“The doctrine of the ascension dynamically draws our attention to the full range of the present work of Christ. It lifts our eyes and hearts to watch for His promised return. So the ascension changes the way we understand our place in this world. We belong to Jesus Christ who is in heaven. Our true home is there, not here. As we sojourn, we touch the things of this world but lightly.
We do not seek an earthly kingdom but a heavenly one, for ‘The world and its desires pass away.’ At the same time, because Jesus remains incarnate, we know that human beings and this world continue to be the object of His concern and redemptive love. It is these enfleshed souls whom He has recapitulated in Himself, this earth He will free from its bondage to corruption and subjection to decay.
The church of Jesus Christ, then, is called out of the world in order to lay down her life for the world. We draw apart from the world in its insistence on self-sufficiency. Yet we return to that very world with the offer of the love of the gospel. Our mission is properly defined by the ascended, reigning and returning Jesus.”
–Gerrit Scott Dawson, Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2004), p. 9.