Preface: I am a Christian. I do not say any of this in disrespect or mockery of God or His people. It is for an interesting illustration only.
Just before the beginning, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were in front of the big holy dry-erase board planning out the universe trying to decide how to handle mankind. The Father said, “Jesus, I’m going to give you everything anyway so why don’t you make the final decision on how to handle mankind – on the off chance that he should get sinful.”
“Sure, Dad. My preferred plan is Death, Resurrection, and Torture, or what we called ‘The DRT Model’. It’s a real zinger. I mean, we can warn man that sin will lead to death, and technically we would not be lying, because that would be the first part of the DRT Model, Death. Then, we can promise the “R”, Resurrection, but conceal the “T” for much later. That’s where we torture as many people as possible without end or rest. I especially like it because we are planning to make man out of dirt, and DRT can be pronounced ‘DiRT’. It’s really clever. Oh, and of course the torture part will be scalding them permanently in lava for trillions of years and beyond. When I go down there telling them to turn the other cheek, later I can be like ‘No, I said BURN the other cheek!’ HA HA HA HA HA! Oh, my sides hurt.”
“Oh, one more thing, let’s hold off on disclosing that torture part until the New Testament. All the Old Testament folks will find out soon enough.”
Back to now…
Most people (me included, until a few months ago) who profess a belief in the Bible believe that God has created the DRT Model for most of humanity. DRT looks like this:
Given the fact that Jesus said that the way to destruction is broad and the way to life is narrow and few will find it, most Christians believe that most of humanity will burn in hell. So, for most of mankind, the DRT model is God’s plan.
Expounding on these terms, you get DEATH, which most people understand, then RESURRECTION as you are brought up from the grave and granted eternal consciousness and an eternal body, and then TORTURE because you’re a sinner. Now, even though the wages of sin is death, “death” is redefined as living but in a tortured state. What is torture? Torture is permanent, ongoing, and inescapable burning in lava. It will happen in your resurrected eternal body that is custom designed to register pain and anguish without the ability to cease existing. If you’ve made it this far, you are screwed.
So, why would God go with the death, resurrection, and torture model? The answer is simple. Love.
This is the rationale. Love. He loves us so much that He will torture us for not accepting His love. Likewise, He will torture us for not believing in His love. So, let’s say that a really good “salesman” sold you on evolution and you never veered from that belief, then you would go the path of most > Death, Resurrection, Torture (DRT). Let’s say that your parents were confused and taught you that Mohammed was Allah’s prophet and you better believe in HIM or else you’ll burn in Islam’s hell forever. Out of fear you believe and you reject any opposing beliefs. The true God will then burn you in hell (the real hell not the fake hell of Islam) for believing in the wrong God (and wrong hell), which you did in an effort to do what was right and not go to hell. Doesn’t matter. You receive torture for eternity.
To put it another way, God is a slave to love and must obey its requirements. Love requires the harshest of punishments for disobeying it and therefore if you reject God then you by default fall into the punishing side of love. And watch out, because when you get on love’s bad side, love makes Hitler look like Mother Teresa. The Bible doesn’t explicitly spell out what the bad side of love looks like, but here is what it should have said: “Love is savage, love is harsh. It does not release, it does not accept mistakes, and is not safe. It dishonors those who don’t understand it. It holds anger until you discover it and accept it. It records all your wrongs. It does not delight in evil but will use evil to make you regret not discovering and accepting it. Don’t piss off love.”
This is the good news as we are taught today.
I am pleased to inform you that the Bible does not actually teach this cruel nonsense. This belief is from a misunderstanding of God’s word.
Coming in the near future, I will begin breaking down the common misconceptions of scripture that lead people to believe in an eternal torture chamber for 90% of mankind.