What if there’s no hell

“Imagine there’s no heaven…it’s easy if you try…no hell below us…above us only sky.”
This Beatles song runs through my mind tonight as I write these words. Please forgive me if I got the lyrics a little off.

So what about it? What if there’s no hell?

As I learn more about God, I have less and less trouble believing in heaven. The God who is love seems to fit this picture of wanting to throw a party for eternity with His children. But I can’t shake the idea that maybe our idea of hell is not completely accurate. As someone once said, what kind of loving god would throw a party upstairs while people are being tortured in the basement?!

What if the pictures in scripture that we have of hell are just that, pictures? Images created to give us a literal image of the suffering that happens in the spiritual realm. We don’t have a problem with scripture using metaphorical language to describe heaven (pearly gates, streets of gold, etc…).

What if the pictures of hell are meant to describe that place where your soul is – the part of you created in the image of God – while you decide to live outside of God’s love?

Did u get that? Hell, then, would be a reaction…a state of being…that becomes a reality within us the moment we commit our first sin and thereby choose to live on our own…without God’s love.

This then relieves God of the responsibility of having to throw His children into utter torment. The children are throwing themselves headlong into that state of being by their daily choice to live apart from God. This reality, then, becomes even more evident when our mortality ends, and our souls are to continue the existence we have chosen for them while on earth.

I teach and firmly believe that eternal life that is promised in the bible begins the moment we surrender to God’s love. Why can’t hell begin for us the moment we choose to live outside His love?

These are just musings…I’m still trying to figure out my place in this. I would love to hear your thoughts to help me understand mine. Thanks in advance!


About Johnathan Dobbs

I'm a Christian first. I'm a husband and father second. Then I am an avid outdoorsman (hiking, camping, climbing, canoeing, fishing, etc...). Right now, I have a passion for climbing and card tricks. I am the minister for the Aztec church of Christ in Aztec, NM. I look forward to meeting new people and hearing from all. View all posts by Johnathan Dobbs

One response to “What if there’s no hell

  • Prodigal

    I’m glad you’re thinking through this; I’ve had this on the backburner for awhile. There’s a great discussion of this that includes an atheist, a liberal Christian pastor, a fundamentalist and me here:


    As longtime skeptics, my wife and I like to go Berean on issues like this, because we wouldn’t even believe the apostle Paul without further investigation. I’d like to investigate heaven/hell again with the Spirit’s leading and the Bible and nothing else. It’s easy to swim in God’s love once you really see and feel it.

    I’m just thinking out loud, but I wonder about God’s righteousness and justice. You died if you touched the ark of the covenant. The ark caused an earthquake that killed select people but not others (Moses and Aaron). Although that is a God of the Law and we have freedom now, that is still expressing something as extreme as the crazy love He has for us.

    If someone (you or I?) would come to the same level of understanding on this issue as Paul Young did on God’s love, the intricacies of God’s intervention in our lives, fear, etc., then I think the world is waiting for a full expression of His other attributes.


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