One of the things that holds Christians together is the promise of eternal life. As a staunch Christian, I have dedicated my life to learning about Eternal life, enriching my spirituality through the Bible, and sharing the lessons I’ve gained through the years. Out of the many teachings I have shared and listened to, the promise of hope through eternal life keeps me going. But what is eternal life, and how many times is eternal life mentioned in the Bible?
The phrase eternal life appears 41 times throughout the Bible, but specifically in the New Testament, with its first use in Matthew 19:16, and also in Luke 18:18 and Mark 10:17. In the Old Testament, Daniel 12:2, the word for eternal life is everlasting life, as it’s believed that these two phrases are synonymous to each other, bringing the phrases eternal life and everlasting life to 48 throughout the Bible. It’s also worth noting that there are other phrases that also mean eternal life, for example, entering the Kingdom of God, Salvation, the kingdom of heaven, and enter through Jesus Christ.
In this article, I’ll share more insights into the meaning of eternal life in the Bible, its symbolism, the number of times it appears in the Bible, and how to receive eternal life. Keep reading to learn more.
What is eternal life according to Bible?
According to the Bible, eternal life represents the gift of God that comes to believers through their Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, as suggested in Romans 6:23. Romans 6:4 also suggests that eternal life represents the quality of life that only begins on earth for Christians and then continues through for believers who die in Christ, in heaven. To attain eternal life, it’s believed that believers must believe in Jesus Christ, His Life, and His resurrection – John 11:25. Therefore, eternal represents a perpetual state of life that goes on without any end and without facing the limitations of time. In other words, eternal life means a life in which believers believe in the existence of One True God and Jesus Christ sent down to earth by the Father – John 17:3.
What does the Bible say about eternal life?
The Bible suggests that eternal life is a gift given to all who fully believe in Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul suggests this in Romans 6:23, where the word for gift is charisma, referring to underserving favor. The Bible suggests that eternal life isn’t something that believers earn or deserve but something akin to an undeserved gift to humankind because of God’s favor and grace.
The Bible also suggests that eternal life is not something that can be taken away from Christians because once they believe in God, hear His voice, and follow Him, they will receive eternal life. John 10:27-28.
John 3:36 further suggests that all it takes for eternal life is belief in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Is Eternal Life mentioned in the Old Testament?
Yes, eternal life is mentioned in Old Testament. However, it isn’t mentioned directly as it is in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, reference to eternal life is suggested in Psalm 23, where it’s suggested that the Lord declared the existence of a quality life only lived by the Eternal Father. It’s also believed that the Lord made a declaration to bring and pass immortality, as well as eternal life, to all men.
It’s also believed that eternal life is referred to in the Old Testament as the Tree of Life – suggested in Genesis 3:24, and the Men of God who walked in Faith with the Lord like Abraham, Job, Enoch, and Noah would gain eternal life by walking with the Lord. Genesis 6:9 and Job 1:8.
Biblical references about eternal life
John 3:36 says that all who believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, would have eternal life, but not the ones who disobeyed God or Jesus Christ.
John 5:24 suggests that all who hear the word of God and believe in God (who sent Jesus Christ) would receive eternal life and wouldn’t be judged.
John 6:47 says that all who believe in Jesus Christ will have eternal life.
John 11:25-26 suggest that he spoke to Martha and told her that He was the resurrection and the life and that all that believed in Him would live on even if they died, meaning that they’d gain eternal life.
John 14:2-3 also suggests that the place Jesus had gone after his death was where His disciples would go after their death and that they’d live with him forever in this place where he’d gone ahead to prepare for them.
John 17:1-3 suggests that Jesus promised eternal life to all that had given their lives to him. These individuals would also be the ones that knew God, followed his ways, and believed in Jesus.
Romans 6:23 says that the gift earned for believing in God was eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Romans 10:13 says that all the people that call God’s name would be saved and that they will receive eternal life.
1 John 5:11-12 say that God gives eternal life to all who have Christ in them.
Philippians 3:10-11 says that knowing Christ and participating in his suffering would bring resurrection to all believers.
Matthew 25:46 says that the righteous people will receive eternal life
John 6:50-71 suggests that the people who fully believe in Christ, drink his blood, and eat his flesh would have eternal life
Matthew 7:21-23 implies that the few believers that call the name of Jesus would earn eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 suggests that all people saved because of God’s grace and faith in God will receive eternal life.
How many times does Jesus talk about eternal life?
It’s believed that Jesus Christ talked about eternal life nine times in the New Testament. These suggestions are seen in the following verses – Luke 18:18 where it’s describes that Jesus was talking about the rich that lived at the time and the Kingdom of God and how one of rulers asked Jesus about what they needed to do to inherit God’s kingdom to which Jesus answered that they needed to be good to all, honor God’s commandments, and follow Christ. It’s explained that Jesus shares these same sentiments in Luke 10:25 and Mark 10:17.
Jesus also talked about eternal life in John 4:14 is also about Jesus Christ, who is believed to have answered a woman that whoever drank water he gave them would never thirst again, and they’d receive eternal life.
John 10:28 also talks about Jesus talking about eternal life, where he says that all who believe in him will receive eternal life.
What is the difference between eternal life and everlasting life?
Eternal life is often confused with everlasting life and has some differences in meaning. Eternal life refers to the unending natural progression of the years. In the New Testament, eternal is derived from the word aiónios representing the idea of quality and quantity. In this regard, eternity doesn’t represent years. It is believed to be independent of time, meaning that eternal life is a spiritual aspect with the capacity to function out of time, within time, and within time.
On the other hand, everlasting life refers to the life believed to begin at the time of one’s salvation and is believed to last forever, specifically in heaven, where God lives.
So, while eternal life has no beginning or end and exists within (and without) the bounds of time, everlasting life only has a beginning, but it has no end. It is believed that eternal life only belongs to God, while everlasting life is what’s available to Christians. To attain everlasting life, it’s believed that Christians need to Know the one TRUE God, as implied in John 17:3.
How to receive eternal life?
While eternal life is believed to be without bounds, Christians are also promised eternal life through salvation. It is believed that eternal life begins when a believer gives their life to God and when they exercise faith in God. This is suggested in John 17:3, which suggests that having Faith in God through Jesus Christ and being knowledgeable about God and the Son brings eternal life. This is important because it’s only through Jesus Christ that God, the Father, reveals Himself to the believers – John 17:6 and 14:9.
It’s also worth noting that according to Biblical teachings, eternal life is granted on Judgment Day, and it isn’t measured based on just knowledge or academic awareness. On judgment day, the only individuals that will gain eternal life are the believers that want to know Christ along with the power of His resurrection from death – Philippians 3:10-11.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.