What are we to say about hell? It contradicts the notion that God is love. So hell cannot be a place where those who resisted God are roasted for eternity. Unless one asserts that God is monstrous. So is it a place where people live in what they have chosen – godlessness? Or is hell a place where obnoxious people go to be forced to live forever in the torture of people like themselves. C. S Lewis opined that hell may be a place where ‘The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded."
Some people are a bitch. Selfish and using lies as social lubrication they flourish in life on account of their meanness and self-will. Richard Rohr observes that, ‘Egoic consciousness is the one we all normally operate with, until we are told there is something else! Every culture teaches egoic consciousness in different ways. At that level it is all about me, my preferences, my choices, my needs, my desires and me and my group as the central reference point.’ Sounds like the Babylon in which the world currently lives. Is this hell?
There are some who think hell is reserved for the sexually abandoned. It’s not so obvious to them that evil is a product of the kind of social and economic system that they have conveniently compartmentalised off from their religious life. This is a life based on un-love, greed and the survival of the fittest. Such an outlook produces the kind of people that support Trump and Christians who are able to justify voting him into office on account of their corrupted theology and their self-serving morality. In the Bible this culture is called Egypt and Babylon.
Is hell the kind of culture that put Jesus on the cross and still does?
Jeff Turner allows that, “wrath” and “punishment” are not the results of God pressing some big, red wrath button in the heavens, but are things inherent in the choices that we make when living lives that are in disharmony with His nature. Regarding the Romans 1: 18 brand of “wrath”, Paul said that people, “… received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1: 27), which is to say that the “penalty” is contained within the choice to live in a disharmonious way. The action itself becomes its own punishment. God is not actively tormenting anyone, it is the choice of the individual that becomes the penalty. The wrath that “remains” on the one who rejects Christ’s offer of eternal life is, I believe, precisely that. They will continue to live a life in disharmony with the Spirit, and continue to reap the consequences of such a life, but it is not that God is angrily sending calamities and misfortune their way, and it most certainly isn’t that God is angry at them simply for being born with an evil nature.”
We can live in God or in religion. We can have personal fellowship with God. The refusal of some to engage in anything more intimate than religion and institutionalism is - if not a degree of hell, a culture of non-life.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV.