John 17.3 records,this is the real and eternal life: That they know You, The One and only true God, And Jesus Christ, Whom You sent. I glorified You on earth By completing down to the last detail What You assigned Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your very own splendor, The very splendor I had in Your presence Before there was a world.
Most Christians would define eternal life as living with God in heaven. The particularly biblically astute might even add living with God on the new earth. Neither would be correct.
God defines eternal life as a relationship, a relationship that begins the moment we are reconciled to God through the work of Jesus the Savior. This relationship is with God; God the Father and God the Son made increasingly more understandable through God the Holy Spirit. This is why those who do good works, even for God they think, but don’t really know Him are rejected from living with Him.
Eternal life is not a place but a person. Jesus said I am the Life. God is eternal life. Knowing God in His fullness, knowing God in His Trinity, knowing God personally, this is eternal life.
The works men must do is the work of seeking God, of pursuing Him through prayer and the meditation of His word revealed through the Scriptures. Obedience is the result of such time with God for the presence of God will shape us into the image of His Son Who obeyed everything the Father commanded. This is why we cannot wait to seek God until we arrive at heaven, thinking our eternal life begins there.
God welcomes into eternal dwelling places those whom He knows. Knowing God personally begins now, with Jesus, seeking Him and loving Him by obeying Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
A personal relationship with God is eternal life both now and forevermore.