be asked is where will we spend the rest eternity. Christians who are sealed will be with Christ. The unsaved will live eternally condemned. So the answer to this question is yes we as Christians have eternal life now, but to the fullness that God wants us to have we are not perfect yet. That comes later, hopefully soon. We are all slated to die but death is not the cessation of life. Christians who pass away go to be with the Lord in soul and spirit with out the imperfect physical body. When Christ returns to set up His physical kingdom on the earth both the dead and living in Christ will put on incorruption and we will commence living life forever as a perfect human being as God originally envisioned us to be. Not so for the unsaved. They will rise at Christ's second coming be judged and eternally condemned, and they will stay where they were when they died, or still live with all the horrors that we face now in this world and a whole lot worse mainly eternal separation from God for which we were not created.
Once we believe in Jesus, we have eternal life; as Jesus said : " I am the resurection and the life.He/she who believes in me will live, even though he/she dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11: 25-26). Jesus also told to one of the criminals who believed in him: " I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23: 43). It does not matter who we are, once we really believe in Jesus Christ, we have eternal life in Christ even though we all have to experience pain, suffering and death (Genesis 3: 16-19), since Jesus was not sent into the world to condemn, but to save the world. (John 3: 16-18).
No, you do not have eternal life yet but the true believer has the promise of eternal life by way of the down payment of the Holy Spirit. There are two types of death and two types of life described in the Bible. Death means separation and it comes in two ways; Adam in the garden ate of the fruit and died in the day he ate there of=he lost his intimate relationship with God no longer walking the garden with Him face to face but hid himself in shame as he was spiritually dead to God, separated from God spiritually; the intimacy was lost. The other type of death is to have your spirit leave your physical body which happened to Adam many years later. In the same way when the mortal puts on the immortal by way of resurrection with the coming of Christ or by way of rapture, the glorification of this physical mortal body into a immortal physical body is the physical Eternal life and the spiritual Eternal life is defined by Jesus in John 17:3 And THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE that they may know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we only know in part here on this earth but then when we are face to face we will know as we are known praise be to GOD! Spiritual Eternal life is promised and appears to be "in part" by way of the Holy Spirit. To know fully is from the beginning a term of deep intimacy that produces life. Adam knew Eve and produced a life. The word knew was on purpose to show us a deeper truth. It is not until we are face to face with Christ (rapture or resurrection of the dead in Christ) face to face like Adam used to be in the Garden will we get not only immortal bodies but the intimacy and oneness in the spirit to have the eternal life promised to those who hold fast by way of true faith to the end. Christ said his followers would have rivers of living waters come out of their belly (like a human pregnancy that results from intimacy). We do not have eternal life now but the promise of it. Ephesians 1:13,14 In whom (Christ) after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory. This has not happened yet see also 2 Corinthians 1:21,22. The Holy Spirit is the seal or identification of God's promise that you will get Eternal life at your adoption, Romans 8:23b but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the spirit groan inwardly as we wait for our adoption as sons, to wit, the redemption of our bodies. You have the spirit of eternal life in the form of the "earnest money" The Holy Spirt."
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