With all the depressing talk of hell recently it seems a good idea to turn our minds in a more positive direction and give some thought to what the alternative might be. My view is that the New Testament does not make “heaven” the normal destination for those who are saved. What we have is essentially a limited “martyr theology”, worked out within a broader “meta-narrative” about the renewal of creation.
The argument goes roughly—very roughly—like this. The restoration of Israel is brought about through the death and resurrection of Jesus, which is a “new creation” event, an “ontological novelty”. There is as yet, however, no “new creation”, no “new heavens and new earth”, in which to accommodate the resurrected Jesus, so he is exalted to the right hand of the Father, as Israel’s king, from where he will reign throughout the coming ages until such time as this authority to rule may be handed back to the Father (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24)—the point being that the security and integrity of the people of God can be maintained only by the Lamb who was slain.