In the Bible, we are told that hell is a place where people are separated from God by the wrong things they’ve done, having not chosen to be forgiven by putting their faith in Jesus Christ. We are also told that it’s a place where people constantly say their prayers, but their prayers are not heard, as they are now separated from God.
I sense that there are also different degrees of hell. I cannot believe that the really nasty people of this world, such as Adolf Hitler, Mao-Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin etc, tyrants who have caused untold suffering in the world and caused the deaths of millions of people will suffer no more torment than people who led a “reasonably good life” – but did not put their faith in Christ.
The more “wrong things” the greater the separation. Seems logical. Yet I still believe that had any of the above-mentioned tyrants repented, God would have forgiven them, and they would have gone to Heaven, great as their tyranny was during their lifetime. Many people have a problem with that one I suspect.
Why should someone who has led a good life, but with no faith, go to hell, whilst an extremely evil person, who repents on their deathbed lands up in Heaven? By man’s yardstick that isn’t fair. But God’s ways are not ours. His yardsticks are not ours. After all, the thief on the cross repented at the very last moment of His life.
But when someone becomes a Christian, at whatever time in their life, the “slate” is wiped clean. All sin is cancelled and forgotten by God. Unlike us. When someone wrongs us, we often never forget it! It’s still there festering.
I believe that cancelled, forgiven sins are the only thing that God forgets. As the supreme being, He has supreme forgiveness.
Christians aren’t better than anyone else – just better off, because we’ve been forgiven our sins. Better off, because we have a future, and it’s a future we don’t even deserve.
“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:16-20)