Popular theology has many believing that heaven is reserved for us when we die, and earth is a temporary abode until the final day where all are caught up into heaven for eternity. In fact, it is so ingrained in our minds that in every Scripture that we read of heaven we automatically see that as something reserved for another day.
Consider though that Jesus is the Resurrection Life.
Our life with Christ begins at salvation and salvation begins with Jesus. Thus, it is not reserved for a later day but is a new reality. Jesus does not bestow salvation upon the deserving, He comes into our lives and makes us justified for His life now is intertwined with ours bringing with Him His salvation life. We are saved because He is the Life and when His Life enters our life eternity with Him is birthed.
Jesus said in John 14 that He was going away to prepare a place for us in the many rooms of His Father’s house, heaven, so that we may go where He is, not where He will be. He tells His disciples “you already know the way to my Father’s house.” Thomas asks him how they will know the way. Jesus responds here with the often quoted “I am the way, the truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by me.” Then Philip persists and asks Jesus to show them the way. He responds again, “if you have seen me, you have seen my Father.” The message is clear, that the way is not a path Jesus can illuminate, it is a path that He is. His light need not cast upon another way, because He is the Light, the Way, Himself.
Since Jesus is now seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father, so then are we.
This is not reserved for a future day, but for today as today is the day of salvation. Even though heaven is the present abode for those who are in Christ Jesus, our commission to disciple all nations are more relevant than ever.
Remember we were first placed on the earth to cultivate it and have dominion over it.
Sin muddled things, but the Lord came not just to restore man, but to restore creation. All of the creation groans in anticipation for the Kingdom of God to come and transform it to its glory. Our theology has made earth have no purpose as our only focus has been on maintaining until He comes. The earth was given to men and when God gave all to Christ as His inheritance, Christ gave all to us who are in Him for our stewardship as ambassadors in this land.
Our placement in heaven is the way that gives us the vantage point to live on earth bearing the Kingdom of God.
In this manner, we are to disciple nations in the way of the King. We have for too long shirked our responsibility because of our erroneous eschatology. We are not be earthbound heaven hopeful people.
Our abode is with the King and the King is seated in heavenly places. We too are to live from heaven and represent that reality to the earth, therefore making earth look like heaven. If Christ is truly in us, then we are truly where He is that makes a world of difference.
Thus the new earth is that which is manifested when the perishable takes on the imperishable and transforms from its corrupted form into an incorruptible glory. We have a role to play in that manifestation as we are obedient in doing and saying what the Father is doing and saying throughout the world. The restoration of what was lost will be greater than its state when it was lost. The new earth will be Eden regained with greater glory than it formerly had. Just like we will have a new incorruptible body, so will the earth be made new.