God did not make man for heaven; He made him for the earth. God made man to rule the earth for Him. The Bible says that God formed man from the dust of the ground and placed him in a garden. From there, He commanded him to rule the earth (Gen. 1:25-28; 2:7-8). At this point, the “kingdom of God” had come to earth. When man fell into sin, however, he could no longer rule for God the way God intended.
In spite of man’s fall, God’s plan for him did not change. God sent a Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to not only save man from his sins, but also to restore man’s standing with God, and his ability to reign with God.
There is a common mentality among Christians that focuses our attention on some day living with God in heaven when this difficult journey on earth is complete. This attitude is accentuated by the teaching of the “rapture” and the signs of the times we see on the earth today. But this attitude is not scriptural for the believer.
As believers on Jesus Christ, ultimately our home is not with God in heaven; it is with God on the earth. We should remember that the Bible says that God intends to create a new earth (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22; Rev. 21:1). The Apostle John saw the New Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven to the earth (Rev. 21:10). This is the place that Jesus said He would go and prepare for us, but that place is coming to earth!
If Jesus “tarries” and we die, we will go be with the Lord in heaven, but we are coming back with Him to reign with Him forever on the earth (Rev. 5:10; 22:5). This is the fulfillment of God’s original plan for man and the earth, and the consummation of His kingdom coming to earth.
If we are truly God’s people and tuned to His heart, then we should get rid of our escapist mentality and find out what we can do for the Lord here and now. God has a plan for us on the new earth, but He also has a plan for us on this present broken earth!