Sometimes the assumptions built into our local traditions help us get things wrong.
Jesus repeatedly said that he came to give us Life. The Life of God (in New Testament Greek: Zoe). Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus say his purpose was to come to get you into heaven.
He repeatedly said that he came to bring you Life, Zoe: the Life of God. Heaven is included.
He came to get Life into you: the Life of God. (Something the first Adam lost.) Relationship restored!
Jesus never said to make converts; he said to make disciples. (Converts are included in making disciples.)
He came so you can start helping to bring heaven to earth – now. Wow! You get to help bring heaven to earth.
Salvation is included, and you will go to heaven. And later in our New Heaven and New Earth, God will literally be our Light that we see by, in the Temple.
Help bring Heaven to earth: preach the Good News of the Kingdom. Heal the sick. Free the bound. Make disciples of all nations, all people groups.
Also, you get to pray for heaven on earth:
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6: 8-10, NKJV
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
So…my thesis here is that Jesus did not say he came here to get us into heaven, even though he does get us into heaven when we respond with faith. What he repeatedly said was that he came here to give us Life. The Life of God, in us, does result in heaven. And later, into the New Heaven and New Earth.
It’s like that he did not say we were to make converts. He said to make disciples – this should be our focus when evangelizing. Which will result in stronger and more effective Christians than by focusing on making converts. Let’s follow Jesus and do what Jesus said.
Let’s do and minister as Jesus showed, taught, and as he still says to us today in Scripture, with Holy Spirit. Doing as Jesus teaches is better than following local traditions.