One might think the goal of the human life is to die and go to heaven. To go and get our eternal reward!
The goal of the human life is not to die and go to heaven. The goal of the human life is to be like Jesus. One cannot be like Jesus without the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was part of Jesus’ conception (Lk 1:35). The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus’ miracles and ministry (Lk 4:18-19 & Acts 10:38). Jesus couldn’t have had the ministry he had without the power of the Spirit. Jesus would not have existed as a human being without the Holy Spirit.
It is by the Holy Spirit that we become “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17 and, by the way in the end Christ will make all things new – Rev 21:5) and a temple of God by the Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20) it is the indwelling Spirit who empowers God’s people today. Not only that, the Spirit transforms us to be more and more like Jesus.
What does heaven have to do with this? A lot but not everything.
Instead of getting fixated on heaven we need to get fixated on here and now first. God is working to make us like Jesus through the transformative work of the Holy Spirit NOW.
It is in eternity, after we are dead and one day raised and with Christ and after God has redeemed ALL things (new heavens AND new earth really mean that), that we fully embody the life and person of Jesus in our own lives. It is then we are fully formed into his mind (Rom 12:1-2), his likeness , with his attitude (Phil 2:5), and in his image (2 Cor 3:18 – notice the end of that verse, that our transformation in Christ’s image is the work of the Holy Spirit).
Here and now we are growing into these things. Then and there we will be ALL who God made us to be, which is who Jesus showed us we can and will be through his life and the work of the Spirit.
The goal of the human life is to become like Christ. We are in process now…it is how the Spirit is forming us now…and one day that work will be complete!
It is nice to think about heaven. It is hopeful. It is a wonder to consider the redemption of creation per Romans 8 and Revelation 21:1. God is going to make all things complete and that includes us. The mistake some make is thinking that heaven is where the work BEGINS when heaven (new heavens and new earth) is where the work CONCLUDES!
So have hope. God has already started working on you and we know that what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6 is right, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”