God becoming flesh in Jesus was God’s seal of approval of humanity and all of creation. No one is totally depraved, we are all just totally human and God has already said he approves. Wanting to leave your body and home that God made and said was good from the beginning is not honoring God but devaluing creation. The thought of the gospel being an escape plan to leave this place to go to heaven when you die is the epitome of missing the point. The gospel is that God is making all things new and heaven is coming to earth because creation is inherently loved and valued by God. God did not just become incarnate in humanity but in all of creation.
So you see, It is not about escaping this world but working with God in the process of the restoration and renewal of it, moment by moment. That’s why we need to be good stewards to the environment, because what we do to the earth matters and has implications and does affect what God is doing. God is in relationship with humans and all of creation. When we see the earth just as a resource to exploit because we are “just passing through” and going to heaven one day, the gospel is being abused. That’s why the gospel writer of John says “for God so loved the world..”, you can translate that “For God so loved all of creation…”
What is happening is way bigger than just personal and individual salvation. The good news of the gospel is the redemption of all creation. NT Wright in his book surprised by hope says this…
“Redemption doesn’t mean scrapping what’s there and starting again from a clean slate but rather liberatingwhat has come to be enslaved.”
The mindset of “just passing through” causes much damage, more than we imagine in my thinking. The thought that creation was evil and our spirits were the only thing worth “saving” was considered a gnostic heresy by the early church and although popular now in much of christendom due to getting in bed with politics, should be outright rejected.
God became flesh. In other words “God incarnated creation” and in that, is making all things new. To join in this endeavor is salvation.