Christian denominations have two main views of hell. One extreme is, hell is where you go if you are bad, if you’re not good enough. The other extreme is, there is not a physical forever hell. Which is right? No one knows for sure.
From the first viewpoint, the belief is, either “You better do good, or else you’ll burn for all eternity.” Or, on a bit softer side, I want you to do better. I don’t want you to go to hell!” From the viewpoint of not believing in an afterlife of hell, that could cause a very destructive way of living. “If there isn’t a hell, then it doesn’t matter what I do here. I can do whatever I want.” It could also help us to live better lives here and now.
For me, I absolutely believe in hell! I believe in hell on earth. I do not believe in a physical hell where people burn forever. I believe that because of my understanding of God. I do not believe, an all-inclusive, unconditional God of love, especially portrayed in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, would turn vindictive and judgmental because we were not “good enough”. I believe that would contradict the Cross of Jesus Christ where Jesus atoned and forgave all sin (our “sin” of unbelief in God) and all “sins” (we commit against each other), forever! Without Jesus, we would not be “good enough”; because of Jesus, God sees us as "good enough", as the beloved children we all are, and always will be.
In my understanding of hell on earth, instead of saying, “You better do good, or else,” or, “I don’t want you to go to hell!” I would rather say, “I don’t want you to ‘live’ in hell!” Think about all the social, political, and religious “hells” we bring into all of our lives. Why do all those, always happen, affecting everyone, in body, mind, and/or spirit, daily? Because of our “sin”, causing all of our “sins”; creating way too many “hells” here on earth.
As God helps us to believe-in all God did for the world through Jesus, the Christ, so no one would go to a forever hell (which I truly hope there isn’t), or live in hell on earth (which I truly believe there is), what if we lived Jesus’ and God’s Love, for all? How much better would of our lives be, now, and forever?
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