If hell doesn't exist, would you still be a Christian?

@Amstardam (1348)
United States
June 19, 2007 10:28pm CST
A few months ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. He claims to be a Christian but does not believe in hell. He believes Christians will go to Heaven and non-Christians will cease to exist. My thoughts were, so what? So what would my motivation be to love Christ then? If the consequence of not believing was only ceasing to exist, would you still believe? Maybe someone can explain to me what the big deal about ceasing to exist is? He seemed to think that it was so bad to stop existing. Why? It's not like your life will be the same after death anyway. I don't want to hear any typical Christian answers i.e. but I love God blah, blah, blah. Initially, almost everyone was brought to God out of fear of hell. INITIALLY! Obviously things change (for some people) and you develop a relationship. But if you go back, before the relationship, before you knew about God and hell. Would you have chosen God over ceasing to exist and why?
3 people like this
12 responses
@012401 (200)
• Philippines
20 Jun 07
Hello there. If we based our belief in the Bible, definitely you are not a Christian if you don't believe in hell. Certainly there is hell according to Mark 9:47 where their worms dieth not and the fire is not quenched. So far I never find nor read any phrases from the Bible that " Non-Christians will cease to exist" I don't know what he means of this. You know in the Bible, man is destined to die once and after that judgement. You have only two destination, the everlasting life and everlasting destruction. But I don't know what's the basis of your friend in having that kind of faith. You may ask your friend what his basis of their belief.
1 person likes this
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
My friend doesn't believe the Bible is literal. He only believes parts of the Bible...which to truly claim a faith it needs to be in whole, not part. I don't want to judge his faith but I thought it was an interesting point of view. He believes it's unfair for non-believers to go to hell. But no one ever said God is fair right? He's just, but that's an entirely different thing.
1 person likes this
@012401 (200)
• Philippines
21 Jun 07
Good day to you. It caught my attention about your last statement that " no one ever said God is fair but he is just" What are you tring to point out of this statement. Seems that you or your friend don't believed that God is fair while saying He is just, correct me if I'm wrong.
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
23 Jun 07
I'm a little confused at your question, but yes God never said He was fair. He doesn't have to be. Is it fair that there are people like Paris Hilton who have tons of money and then people in 3rd world countries that actually have a brain and have no money? No, it's not fair. But in the end, our God will be just and everyone will get what's coming to them.
1 person likes this
@uiwwitch (892)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I think that fear of going to hell should not be the motivation to be a follower of Christ whether Christian, Catholic or whatever else religion there is. I know that we were taught about the consequence of not being a good Christian and maybe that needs to be changed so that children and new believers will start believing because of all the good things that being Christians can bring us, happiness and peace in our hearts for one, all the things we can do for Him through our brothers and sisters, and the joy of having a relationship with him and not because we don't want to go to hell. BTW, I'm a Catholic but I believe that loving and believing in God is universal and defies all boundaries. That's why I also used the term "Christian" in a universal way, that is, someone who believes and adheres to the teachings of Christ.
1 person likes this
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I think you're right. Whatever the reason people come to Christ, doesn't matter. I just hope they don't leave it at that. There's so much more to God than religion. I love the fact that God is so universal.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
20 Jun 07
If hell did not exist, there would be no fake Christians. There would be no eternal punishment and ceasing to exist is not a punishment. True Christians would still exist but there will be the thought in their minds about the just punishment of the unbelievers. For some, God uses fear of hell to bring some to Him, for others, it is a long journey of searching or realization there is something better, but eventually there is the question, "I am going to heaven but those who hate God, the murderers, the one who killed all these children is just going to fade into nothingness? Is that all they get?" Actually God chose me and if I went back in time, I would have listened and obeyed sooner, but that might not have happened unless I retained my memory of what went on later.
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I think that's a really great point. I wonder how different the world would be if this were the case. Would Christians be few and far between?
