Is it any surprise that our understanding of life is completely devoid of any kingdom orientation? In a real sense modern evangelicals (some even in our esteemed Reformed camp) would much desire to be “raptizo” than to live in this present world. As long as we continue with the refrain: “This world is not my home and I am just passing through…” we will simply as it were “pass through” life in the great tradition of monasticism with a blend of Mennonite pietism. Granted, the hymn writers were greatly inspired by the wonders of heaven; after all “heaven is a wonderful place full of glory and grace,” and all the benefits thereof. Nevertheless, it is far from the eschatological promise God intends for his people.
There is no finality in heaven as there is no finality on earth. The ultimate destiny of God’s people is therefore a combination of the grandness of earth and the glories of heaven…it is The New Heavens and The New Earth, and might I add, a special flavor added to the New Earth part. The creation of the world was not a temporary abode for humanity; nothing God creates serves as temporary housing or storage. Much of what we are and where we live will ultimately be purified and refined, bur never abolished and re-created; that is un-Christian. Notice that even Paul’s language of “new creation (II Corinthians 5:17)” does not mean abolishment or destruction. There is something very unique about our present bodies and our present world. It is created with a sense of connectedness; a sense of un-separateness.
In simple words, heaven is not our ultimate destiny nor should we desire it to be. As N.T. Wright has commented: courtship is good, but it would be terrible if it lasted forever! Completeness and wholeness is our desire and all things being equal (contrary to some) one day this will be perfectly manifested.