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Ask the Pastor 147

What is meant by having eternal life?

It has been said that there are two things that live forever, the souls of mankind and the Word of God. Of course, the Word of God lives forever because that is God and He always existed from eternity past to eternity future. But what about mankind, how do we know that we live forever, and if we live forever why bother believing so that we might have eternal life? The first thing to be done here is in the defining of terms. The first is death and understanding that death does not mean annihilation as taught by atheist. The word actually means separation, physical death is separation of the soul and spirit from the body and spiritual death is separation from God which is painful. We have an excellent example of this in the gospel of Luke 16 where we have a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. They both died and Lazarus went to heaven but the rich man went to hell and the rich man saw Lazarus in heaven. This text teaches us of the separation of the body from the soul and spirit (see Luke 16:19-31). Again, in II Corinthians 5 we are told of how we have an earthly tent (our body) but the Lord has prepared a better building (body) made by God for eternity (see II Cor. 5:1-9). We also have similar instruction in I Corinthians 15. As we saw in the account given to us in Luke 16, after our physical death takes place, there is the spiritual death of separation from God, so that whereas God is light, peace, joy and absence of pain; separation from God is darkness, anguish, sorrow and extreme pain, otherwise known as hell. The next word we need to understand is that of everlasting or eternal life. When the Bible speaks of that life it is referring to life in heaven with the Lord. Whoever believes on the Lord will have everlasting life (see John 3:16,36) and He has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us (John 14:2-3). The key here is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have this eternal life.

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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