This is kind of a 2 part discussion but ultimately go together. First we will talk about Hell, and then we will discuss who Jesus saved at the Cross.
What is hell?
The traditional or more popular view is that hell is the eternal punishment from God on unbelievers for rejecting the Gospel. The origin of this Hell actually is Pagan. Greek Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, Roman Mythology, etc. all had an idea of Hell before it was introduced to Christianity in the 2nd Century. The idea of Paul, was that if you are saved or a believer, then you go to heaven, but if you aren’t, you will perish. Not go to hell, but literally just cease to exist. you will go to sleep without ever waking up basically. This is what Paul meant by perish. A soul alive and tortured in hell is by no means dead. The soul is still alive but is being tortured. I have learned many times that Christianity, even protestant Churches, as well as Catholic Churches have a lot of pagan ideas. Examples? Hell, Devil, Demons, Easter, Christmas, etc. Most of these are a result of the Pagan Roman Empire adopting Christianity into their empire. I have no issue with Christianity being adopted into an empire, but that fact that it was adopting pagan views is seriously wrong. Jesus never taught hell. He always used the word Gehenna, which was referencing a valley outside of Jerusalem. He often was referring to the coming judgement on Israel in 70 AD. Matthew 24 and Luke 21 (also Revelation but that’s a different subject), they all correspond perfectly to the Roman-Jewish War. Jesus was warning the Jews to accept Jesus and be saved from the coming wrath of the Romans. Christians in the Roman-Jewish War, escaped the Romans by taking Jesus’ warning to flee Judea. Why did they leave? because they Believed Jesus! You aren’t going to be saved and listen if you don’t accept Jesus!! Jesus saved ALL men, not just a few, or half, ALL MEN. Hell is lie used to scare people into being Christian. I was and that’s why I became a Christian…well kind of. It was more like I quit focusing on God then I watched a video on Hell and it scared the heck out of me. God doesn’t want us to be scared into believing Him. Back to the Jesus thing. Jesus saved ALL men. Not just believers. 1 Tim. 4:10 says that “Christ is the Savior of all men, especially those who believe.” So what is this referring to? Not the Roman Jewish war because the believers were saved from being killed but the Jews rejecting Him died in Jerusalem’s destruction. It refers to Us and our salvation. Christ is now our mediator to God. We can’t always fulfill the Law that was placed under us in the Old Covenant. Now Jesus mediates for us in heaven and tells the Father he already paid for our sins. Most people can never keep the first commandment. So already we have a problem. Even Christians have a hard time. But the GOOD NEWS is Jesus saved us from eternal death! After 70 AD, with the passing of the Old Covenant, All humans are now raised and will not experience eternal damnation. This has always been a burden on Christians. Many people have turned from Christianity because they don’t want to be involved with believing a loving God would even punish a life that had 80 years of sin, for eternity. that is just tarnishing God’s Love!! I’m 15, but if I had a son, and He broke my laptop, I would not punish him for even a year! I may be mad, or even consider it out of madness, but I wouldn’t really do it. But with God, He can’t even consider it because He is all loving and if He loves His Children more than His angels, than surely he would have a way to save them ALL! Not just a handful or a little pinch. if so, then God’s love FAILED at the Cross! Paul even Said in Romans 5:18 that ALL men are died because of Adam, but now ALL men are alive because of Christ. Paul makes a distinctive parallel here. ALL die in Adam, ALL live in Christ. NOT some live in Christ, but ALL live. And living does not mean going to Hell, or being annihilated. Christ saved us all!! So what about Hell? well, as I’ve said before, hell has never existed. Hades, Sheol, Tarterus all refer to the Grave, not hell. David even said that God would be with Him in the Grave…God is not with us in Hell, according to Hell’s definition. But what about the Lake of Fire? The lake of Fire was also Gehenna but explained in a different way. Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 warned about being thrown into Gehenna or where there is “weeping and gnashing of the teeth”. Jesus was referring to, as I’ve said before, the valley outside of Jerusalem where they burn stuff day and night (to Jews it would seem like an eternal fire that is never quenched because it never quits burning). In Revelation, it is practically the same thing. Gehenna, the valley, became a “lake of Fire” in the destruction of Jerusalem. Also, Fire represents some kind of destruction. So in Revelation is says Satan and death, as well as the grave was thrown in the lake of Fire. Satan, death, the grave have power under the law. Satan can accuse of of not fulfilling the Law, because of that, we die, and go to the grave. But because Jesus died on the cross, and destroyed the Old Covenant LAW in 70 AD, Death, Satan, and the Grave, no longer have power over us. Everyone is alive because of Christ. He came to redeem the WHOLE world. Not some small group of people and then send everyone else to hell. That means we have to WORK to go to heaven by believing and work toward a relationship with Christ. I believe we SHOULD, but some people NEVER hear the name Jesus in their entire lives. So what then? Do they God to hell? What about the people who DO hear about Christ but reject him because they are muslim and their parents say not to accept him and then dies a week later? The muslim kid is young and they are OBEYING their parents just like God wants us to! So do they go to hell for being obedient? Do the they go to hell because they are young and still rely on their parents? NO! Jesus knew the multiple situations people would be in. He came to redeem the world!
So why did Jesus tell people to believe in Jesus and they will be saved?
I explain this before but not in detail. So, when Jesus says “not all who will call upon the Lord will be saved”, He means that not all people who Believe in Christ will be saved from the persecution brought on from the Jews and Romans. All the Apostles, except John (Revelation), were not Saved from the persecution. Not all Christians were saved from the persecution. But some were. The Christians that took Jesus’ warnings and left Jerusalem when they saw the signs, they were saved from the Romans. But the Jews weren’t. Why? Because they did not follow Jesus. And if you don’t follow Jesus, you won’t believe what He says. So that is why Jesus told the Jews to believe Him. But many did not and they died. If you read Jesus’ warnings like I just described, they make so much sense. And if you read Romans 5:18, 1 Timothy 4:10, and other passages saying Jesus saved the WHOLE world and ALL men, then it also makes sense.
I’m not twisting Scripture. I’m fitting it with the EVIDENCE. If this stuff bugs you, then too bad, because this is the truth that Jesus wanted preaching. He never meant to preach about hell or eternal torment! an 80 year life of Sin is not justified by eternal torture. Even God knows this. God’s love NEVER fails. IF His love NEVER fails, why would it FAIL on Atheists or Hindus, or Muslims, etc. His love can NEVER FAIL. But it would fail if even the SMALLEST percent of people go to Hell or lake of fire to be tortured for ever. I’d rather just poof out of existence but God doesn’t want that. He want’s us ALL to be in Heaven with him. Most people turn away from Christianity because they can’t deal with hell or they are scared into being a Christian. They feel like they are being forced into believing. God NEVER wanted this. Being scared into believing something isn’t really sincerely believing. It’s just a “get out of hell” free card to them. But if everyone really knew the truth, they would more than likely follow Jesus. If we take out all the nonsense the Church has added to Christianity since the 2nd Century, we could actually make some progress in the world. The Church has added so many pagan things to Christianity that Christianity is practically pagan now.
I hope this helps you see the truth of how Salvation was given to everyone no matter what because of God’s love, Grace, and mercy. There is NO Hell. Satan, those who followed him (demons), (spiritual) death, and the grave are all now destroyed! God bless you! And spread the good news!!