The difference between these two terms has to do with the focus of the text concerning the position the child of God has with regards to being saved. "Everlasting life" has a starting point; at the new birth. "Eternal life" has no starting point in time; it existed in eternity past, and will continue to exist eternally in the future. "Eternal life" is the life of a born again believer IN Christ; it is our partaking of His life. In Galatians 2:20, Paul wrote, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (see also Jn. 5:26; Acts 17:28).
A second doctrine sorely lacking in the vast majority of churches, is the doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Millennial Rapture of the Church. By far, the vast majority of those claiming to be Christians, are in churches that do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ, as taught by Revelation 20:1-7; this is especially true of the largest denomination, Roman Catholicism, which is Amillennial. And, many Protestant denominations, while believing in a Rapture and a Millennium, mistakenly place the time of the event somewhere other than just prior to the Tribulation. While I would like to take the time to present the abundant biblical evidence for the Pre-Trib view, I have already written extensively on the subject in this blog. However, I do want to point out that both Jesus and Paul taught on the Rapture, and a key point in their teaching is that it should COMFORT believers! Compare John 14:1-3 with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:
Jesus: "Let not your heart be troubled."
Paul: "Comfort one another with these words."
Jesus: "You believe in God, believe also in Me."
Paul: "If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them...in Jesus will God bring with Him."
Jesus: "If it were not so, I would have told you."
Paul: "This we say unto you by the Word of the Lord."
Jesus: "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself."
Paul: "The Lord shall descend from heaven. Then...we shall be caught up...to meet the Lord in the air."
Jesus: "That where I am, there you may be also."
Paul: "And so shall we ever be with the Lord."
The One in whom you have eternal life, is coming back to get you! Hallelujah!!!