One's past sins are forgiven when we obey the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). What does the gospel of Christ teach? We learn in John. 3:16 that we must believe in the Son of God. We read in Matt. 10:32-33 that we must confess Christ. We also must repent (change our lives) of our sins (Luke 13:3).Then we are baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). So, once we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, confess Him as our Savior, change our lives to conform to His will, and are baptized in water for the remission of our sins, our past sins will be forgiven.
But, unless there is a sudden illness or untimely accident resulting in death right after baptism, we will live on for a number of years depending on our age when our sins are forgiven. Jesus said in Rev. 2:10, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." We will receive the crown of life, eternal salvation, if we live a faithful life after our past sins are forgiven. That involves living for Jesus and being fruitful in His kingdom (John 15: 1-6). There are things we must do (Matt. 25: 31-46).
If we live a faithful life in service to our Lord, then through His mercy and grace we will receive eternal life. We can't work our way into heaven, but we must do the works that are outlined in the Bible to receive that mercy and grace which has been promised to us. It is something we all can do. Of course, if we should choose to go back to our old life of sin after we are baptized, then we will forfeit eternal life in heaven. The choice is ours.
So, we see there is a difference in receiving salvation from our sins and eternal life.
so much for eternal life in heaven. life means your alive ,just as you are now ,here on earth