Bible Study

1 John Bible Study, Day 11: Eternal Life

Today’s passage: 1 John 2:24–25

Focus verse: And this is what he promised us—eternal life. (1 John 2:25)

After warning us to be on alert for the antichrist, John encourages us to make sure we hold on to the good news of Jesus—on what we heard from the beginning.

We started our journey with Jesus by believing in him for the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation. 

We need to hold on to this and not lose sight of it. It must remain in us. And with this good news remaining in us, we then remain in Jesus and in Papa. As a result, we will receive what Jesus promised us: eternal life.

The phrase eternal life doesn’t occur in the Old Testament, just in the New Testament. John’s biography of Jesus, the gospel of John, mentions eternal life more than any other book in the Bible. And his first letter, 1 John, comes in second.

John, it seems, has much to say about eternal life. Perhaps this is because of his advancing years when we believe he wrote these two books. Or it might be that his amazing revelation from God gave him a fuller perspective of eternal life.

Regardless, we should consider what John says on the subject.

Many people think of eternal life as beginning when our physical bodies die. We might do better to think of eternal life beginning as soon as we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior.

In this way we can look at three phases of eternal life.

With our life eternal beginning the day we follow Jesus, we can start our experience of eternal life today.

While many Christians coast through their life, content to wait for death so they can join Jesus in heaven, they miss so much of what life with Jesus can—and should— look like now.

Our time here on earth is finite and fleeting. We must make the most of it. We do this when we tell people about Jesus, encourage others on their faith journey, and work to advance the kingdom of God. There’s so much to do. Let’s make every moment count. 

The second aspect of eternal life begins at our death. When our time here on earth is over, we will join Jesus in his spiritual paradise. This will happen immediately for us, just like it did for the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43).

This heaven exists now, and we need not wait for it to materialize at some future date. Jesus is there waiting for us to join him, just as with Stephen (Acts 7:55–56). What a glorious day that will be.

Yet this paradise is not our final home, but our temporary residence. At the end of this age, we will experience a new heaven and a new earth. This is the third and never-ending part of our eternal life.

We’ll live there with Jesus and Father God (Revelation 21:3–5). In this new heaven God will wipe away our tears. We will no longer experience death, mourning, crying, or pain. Those things are gone as God makes all things new (Revelation 21:5–10).


  1. How can we hold on to the good news about Jesus?
  2. Are we making the most of our remaining time here on earth for Jesus? 
  3. What temporal pursuits should we stop doing to make room for spiritual activities that matter more?
  4. How can we anticipate heaven while still giving the proper attention to the present here on earth?
  5. What do you most anticipate about heaven?

Discover more about eternal life in Matthew 19:29, John 3:15–17, Romans 6:22–23, and 1 Timothy 6:12. Read more about paradise in 2 Corinthians 12:3–4 and Revelation 2:7.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

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Discover practical, insightful, and encouraging truths in Love One Another, a devotional Bible study to foster a deeper appreciation for the two greatest commandments: To love God and to love others.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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