For us Christians who desire to be like our Lord Jesus, a vague hope will not sustain us as we live in “this present evil age,” sorely tempted to succumb to the world’s perverted value system and waste our precious energy seeking its fool’s gold. And what about during times of real tribulation or persecution? Our hope must be concrete, and “going to heaven” is not going to cut it. But the Hope that God gives us—Paradise Regained, on earth—will help us stay faithful and keep going, no matter what.
We see in Scripture the chronological heavens and earth, and the three geographical heavens in this present age. Jesus Christ ascended through the celestial heavens and up to the “heaven of heavens,” where God and His Divine Council currently reside. One day, he will take us there, help us finally become “the organized Church,” and then come with us back to earth for his Millennial Kingdom.
Eventually, both God and the Lord Jesus will bring heaven to earth, and we will enjoy a new world with no war, no sickness, no injustice, no poverty, no hunger, no stress, and endless delights proportionate to the infinite diversity of our Heavenly Father. We must crystallize that vision and keep it before the eyes of our heart in order to rise above the trials of this fleeting life.
The more we recognize God’s magnificence in this world, the more we anticipate His surprises in the age to come, and live our lives so as to please Him and earn His rewards.