This physical world matters to God. I’ve been preaching this message for a while—especially when I talk about our future bodily resurrection—but rarely have I said it better or more succinctly than Tim Keller says it here:
We acknowledge that the world is good. It is not the temporary theater for our individual salvation stories, after which we go to live disembodied lives in a different dimension. According to the Bible, this world is the forerunner of the new heavens and new earth, which will be purified, restored, and enhanced at the “renewal of all things” (Matthew 19:28; Romans 8:19-25). No other religion envisions matter and spirit living together in integrity forever. And so birds flying and oceans roaring and people eating, walking, and loving are permanently good things.[†]
† Timothy Keller with Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavor (New York: Dutton, 2012), 51-2.