In general, among Christians the eternal life, which is called "everlasting life," has been understood not as a kind of life but as a kind of blissful environment for the believers of Christ to enjoy for eternity in heaven after they die. Even today the teaching in Christianity concerning the matter of "going to heaven" is very strong. Christian teachers do not teach people the proper understanding of the eternal life, but they interpret the eternal life to be a kind of blissful environment in which the believers will enjoy certain good things for eternity in heaven after they die. They say that this is everlasting life. What a blunder this is! But thank the Lord that in the last seventy years He has recovered among us the scriptural view and the proper realization of the eternal life of God, which we have received of God through our believing in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It is a life on the highest plane, being the divine life of God and even the complete Triune God Himself, uncreated, incorruptible, indestructible, and also eternal. To be eternal means to be perfect and complete in quality, quantity, time, space, and existence. The eternal life that we received through our believing in Christ is perfect and complete in its quality, in its quantity, in time, in space, and in its existence. It is eternally perfect and complete. It exists eternally in time and in space. It is not transient but everlasting in all aspects. It is with this eternal and everlasting, perfect and complete, incorruptible and indestructible, wonderful and marvelous life that we have been regenerated, that we are being transformed, and that we will be glorified with the consummated Triune God Himself as our eternal glory. This is eternal life!
According to the revelation and pattern of the New Testament, the church is the gathering of the believers in Christ who have been called out from the world by God. Such a gathering is considered, on the one hand, the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15) for Him to dwell in and to carry out His will according to His desire and for His pleasure, and, on the other hand, the organic Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) for Him to have a counterpart in the organic union with Him for His expression. This church is the new man as God’s new creation (Col. 3:10; Gal. 6:15). Such a church, as both the house of God and the Body of Christ, is universally one to appear and be expressed on the earth in many localities as many local churches. The fellowship in life of this church is uniquely one, both universally and locally.
Such a church remained in such a genuine condition only for a short time. Near the end of the first century, at the time of the early apostles, divisions, sects, crept in to damage the genuine church and created the degradation of the church (1 Cor. 1:10-13; Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10). Such divisions grew worse and worse in the succeeding centuries, including the time of the church fathers, and the church attempted to solve the problem of divisions by holding councils with the leading teachers in the leading cities, such as Nicaea, Ephesus, etc. This did not work out as well as expected. Such a confused situation remained until the end of the sixth century, when the papal system was established to deform the church by forming the universal Catholic Church under the pope to keep a false unity throughout the world.
(The Crucial Points of the Major Items of the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)