The most common view of Hell is a place of eternal suffering by fire for those who do not meet God’s standards. Christians use this description to scare people into following Christ, but is this what Hell really is? I don’t believe so.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. -1 John 2:2 ESV

Jesus paid the penalty of our sins.

For the wages of sin is death,… – Romans 6:23

We deserved death, but Jesus took our place and paid what we were owed. We were owed death and so Jesus died.

The problem comes when dealing with what are we talking about when we say death. Those who see hell as eternal torment say it is speaking of a spiritual death. The problem with this is Jesus never went to Hell and suffered for eternity. He only died a physical death by crucifixion. If He took our place and we deserve the common view of Hell, then He would have to be there right now. Except Jesus said repeatedly He was going to the Father and not Hell.

Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. – John 7:33 NIV

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12

“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. – John 14:28

about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; – John 16:10

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”- John 20:17

If Jesus is with the Father; then He is obviously not in Hell. If He is not in Hell; Hell, in the common view, cannot be the penalty for sinning. The question is what is Hell? I will address that in my next blog.