If my thesis is correct, eternal life (ζωὴ αἰώνιος - zoè aiônios) is specifically what follows judgement. But it is possible that this expression refers to the afterlife in a global meaning.
Nevertheless we have seen that this kind of life is prepared (John 14,2-3) for those who build a relationship with God. This relationship has some characteristics:
- Matthew 19,16-30 and Mark 10,17-31 insist that eternal life is not about respecting rules, even religious rules, but about desiring to be with God more than anything else and especially renouncing to put our confidence in the values of this world.
- Matthew 25 insists on the fact that loving God is also loving the poor.
- Luke 10,25-37 tells the parable of the Good Samaritan that shows eternal life is about becoming a loving neighbor for those in need.
- In the Gospel of John, eternal life is first of all linked with: faith, Jesus’s Word, Jesus's bread, and even scriptures (John 5,39 - but in correct handling of them).
- But the most profound truth about eternal life is given by a prayer of Jesus in John 17,3: This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent—Jesus Christ. Again, relationship with God is the key to understand eternal life.
- Most scriptures talking about eternal life in Pauline literature brings the same kind of consideration. But there is one that is worthy of greater attention: 1Timothy 6,11-12 because it explains that to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness" is "fighting the good fight of the faith and also taking hold of eternal life". Notice that the virtues to pursue are not about performance but about "being": it is when we "are well" that we "do well" and that eternity comes to us (we can't earn it).
The goal is not to be perfect but to show our God that we volunteer, we are very willing, to participate in the New World He will create.