Could the "earthly hope" be losing its draw for some subconsciously. -- GAYLE
I think this is absolutely true.
The advantage mainstream Christian religions have is that you can't prove that no one has ever gone to heaven (I know this is really poor reasoning, i.e. you can't prove a negative anyway, but you'll see where I'm going. . . ). Maybe aunt Doris is in Heaven, maybe she isn't; you prove to me she isn't, I think she is.
However, the idea of aunt Doris being alive in an earthly paradise is demonstrably false, by the the fact that there is no earthly paradise or resurrected aunt Doris.
You can only string people along so far on the "earthly paradise" thing. The heavenly, spiritual afterlife concept is harder to prove/disprove (to people who want to believe in an afterlife).