It is good that we are excited to get to heaven and spend eternity with God, but we must do more than sing and pray while we wait to get there. While we wait for Jesus to return, we love and serve others, and thus bring glory to the God of the universe.
Many of us cannot wait to die so we can be glorified; God cannot wait for us to start living so He can be glorified. The church is willing to die, but only to die physically so we can “go to a better place” to be with God. This is not glorifying to God, but glorifying to death.
Christoph Blumhardt said that “If all we aspire to is to get out of this world in order to be free in the next, then we pay tribute to sin and death” (Action in Waiting, 192).
God wants us to die while we are living. He wants us to die to ourselves while we are alive so that before we “go to a better place” we can help this world become a better place as well.
Jesus came to this earth not only to help bring us to heaven, but also so that He could bring heaven down to earth. The inauguration of the Kingdom of Heaven was a central theme of Jesus’ life and teaching, and He wants us to continue on with the task He started, of bringing the rule and reign of God to the dark and sinful places on earth.
God put us on earth to live. It is only when we die to ourselves and die to the ways we think the world should run and the church should function and just seek to live life with our friends and neighbors that the Kingdom of God really begins to break forth.
In a civilization which has lost the meaning of life, the most useful thing a Christian can do is to live—and life, understood from the point of view of faith, has an extraordinary explosive force.
…What we need is to rediscover all that the fullness of personal life means for a man standing on his own feet in the midst of the world, who rediscovers his neighbor because he himself has been found by God (The Presence of the Kingdom, 77-78).