This Is Eternal Life
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3 NASB).
There's an old saying made popular in a song "Everybody Wants to God to Heaven, but Nobody Wants to Die." I looked it up on the internet just to see what people say about it. What an eye-opener! The most popular idea of heaven posted on the web is the quality of life you have here on earth, that 'heaven is what you make it here. After that, no one knows, or it really doesn't matter'. People have a lot of different ideas as to what heaven is, where it is, if it is. But Jesus is very clear on the subject. Heaven is one of two spiritual realms where people will eventually live for eternity. The other spiritual realm is hell. Everyone will experience eternal life in heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), or eternal death in hell (Revelation 20:11-15; see also Matthew 7:13-14). It doesn't matter what people think. It matters what the Word of God says.
Another truth given to us in Scripture is that a believer in Jesus Christ doesn't have to wait until 'after death' to have eternal life. In fact, eternal life is not associated with a place, but with a Person. Jesus said eternal life is knowing the true and living God, having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. This personal relationship affords many benefits now (Romans 5:1-5) - we are declared righteous, we stand before God justified, we have peace with God, we have access to God, we rejoice in the assurance of eternal life, we have peace and joy in trials and tribulations, we have enduring patience, we are given a new nature, we experience the love of God, we have the Holy Spirit, and so much more. So the emphasis of eternal life is not just on the quantity of one's existence, but the quality of one's existence in this life and in eternity. Everybody may indeed want to God to heaven, but for the Christian, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8), so death becomes no big deal.