1 person likes this
@rinaaus (1203)
• Australia
20 Jun 07
I wonder : If you believe in GOD why do you need religion? GOD is there, for everyone .. not only Christian.. GOD doesn't choose the religion to love or to punish, and even somebody doesn't love GOD, or believe in GOD, i think GOD still love them. That's the reason GOD is GOD. So who know you will go heaven and I will go hell rite? even me I don't know too. You only know when you are there ;)
1 person likes this
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
You're right. God's love isn't conditional. He loves us no matter what, but even through love there is punishment for our actions. Out of our love for God we should act accordingly.
1 person likes this
@olivagon (33)
• Colombia
20 Jun 07
I love Jesus because of what he did for me: he saved me from sin and has changed my life. I never thought in hell before, so it is not for fear of hell. Christianity is the imitation of Jesus, that is so great because it gives us back the image of God. I would be a Christian, ever, be hell or not.
1 person likes this
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
That's great. I don't think anything has changed my life more than God.
1 person likes this
@FSCAries (881)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I don't feel that you have to believe in Hell to be a Christian. I consider myself a Utiliarian, with Christian beliefs, and I don't believe hell exists either. How could our omnipotent heavenly father ever banish us to an eternity of hell fire over a mistake we may have made. The bible tells us that God created us as sinners and I don't believe for a minute that there is any more of a hell then the one we are living in right now. I think hell is a creation of man that has been used to scare the masses into social conformity back in King James' time, or even earlier.
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I've never actually heard the term Utiliarian. I'd like to learn more about it. Essentially what one believes come down to "insert name here" -ism. Because not one person can agree on every little detail of a specific religon and if they do they're probably not strong in their faith anyway. So do you think that everyone will go to Heaven after they endure this hell on earth? I've heard different theories about earth being it's own hell.
1 person likes this
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
20 Jun 07
If you dont want to hear BLAH BLAH then why did you do this discussion? Because your going to hear it. I am a catholic and I take my religion very seriously. If you dont believe in god then yes you will burn in hell. Period.
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I was looking for more of "non-religious thoughts on spirituality" outlook. It's okay to question what you believe, it only makes you stronger. There's more to it than just believing in God...
1 person likes this
• Romania
20 Jun 07
Is not posibile for somebody to ask this .
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
Um...okay? I must be able to do the impossible then because I asked it.
1 person likes this
@morello (51)
• Indonesia
20 Jun 07
i don't... cause i'm not a christian.... ;)
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
Well there you go. It's always good to hear opinions from people who don't share the same faith too though. :)
1 person likes this
@eyewitness (1577)
• Netherlands
20 Jun 07
There's a dutch magazine called xist in Christ.And i often heard questions like these and it started me thinking too,but i noticed they actually answered it. They said there is no hell.You create your own.Thinking about all nice things we will call it heaven but thinking about all bad things like burning or just things which don't feel fine that is your own hell.No one really knows what hell is like. I'm a christian but i really doubt the fact that there is a hell.It must be very differently then we think.I think i would have chosen for God over ceasing to exist and i think because i would have a better relationship with him but also understand his way of thinking.
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
20 Jun 07
That would be an interesting magazine to read. I wish I could speak Dutch! I've heard people talk about hell in this way before too. I really don't want to find out what it's like for myself. I'm not even sure what Heaven will truly be like.
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Jun 07
I am a Christian and don't believe this at all . I believe we are all the same no matter what we believe and don't believe that any religion is better then the next and don't believe that even those who don't believe in God are any worse . God is said to love all of us and that we are his children and this is what I choose to believe that if this is the case then I love my children weather their beliefs are the same as mine are not . I will love them no matter what they do in life and even though as a parent they can hurt me with things they say or do it does not change my love for them in any way .
@jahvo6 (623)
• Peru
20 Jun 07
I am not sure about this but edon´t think non christians don´t go anywhere that´s nonsense, probably hell exists you don´t see God and suffer-