If we consider human salvation as eternal life, it would ultimately mean that the world we now live in is no longer important. Would it not mean that we would then live merely with a desire for the “other world”?
In order to attain eternal life, if we were to abandon everything in this world and think only about the “other world,” we would not be leading true Christian lives. Christianity undoubtedly teaches that everything in this world is transitory, and that all the wealth and positions in this world ultimately have no value. Yet it is life in this world that enables us to prepare for the ultimate value of eternal life. As long as we are alive, we need to make use of all the possibilities that have been granted to us. We need to cultivate the seeds of eternal life, and grow. Christians desire that what God has prepared in this world be transformed by Him into eternal life, with the work of creation. Hence it can be said that we are now being called to participate in the work of God’s creation.
Martin Luther is reported to have said, “If the world ends tomorrow, I will plant an apple tree today.” That is to say, for those who truly yearn for eternal life, would not such a yearning imbue every single moment of their lives in this world with an eternal value?