Question: What is the process by which eternal life is gained?
Answer: Eternal life is produced through a long drawn out process. It was first offered tentatively in the original creation of God’s free moral agents – spirits and humans. Thus God offered it tentatively to the Logos in His creation; and it would become fixedly His as He proved loyal. Doubtless, it had become fixedly His before His carnation; for before then it probably had been given fixedly to the angels who faithfully stood the tests that came before the flood. At any rate, it evidently was fixedly theirs by the beginning of the Gospel Age (Luke 20: 35, 36).
Eternal life is effected by God through Christ by a creative process. This is true of tentative eternal life, as well as of fixed eternal life; for God tentatively gave eternal life to all created free moral agents – spirit and human, that is, He gave them the ability to live as a gift, not unconditionally, but contingent upon their obeying the law under which they were put.
Thus angels were put under the law of duty and disinterested love, and were told that they would continue to enjoy eternal life, if they observed this law; but if not, they would lose it. The human family in perfection in Adam and Eve were given eternal life tentatively under the law of duty love, on condition that they would continue to have it, if they obeyed; but if not, they would lose it. Again, in producing New Creatures, God tentatively gave these the right to live eternally as spirit beings on condition of obedience to the law of duty and disinterested love; but if they would not obey they would lose it.
In the Millennium, God will give tentatively the Ancient and Youthful Worthies the right to eternal life as humans, on condition of obedience to the New Covenant regulations; but if they will not obey, they will lose it; and if they will obey, that right will become fixedly theirs. In vitalizing the justification of those who were about to become spirit-begotten new creatures God fixedly gave their humanity the right to eternal life, like that of the Millennial Ancient and Youthful Worthies at the beginning of the Little Season. But at spirit-begettal, at the sacrifice of their humanity, the tentative right to spirit life was given to them, as will be the case with the Ancient and Youthful Worthies in the Little Season.
During the Millennial Age, Christ will gradually give the race life-rights as they will obey and at its end give them the completion of these rights and the right to eternal human life tentatively, which will become fixedly theirs, if they obey faithfully amid the trials of the Little Season, while the unfaithful will forfeit their tentative right to eternal life and its life-rights.
Thus we see that the tentative right to eternal life on the various planes of being is given as a gracious gift by God; and the fixed right to eternal life on any of these planes will be given to fulfillers of its conditions.