If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have eternal life right now. We don’t have to wait for eternal life later. Don’t believe me?
John’s gospel says, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
If I know God then I have a clearer sense of what he is doing in the world and in my own life and I get to participate in that activity. That is eternal life – participation in God’s kingdom and doing what God wants done.
If we only think of eternal life as what happens the moment we die then we twist this life into a mere holding room or worse – a form of Christian nihilism where nothing real means anything because we are promised something else after we die.
No one in the early church belittled our life now the way that many modern Christians do in thinking and discussing eternal life. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave his life for me.” Could he have used the word life or live anymore in that verse?
What is the life you now live? Is it an eternal one in God’s kingdom, where what God wants done is done? Or is it barely living because you are just pursuing your own agenda and doing what you want done and counting on the promise of eternal life to do its thing when the time comes.
Start living your eternal life now. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is at hand, it is here. Our life with Christ is an interactive, yoke sharing, abundant existence far beyond a common life. Why do we settle for some narrow, limited version of eternal life when Christ’s promises express something greater, more fulfilling, and full of his presence?
When you put on your new life in Christ, you put on an eternal life that starts now. It will take its full form at another time but, in Christ, it starts to develop and exists and reward now.