Earth is the only home we were ever meant to have. This seems to strike right at the core of the Christian hope of afterlife, but this is actually an affirmation of our great hope in the life to come. God’s great plan is not to scrap the physical realm, but to redeem it.
At The Echo Life, we feel moved to promote our concern for this present earthly life and all we do in it, not in spite of the afterlife, but precisely because of the afterlife. Unfortunately, our view of the afterlife has become very confused, and many Christians assume that our great hope is leaving this world to go to heaven. But, is that what the Bible teaches? Does the Bible assume that this realm is disposable?
The Bible teaches that the whole creation groans for resurrection. Resurrection is not a disposing of the old, as if it does not matter. It is a reordering of the old to make it new and lasting. Therefore, this realm has a hope and purpose in God’s great future. He cares enough for it that He plans to use it. Yes, the dead in Christ are with Him in paradise, but that is not the end of His great promise. They, as the Bible tells us, are waiting for the resurrection, the day we will all be given back our perfect physicality to live in God’s good creation.
Therefore, we too need to respect this world. For it is really the only home we are meant for. The biblical image is that of heaven and earth merging together in the great future.
Read the article, Heaven is Not Our Home, at Christianity Today by NT Wright, and tell us what you think this all means for how we treat our bodies, our world, and this present life.