The word "eternal" means without beginning or end. In reference to God, therefore, to be eternal is to exist as the one Being without beginning or end, uncreated and never able to die. As such, He serves as the power behind all created things (Genesis 1:1).
How is God eternal?
Many passages of Scripture affirm this biblical concept of God as eternal. For example, Psalm 90:2 notes, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." Deuteronomy 33:27 refers to the Lord as the "eternal God." Romans 1:20 speaks of God's "eternal power." Ephesians 3:11 speaks of God's "eternal purpose." First Timothy 6:16 notes God's "eternal dominion" or rule. Isaiah 9:6 refers to God as an "Everlasting Father." Isaiah 26:4 calls Him an "everlasting rock."
As part of the Triune God, Jesus Christ is also revealed as eternal in nature. He existed in the beginning with God (John 1:1). Jesus taught that He was the "I AM," a reference to the Lord in Exodus 3:14 (John 8:58). Colossians 1:16 teaches, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him."
The Holy Spirit is also noted as eternal in Scripture. God's Spirit was involved in the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:3). Hebrews 9:14 refers to the Holy Spirit as God's "eternal Spirit."
Scripture also speaks frequently about both eternal life (John 3:16) and eternal destruction (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9). There is an eternal dwelling for God's people with the Lord, revealing the Bible's clear teaching regarding eternity future (Luke 16:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1).
In Genesis 21:33, we are also told that one of God's names is the Everlasting God: "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God." Psalm 145:13 affirms that God's kingdom is likewise everlasting: "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations."
It is clear that the One who created all things existed before all space, time, matter, and energy. Scripture also notes God has everlasting love for His people, has an eternal purpose, and an eternal destination that includes eternity in His presence for those who believe in Him.
What is the relationship between God and time?
What was God doing before creation?
What does transcendent mean? How is God transcendent?
Is God immutable? What is the significance of the immutability of God?
The attributes of God, what are they?
Truth about God