CHRIST JESUS once proclaimed to his hearers a most profound truth, the true meaning of which has not always been clearly understood by Christian thinkers. He said (John 17:3), "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Eternal life, or eternity, has been the enigma of the ages, though humanity has ever hungered for a knowledge of it. And yet the Master's words are plain: eternal life is a knowledge of God and of Christ Jesus as the witness to His nature and demonstrator of His power.
The term eternal life undoubtedly arouses in the minds of most persons unfamiliar with the teachings of Christian Science the thought of an inconceivable length of time and is ordinarily considered as beginning at a point in human experience called death. It may be, according to conjecture, an interminable period of bliss or one of everlasting punishment, or perhaps an existence varying in degree between these two extremes. Christian Science rescues humanity from these vague and unsatisfying concepts and removes the mystery of eternal life by explaining it wholly on the basis of the Master's teaching.
Knowing that eternal life, as the expression of divine Life, or God, exists here and now, Mary Baker Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 72), "Mortal belief (the material sense of life) and immortal Truth (the spiritual sense) are the tares and the wheat, which are not united by progress, but separated."