Wesleyan Core Term - Eternal Life

Eternal Life

What is Wesley’s distinctive interpretation of eternal life as described in Jude v. 21? It is not simply “going to heaven … a blessing which lies on the other side of death.” No, eternal life begins in this life. “It is a present thing, a blessing which, though the free mercy of God, ye are now in possession of” (Sermon 43: “The Scripture Way of Salvation,” para I:1). Knowing and experiencing the love of God we already begin to share in the quality of eternal life. The kingdom of God begins in this life, “set up in the believers heart” (Sermon 26: “Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount,” para III:8). Thus eternal life begins when we first become conscious of the mercy and love of God (justification), but it extends “to the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory” (“The Scripture Way of Salvation,” para I:1). -The Wesley Study Bible, pg 1535