Eternal Life

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Search Unit 13 - God Meets Our Needs

TEXT: Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3


The students will be able to explain that God not only has provided for our temporal and physical needs, but He offers eternal life with Him in Heaven to those who put their trust in Him.


ETERNAL LIFE: Zoe is the usual Greek New Testament word for life in a general sense; the opposite of death. Aiónios is the usual word for eternal, everlasting. Literally it means age-long. Since an age is the longest time which the human mind can conceive clearly, aiónios came to be used for infinity of time, whether conceived as unending duration or as existence in which past and future are always present. Eternal life, therefore, is not merely age-long, after which it ceases to be. It is endless in duration, having its beginning in the mind of the eternal God and being eternal in quality. Though our eternal life thus has an eternal past in the purposes of God, our experience of it begins with the new birth (John 3; Titus 3:4-7), when we believe in Jesus Christ who truly is our eternal life (John 17:2-3; Galatians 2:20).


During this quarter the lessons have brought out how God provides for our needs. Is eternal life one of our needs? If we do not obtain eternal life, what is the alternative? Jesus said if one does not enter the strait gate and walk in this narrow way that leads to life, he goes through the wide gate, walking in the broad way that leads to destruction. In 2 Peter 3:9 we read that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we have everlasting life. That promise is found in John 3:16.

  1. The earthly social standing of Lazarus and the rich man were vastly different, but there was one common ground on which they met. What was that? See Hebrews 9:27.

    Response: They both died. Stress that all men since Adam (with the exception of Enoch and Elijah) have either died or face the possibility of death. The curse of death came upon all mankind through the fall of man. But of greater consequence is the fact that we must all appear before Christ. Some men have sent their sins on before to judgment, so they will not fear to appear before Christ. Those who have not repented will be judged for the sins they have committed. See 1 Timothy 5:24.
  2. It wasn’t Lazarus’ poverty that made him worthy to be carried to Abraham’s bosom. It wasn’t the rich man’s riches which caused him to be cast into a place of torment. What was it that determined their eternal destinies?

    Response: Lazarus had put his trust in God and made preparation for eternal life. On the other hand, the rich man neglected or forgot to do anything about his salvation (Psalm 9:17). These answers should lead your class into a discussion of the importance of making preparation for spending eternity in Heaven. You might wish to start their thoughts in this direction by asking for some examples of occasions in their day-to-day life which require advance preparation. Would they consider going to these occasions totally unprepared? How much more important is their preparation for eternity! If they are unprepared, the result is their eternal doom.
  3. Do you think the rich man did or did not have the opportunity to prepare for eternal life during his natural lifetime? Why?

    Response: In verse 25 of the text, he was told to remember the privileges he had during his lifetime. He saw Lazarus (a righteous man) day after day at his gate and perhaps heard his testimony of salvation. God enlightens every man (John 1:9). Let your class know that he had his chances but didn’t take time to do anything about it. Emphasize to the class that the best time to take advantage of God’s mercy is when one first hears about it.
  4. Explain the rich man’s plan for getting his brothers ready for eternal life. Why did Abraham say this plan would not work?

    Response: Verses 27 and 28 tell us that the rich man asked to have Lazarus raised from the dead so that he might testify to his brothers. But Abraham told him that if they heard not Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded “though one rose from the dead” (verse 31). The point of this question is that God has provided the way to have eternal life. “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). One cannot climb up some other way and expect to gain entrance (John 10:1). Discuss with your class how it takes more than a miracle to bring people to repentance, pointing out that though many miracles were performed by Christ, still most of the people of His day rejected Him as the Son of God. Today God does many mighty works, but still men do not believe.
  5. According to our text in John, why did Jesus tell His disciples that He must go away?

    Response: Jesus said that he must go to prepare a place for them. Ask your students if they think this place was only for those to whom Christ was speaking directly on this occasion. Your discussion should bring out that Heaven is for all those who believe on Christ and keep His commandments. Supporting Scriptures may include: 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 2 Peter 1:10-11; 3:13; Revelation 22:14.
  6. Summarize how much the Christian has to do with the quality of his mansion. See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

    Response: The students will see by reading these verses that the works of Christians are of varying spiritual merit and that the rewards will also be different. Let the students discuss this and then make the point that they don’t sit idly by in this life while the Lord prepares a mansion for them. Ask your students for some examples of works which might be considered gold, silver, or precious stones. Then make a similar list of works which could be likened to wood, hay, and stubble. Will all of their deeds fall into one category or another?
  7. Jesus has promised to return. What will happen when this event occurs?

    Response: He is coming to rapture those who have prepared themselves for eternal life. Discuss with your students that the Rapture is the sure way into eternal life for those overcomers who are living when Christ comes again. Ask your students who else will receive eternal life. Answers should include the Old Testament saints and all those who have died with overcoming faith in Christ.
  8. In this past quarter, we have been studying how God meets our needs, including His provision for our eternal life. What must we do now to ensure our obtaining this greatest of all provisions?

    Response: In discussing this question with your class, they should conclude that to have eternal life one must repent of his sins, turn his back upon them, and receive Christ’s forgiveness. You might wish to bring out that some of the other needs they have been studying, such as mercy, protection, and guidance, are received by many, even those who have not turned to God. But eternal life is available only to those who walk in the light of His Word.


Bring pictures of mansions and beautiful homes that people live in today. Talk about the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for us. Show that these earthly homes will pass away, but the home that Jesus prepares for us is not only grander beyond our imagination, but also will last forever.

Distribute sheets of paper to your students and have each one draw a picture of a house he would like to live in. Allow a few minutes for this. When they have finished, discuss what they have drawn, then talk about Heaven where Jesus has gone to prepare a place for those who are ready.

Bring a thick rope or clothesline to class. Before students enter, stretch it from one window or door across the room and out another, so that neither end can be seen. Use this to explain that eternity is forever—we can see no beginning or end because there is none. This can be the starting point of a discussion regarding the importance of making the right decision as to where we will spend eternity.