Christian morality, heaven, and hell

People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other. 

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 92

Understanding the Church

The Church cannot be understood when seen merely from the outside; it cannot be rationally defined, or reduced to concepts. The Church can only be understood by those who live within it. Its life must actually be experienced, for it is not a reality of the external kind. Its intrinsic nature cannot be apprehended by those who stand apart from it. The Church is not a temple built of stone, neither is it a community of believers, nor a parish consisting of human beings, nor yet an institution juridically determined — though all these things are elements in its composition. It does not possess definite limits and external marks which determine its inner nature and differentiate it from the rest of existence. The Church possesses physical, psychical, and social elements, yet none of these define its nature. The Church is not a tangible substance belonging to the world of visible things, nor is it an empirical reality analogous to that of minerals, plants, or animals. It belongs to the world of invisible things which can only be demonstrated by faith, for it is an inner reality.

Nikolai Berdyaev, Freedom and the Spirit, p. 328