Last week I looked at the frequency with which we talk about Heaven and the Future, noting that we have become less and less likely to talk about Heaven, and more likely to talk about the Future.
So what about Hell?
As always, here’s an intro to Google’s ngram viewer if this is new for you.
Our interest in Heaven (capitalized) has seriously waned over the years, but our interest in Hell (capitalized) has remained relatively steady. But, it’s losing out to the Future (capitalized).
Last week I noted that it is somewhat counter-intuitive that we are decreasingly interested in Heaven, while increasingly interested in the Future. Why look forward to a glorious Future when we’ve ignore the most glorious possible Future that awaits us in Eternity? If there is no Heaven, then what bother shaping some glorious Future here on earth if it will all unravel one day anyway.
A similar, but reversed, observation could apply about Hell. I suppose there could be some psychological comfort in looking forward to a marvelous Future, and ignoring any talk about Hell. After all, it’s much nicer to think about our plans for this life than the prospect of justice in the next.
Unless, of course, Hell is real. In that case, as with the possibility Heaven is not real, all our great accomplishments in this life are kind of pointless.
Ideally, we get our affairs settled with God during this life so that what we set our minds and hands to doing during this life can find its ultimate fulfillment in the next life. We can spend eternity working alongside our creator to complete that which we only just began during our short stay on Earth.
Have you settled your affairs with God? That’s why Jesus came to earth, you know. He’s eager and waiting to put all that in order; it’s your call.
Not sure what that looks like?
Let’s do coffee.