I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse. — Isaac Asimov
I love inventing words. One of my favorites is “mythstake.” A mythstake is a combination of a mistake and a myth. I keep checking in Webster’s dictionary and they haven’t put it in there yet, but 20 years from now when mythstake is in all the dictionaries of the world, you can tell your sons and daughters, “I remember when Pete Briscoe first used that word…”
Unlike a mistake, a mythstake is not an accident. It’s an error that results from believing a myth (a commonly held notion that has no basis in truth). Mythstakes can have some serious consequences not only in this life, but the life to come as well—what happens beyond the grave, what happens in eternity… as in forever.
That’s both exciting and scary, because people believe things about eternal life that are myths. If they buy into those myths, they’ll make mistakes that last a long, long time. If we want to avoid these mythstakes, we need to know more than the facts of life; we need to know the facts about eternal life. The most important fact is this:
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13)
Any myth that causes us to make mistakes by distracting us or diverting us from Jesus is serious. We see these mythstakes all around us. We’ll examine them one at a time in the days ahead so you’ll be able to recognize them in the people around you. And I hope you’ll be willing to recognize them in yourself as well!
Holy Spirit, burn into my soul the reality of heaven and hell. Search my heart and reveal the myths that have infiltrated my beliefs about everlasting life and replace them with truth from your living Word. Amen.