What does "eternal life" mean?

by brotherdan 4 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • brotherdan

    I was doing some Bible reading and thought about something that never occured to me before. When we use the term "eternal life" or "everlasting life", we almost exclusively are talking about the length of time of our life. We use it as a way to say that we will never die and we will live forever.

    But Jesus defined the term differently. JWs love to use John 17:3 to talk about how knowledge LEADS to eternal life. But notice Jesus exact words. He does not say anything about the length of time.

    John 17:3 - Now THIS is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent

    So although the effects of eternal life is that we will never die, the REAL meaning of eternal life is knowing God. It's a quality not a quantity of time. It made me think of Adam. When he had eternal life he walked with God and spoke with him. But when he sinned he was cut off from knowing God in that sort of intimate way.

    So in this way, we have eternal life NOW. Notice 1John 2:13. Those that are "fathers" or spiritually mature Christians are those that KNOW God. If we know God and are known by Him, then we have attained eternal life.

    I don't know if any of the Christians here have thought about eternal life in this way. It was just an interesting though to me.

  • poppers

    I think most people think of "eternal" as time without end, but my understanding of it has changed, and is more in line with what you are saying. I now see " eternal" as outside of time altogether, not endless time. Without past and without future what remains? That which is eternal/timeless, the abode of God. To find God, then, no time is actually needed. Instead, discover the means to transcend time so that what is eternal can be consciously known.

    Is there ever any time other than "now"? Can life ever not be "now"? But look how people live their lives, by dwelling on thoughts of the past and thoughts of the future - they completely miss the only "time" there ever actually is, the only "time" when life can be lived - now. People need to live consciously in the present moment, the eternal now; maybe then they can discover something about themselves, their neighbors, and about God.

  • brotherdan

    I like that poppers. "The eternal now".

  • cameo-d

    Eternal life is kind of like the movie "Groundhog Day".

    You just keep coming back until you get it right.

    You cannot know everything there is to know within one lifetime; nor do you learn all the lessons you need to grow in knowledge and spiritual development in one lifetime.

    This is why those who are ready to move on will be going on into "the heavenlies" and "ascending".

    Those of you who are not yet ready will be ressurecting aka "reincarnating" in this realm.

    There will be a short sleep of the earth while it is being regenerated and "cleaned -up" for the next game episode.

    When you awaken it will appear to be a paradise. Beware. There is still danger in its beauty. There is still a ruling faction here with an iron fist. It will always be that way. But when the earth games begin again, those in charge will show their benevolent side while once again trapping you with dependency and punishment.

    Unless you find your way out now, you will continue in this realm for a long time. It is one's spirit/soul that is eternal. You will not be cognizant of other lifetimes, but it will be ingrained in your being. Some people have returned with bits and pieces of their prior memories.

    The space ships come only ever so many many years to transport the adepts.

    There is a lot of metaphor you all have yet to decipher.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    The passage you need, and it is my favourite, is 1 John 5:11-12.

    "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (NIV)

    Notice that it is written in the present tense. When you read the context, including the first chapter, you will see that Eternal Life resides innately within Jesus Christ, and that a believer shares in that Life. When a person stops believing in Jesus, they no longer share in that Life. It is thus possible for a person to have Eternal Life here and now, yet lose it.

    Eternal Life speaks of its qualities, not its length.

    How do we know? Not by feeling, not by emotion.

    A most helpful reference is "Life in the Son", by Robert Shank, pages 301 to 305. Do you have access to the book?


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