A lot of people might arrive at the conclusion that we are going to live forever; they might figure out through reading books etc. or simply by hearsay that we have a spirit, that we are both body and spirit, then they arrive at the conclusion that we are of course going to die and then the spirit leaves this body and goes on into another life and so with this kind of thinking people might look into scriptures in the bible to find out what it says in there about living forever. In doing so they might come across the most popular verse in the whole bible which says,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
After reading or hearing of this verse people might find themselves feeling confused because it talks of having eternal life through believing in Jesus but then they might find themselves thinking: I thought I already have eternal life, my spirit I’ve read and heard lives forever so why do I need to believe in God’s Son so that I can live forever? Which then begs the question: What does it mean to have everlasting life according to the bible? There seems to be some sort of confusion here! I believe I am an eternal spirit that lives in a body and the bible makes it quite clear that when you die you go to either one place or another, usually you hear that this is either heaven or hell (Hades), so why do I need to believe in Jesus to have everlasting life seeing as I already have everlasting life? So what does the bible mean when it talks of everlasting life then? Did I miss something!
Upon reading further into the book of John you arrive at a very interesting verse which says,
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
So that’s what it means to have everlasting life! That’s what all this fuss is about in the bible! I get it now! I am an eternal spirit that lives in a body, I am one day going to die and my spirit will live forever so when I leave this world I will be alive in the sense that my spirit will live forever but this does not follow that I will have the spiritual life and love and presence of a spiritual God in me when I leave this world, to live forever means to become spiritually alive by knowing the Only True God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent! It will only follow that I will have God and His Son and the Life of God and His Son in me if I choose to believe in Jesus (drink in/receive) in this life and so it is in that sense that I will have everlasting life and not in the other sense where I hear I’m an eternal spirit that is going to live forever! Living forever with God and with Jesus will be everlasting life because “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent!” So without knowing Jesus and knowing God and then leaving this life then you can only arrive at the conclusion that that must be some kind of eternal death like existence and some kind of wondering spirit like existence, a feeling of leaving this life aimlessly and going nowhere with no God and no purpose and a bewildering feeling of: who’s making all the rules in this place out here? Who’s in charge? So surely it’s best to go with “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”