If there is heaven, you would be stupid to forego it by some short term evanescent and unrighteous, ergo in all likelihood maladaptive worldly foolishness. So you would be less likely to engage in short term and mere worldly foolishness (on the contrary, you’d want to be a holy fool!). With eyes always turned to the infinite prize, you would be less likely to grab at – or, a fortiori, work for, or pay for, or sacrifice for – any other, lesser good in contravention thereto.
The intention toward sempiternal life in Heaven, then, tends to social health here below.
This is why it is so important to social health to take religion seriously.
It is also why, among all the admittedly great religions, Christianity has conquered the globe. It is the only religion that can so school and thus domesticate merely mundane self-interest toward the Good, as to render men mostly fit for society – for societies (of many sorts: Christianity is not monocultural) that can perdure. Thus while Christianity is not yet the master religion, it is already the default religion of man; so that all other religions measure themselves against her; and so that, to grapple with Christianity honestly and at all sapiently, and then to reject it, is usually to fall, not into Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam or Baha’i, or into any other high and noble and above all *difficult* doctrine and praxis that might approximate and so lead its votaries toward the Truth himself, but rather into nihilism, or atheism, or wishy washy nominalism (thus globalism) or (at best) a paganism no more sophic than voodoo (as, e.g., New Age religion, or – God forbid – witchery, sorcery, or Freemasonry, thence inevitably Satanism under some other more anodyne appellation and disguise).
To reject Christianity is to decide for some side channel of the Tao that, as sooner or later subsiding and dying in shallows, gravels and weeds, leads at last to immobility in a cloud of bedeviling gnats. The only option then is to pull the boat back upstream by main force, so as to rejoin the main channel that leads on to life.
The proposal of Christianity is finally this: you must either reconcile yourself to reality or suffer perdition both temporal (thus more or less proximal (viz., jail, poverty, addiction, and so forth)) and everlasting (this is the gist of Job). You must choose between reality and your own fantasy of your own tiny little self. What is your choice? Will you choose your tiny little self, or will you choose the Ultimate, and so – for yourself – the life everlasting?
Who answers rightly is likely to prosper both now here on Earth and in the world to come. Who does not, is not. On that much, all Christians may agree, and even Pharisees and Mohammedans – and all Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Baha’i – and indeed, even the honest pagan shamans, who after all do still practice an heir of the religion of Adam. Not all those faiths call the life everlasting by its true name, or therefore understand it as such rightly. But they do all aim at the same end. No honest person might do otherwise. It is not possible to want to aim at YHWH without wanting to aim at YHWH.
And YHWH must know who aims at him, and credit it to them as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). He would not be YHWH, else.
Others may agree or not. But it is noteworthy that they all – even the most evil and stupid of them – seem to gravitate toward the business suit of the West; and to our military uniforms and equipments and customs, our ostensible laws and constitutions and norms, which above all things simply must be somehow or other schooled to reality in order to work properly. Each such practical move is a sign of an underlying reality, which it indicates, and upon which it is founded. Such signs matter because they do in fact truly signify. If they did not truly signify, petty specious tyrants would not trouble with them; they would not pretend to goodness. Indeed, if such signs did not truly signify, petty tyrants could not by them pretend.
So then do all such men as deploy such signs thereby signal their ultimate obeisance to the West, and to her metaphysic, and to her cult: the cult of the Lógos. Even the petty stupid tyrant signals his final commitment to the Good. In no other way might a single person credit his own pronouncements; in no other way, then, might he exert any power.
On the basis of that ultimate agreement – which at bottom boils down to the Marian yes – the whole civilization of the present West – both Christian and Pharisee – has so far prevailed.