We were not created for the ultimate purpose of becoming disembodied spirits who live in a far away place in the sky called, "heaven". Our final inheritance and destination is a much better earth and our final, eternal form will be a glorified, immortal body...just like the one Jesus has! The meek shall inherit THE EARTH!
Our mission, by His Grace, is to unceasingly participate in the coming of His Kingdom while fleshing out His Will on earth (visible realm) as it is in heaven (invisible/spirit realm).
The imminent sign of His ultimate, physical appearing (unlike prophecies concerning 70 AD...i.e.- Mt. 24, Revelation, etc...) will be an Earth that resembles Heaven so strongly (SO MUCH LOVE!)...that the only missing ingredient will be His Physical return. Yes, He will feel "at home"!
The problem with much Western Christian belief is that it has people longing to be disembodied spirits in the sky, when Jesus longs to physically inhabit the earth again...WORLD WITHOUT END. It also leaves the earth with no ever-increasing/coming Kingdom and no meek people to inherit it!
Jesus' resurrection required a glorified, immortal, physical body. So will ours, along with the souls of all who have preceded us in death! Resurrection requires a BODY. Where there is no body, there is no resurrection!
What about the phrase, "Heaven and Earth shall pass away"? Any First Century Jew could tell you that "Heaven and Earth" was an extremely common reference to the temple and physical Jerusalem....which were destroyed in 70 AD.
What New Covenant "Temple" replaced the one that was destroyed? The answer to that question reveals the identity of the "New Heaven", the "New Earth", and the "New Jerusalem"...which John saw coming DOWN to EARTH!
Hint: 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.
The Future: Glorified bodies on a perfect earth! Better than Adam & Eve and better than the original Garden!
The biggest problem with introspection is that people don't look deep enough, beyond the thin membrane of that which is microscopic and fading, to see the eternal, infinite, omnipresent and omnipotent beauty of HIM and themselves in Him!
Religion denies our fixed position in Christ, tells us that we're still spiritually naked orphans and harlots in Jesus' future bride rehab program, offers us fig leaves to cover our perceived nakedness, attempts to impregnate our minds with thoughts of perpetual self-loathing and keeps us at a "crossroads"...waiting for the next season, formula, Christian celebrity, or prophetic word. This in no way resembles the ministry of Jesus, the first apostles or the First Century church.
Jesus already placed us in the rich, sweet center of heaven's jelly donut! We're not flies trying to navigate our way in! We're sons and daughters who can function from the In Christ realm...all day, every day. Through Christ, we have been seated in heavenly places and eternally inter-twined with the Trinity and each other!
If you can only hear Him and live and function by His Spirit during certain special seasons and visitations...or after YOU have "righted" all of your wrongs...then you have a great excuse to walk "after the flesh" (carnal mindset). Such doctrines and mindsets demand it!
The simplicity of Christ is absolutely beautiful!
A revelation of the New Testament MYSTERY doesn't leave people wandering, waiting and begging for times, seasons, dispensations, visitations, "revivals", "moves" of God, "outpourings", or the next great Christian celebrity. The MYSTERY revealed through New Covenant ministry is CHRIST HIMSELF...Who, in us, is the Hope of Glory.
Avoid all spookiness which exalts a "prophet's" predictions of what's going to happen "_____________" (fill in a random date or future season) above THE EVER-PRESENT, WILLING, & ABLE MYSTERY HIMSELF!
Just because someone caught a revelation of a particular facet of Him Who is THE MYSTERY, and magnified it for a particular season, doesn't mean that Christ hasn't been available to minister to and through us in that capacity since Pentecost. People seem to confuse the perpetuity of God's Will and Nature with the times and seasons of man's cooperation and understanding. Some "prophetic" folks love saying "yet four months" when Jesus explicitly told us not to (Note that four months marks new, natural seasons and weather patterns).
We are not living in a season where we are waiting to push people into the waters of Siloam when an angel stirs them up. We are already in Christ and Christ is IN US! If you are "waiting" (FYI- That word happens to mean INTERTWINED in the Hebrew) for a "______ (fill in the blank) revival" in the next "move", then you must believe that God's perfect will for mankind is the absence of that particular expression of His Love...until He changes His Mind and decides to "move in mysterious ways". That sort of thinking exalts "spookiness"...not Christ. It will also sell more books than Bibles.
The idea that God is somehow out of New Wine for a season, while your local liquor store is fully stocked, is ludicrous!
When was the last time you heard a message or song about the New Earth? Yes, it is in your Bible! It is also one of the most eternally blessed, yet theologically ignored topics ever. The idea of "heaven" being good and earth being bad is as preposterous as believing that your spirit is good, but your mind, will, emotions, and body are evil. Dualism curses that which is visible and tangible. God doesn't! He cherishes the terrestrial and uses it to give expression to the celestial! That's exactly why the Word became flesh and "moved into the neighborhood"!
The Incarnation is far more than a "Christmas Story". There is a visible, tangible, flesh and bone, incarnate representative of all mankind seated at the right hand of the Father! In Him, we are wonderfully intertwined with the Trinity and each other! Heaven is the realm of the Spirit...available to earth and presently dwelling within us. We've been taught to believe for better bodies, but not a better planet. That is erroneous.
Rev. 21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (See also Is. 65:17, Is. 66:22 & 2 Pet. 3:13)
I believe that the experience of the above verses can be greatly enjoyed today, with greater expressions to come...
Have you ever realized that the Word says Jesus: "Lights EVERY man who comes into the world" (John 1:9) and told unbelieving Pharisees that the Kingdom of God was IN them (Luke 17:21); while Paul told pagan Greeks that in the one true God they "lived and moved and had their being" (Acts 17:28)? "Evangelism" is about awakening people to the One Who already Loves, accepts, and dwells in them...allowing them to participate in His abundant Life. He upholds ALL THINGS...to include every cell of every body, by the Word of His Power (Hebrews 1:3). We have spent so much time trying to get God INTO people, instead of awakening them to His Omnipresence...which includes every part of their being. Yes, there is a QUICKENING...but the Power Source is, and always has been, ever-present! The darkness that He calls us out of and translates us from is our ignorance of His ever-present desire for our friendship with Him to be realized and for our sonship to be made manifest. You can't boldly declare that He's omnipresent while claiming that He is absent from the Atheist. Our "witness" comes to bear witness with His ever-present, internal, and eternal tug! While I don't believe that all have come to the knowledge of Him Who is Truth. Truth abides, draws and continues to tug! The Gospel witnesses to the ear He Who is "witnessing" to the heart.