Heaven is a place on earth
The story so far...
I've argued that going to 'heaven', despite common Christian usage, isn't our final destination and hope. Instead, it most commonly refers to the skies, then is used (perhaps metaphorically) as the dwelling place of God. This latter use is then extended to serve as a circumlocution for God. Therefore, we can speak of 'heaven' (i.e. God) as the agent, not destination, of Christian hope. Being citizens of heaven thus means not so much wishing to go there, but the security of expecting a saviour from there.
Heaven on earth
For many people, the final images of the Bible are amongst the most moving.
"See, the home of God is among mortals.All that is wrong with the world will be over. The absence of God will be healed, and with it all its symptoms: death and her children mourning and crying and pain. If anything sounds so wonderful as to be called 'heavenly', it is this. Yet notice the image used to picture this: "And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev 21.2) The direction is not us going up to heaven, but heaven coming down to earth. It is the marriage of heaven and earth, of God with his people and creation. The waiting is over; here comes the bride! The earth is pictured as the location for this triumphant and joyfully tear-jerking picture.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away." - Rev 21.3-4
Now the images of Revelation are not meant to be taken woodenly and we must beware pressing details too closely. However, notice Revelation 5.10: "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth." There is neither space - nor I suspect reader patience - to work through Revelation in detail, yet to briefly answer one further common reading of heaven-as-destination, the images of the heavenly court worshipping the one on the throne in Rev 4 & 5 are (a) not the final picture, that is reserved until Rev 21 &22 and (b) most straightforwardly read as angelic beings, not humans, esp since at this point in the picture, there are still creatures "in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea" (Rev 5.13).
The God who made a good world does not intend to give up on it, to snatch us away to be somewhere else and leave it like a sinking ship. For that would be to admit defeat, to merely salvage some small good out of a wreckage.
Series: I; II; IIa; III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX; X; XI; XII; XIII; XIV; XV; XVI. Ten points for naming the country in the picture.