A strong belief in the soul's eternal dwelling in heavenly paradise weakens our church's expectant hope for Christ's return. If we all just go to heaven upon death, why bother believing in a second coming or a resurrection of the dead? What need is there for any other work of God? Indeed, such a view of heaven - that our life's goal is to have our souls transported to a disembodied spiritual realm - leads us to care less for our bodies and for the created world, and to shrug our shoulders at our Lord's promise to come again and remake the world, to join heaven and earth in a new creation. "Thy Kingdom come," we pray, and in the creed we confess, "We believe in the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come." But these commitments are largely disregarded by the belief in heaven as a disembodied spiritual realm and final destination for souls.
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