Do you believe in heaven? An eternity in a glorious place with God our Father and Jesus, our redeemer and friend? Eternal beauty, love, kindness, and all things good?
Or do you believe that when we die, we disintegrate into nothingness? Life over means nothing more than done—game over? Two years, a hundred years, or any space of time in between equals zero for eternity?
Either way, what happens to every situation we’ve lived through? What about every bad thing done to us? Every mean word spoken? Will we take with us into eternity or oblivion all the awful, hurtful, damaging actions and works we experienced over the years?
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I accept what the Bible says about Jesus coming back to take us home to heaven for eternity. I look forward to the day I will stand in the glorious presence of my God. No more pain. He will wipe away all our tears. (Revelation 21:4) I also believe that hell is a real situation where anyone who chose to dismiss or curse Jesus will get to live out their desire to not be bothered with or subjected to anything of God. Eternal separation from him.
I also believe that according to the Bible, each of us will give an account to God for every word and act. I’m grateful that Jesus died for me because I could never do everything right enough to stand in the presence of Almighty God.
But regardless of what you believe, will it matter?
If your life ends in nothingness, will you care about the mean things spoken to you by a classmate, neighbor, or parent? Will you remain in pain from the abuse or evil inflicted on you?
If you, like me, believe in heaven as a follower of Jesus, do you really think your concerns over anything bad in your life will be your focus? Or will you be in awe of and enthralled by our Savior?
Every day, we hear or read stories of terrible things done to people. Or we experience something cruel done to us. In the moment, it’s reasonable to feel hurt or anger, and we need to grieve and process those situations.
But in the end, will they matter?
If we can admit that they won’t, then how long would we hold a grudge? Why would we retaliate? How might we act differently than what we’ve chosen up until now?
Eternal separation from God means an existence of torment. God gives us that choice. Perhaps, in that case, we will be tortured every moment by every harsh word spoken to us, or that we’ve spoken. Each hurtful thing done might replay over and over in front of us. Maybe every bad thing we’ve participated in will be a daily anguish to relive. I guess it might matter then…
The way I see it, letting it go, forgiving it all makes sense no matter what you believe about the future.
And that will certainly change our present.