Never forget that you are a called out people. God is establishing a new nation among all nations, a new people among all people, and a new race of men in the midst of the old race of men. He is doing this with the intention of having this new race of men in the new and last Adam supplant entirely the race of men that came from our first father Adam.
This means that the basic direction of the Church is forward, not upward. Our citizenship is certainly in heaven, and Scripture does tell us that we are to lay up all our treasure there. But this is not because that is our final destination, but rather because it is the only safe place to keep our treasure while this work is in progress. Things are messy here, and we need a safe place to store what matters. So the treasure is there, but the work is here. If we die before that work is done, then we will go to be with the Lord there, as we and the saints remaining here long for our return. And the treasure we have taken from earth will, on the glorious day of resurrection, be restored to earth.
So we look forward to the day of resurrection. The graves will open, and the sea will bring forth her dead. This will not be some sort of creepy event, as though we are talking about zombies, but rather the ultimate spring, the ultimate restoration, the ultimate greening. All of that will happen here, as it occurs all over the world. Everywhere there are graves there will be resurrections.
When that day comes, it will be like the day of labor after a painfully long gestation. It will be a final deliverance. It will be universal relief. It will be the day when death is finally swallowed up in victory.
But this cosmic victory in the future does not overshadow all the little victories between now and then. In talking about this glorious doctrine, the apostle Paul encourages the Corinthians by telling them that their labor now is not in vain. All the things that happen in the womb are certainly relevant on the day of delivery. No mother thinks that the due date is still six months off, so that she can do whatever she wants to her body.
In the same way now, what we do here matters at that great day. The Holy Spirit is bringing us to that glorious end, and it is not the ultimate interruption. It will be, as we shall see, the ultimate culmination. When the Lord returns, and death is vanquished, we will see at that time that it was the next logical step, the thing that had to happen next. Our response will not be a surprise over the fact that God had finally decided to change the subject completely. Rather, as we will read and enjoy the last chapter, we will see how perfectly it fits with the entire book preceding it.