16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
The word “have” means to have and hold. It carries the idea of owning something. Believers possess or own eternal life at the moment they come to believe. The idea of the Greek word is to be in control of eternal life.
“Everlasting” occurs 17 times in the gospel of John, always with the noun “life.” It is both quantitative and qualitative. This is life with a unique quality and also is never ending in quantity.
“Life” here means salvation that allows one to enter fellowship with God, with His life—with “everlasting life.” Everlasting life is a new quality of life, the life that God gives to a person who believes (Jn 10:28; 17:3). Eternal life is a permanent relationship with God through Christ begun at the point of salvation and consummated at our resurrection (Jn 17:3).
We have only two options: believe or perish in hell.
Eternal life begins when a person believes (Jn 5:24). This is a life that is imperishable. Eternal life is something we experience from the moment we become Christians. It is a state whereby we are free from eternal death. Physical death cannot interrupt eternal life. This is life at its best because it is an abiding fellowship with God. This life for the believer is of infinite duration. Eternal death cannot invade its boundary lines.
There is no alternative for going to heaven. It is either the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins or nothing.
The term “born again” has been hijacked and pirated by the media. It has been emptied of its true meaning. John 3:16 gives the true meaning of being born again.