Heaven and Hell

Many Christians believe that all souls will be judged by God. Those who are judged as worthy will have a place in Heaven, but those who are judged as being full of sin will go to Hell.

Traditional and modern beliefs about Heaven and Hell

Christians have varying views about the afterlife. Traditionally, Christians believed that Heaven and Hell are physical places. Nowadays, some Christians believe that Heaven and Hell could be states of mind - for example, Heaven might be a place of unending happiness. Additionally, Roman Catholics believe in a place called Purgatory. In Purgatory, sins are punished and a person’s soul undergoes purification before it can go to Heaven.

These differences in belief are often due to the way the language of the Bible is understood. Whereas some Christians believe the words of scripture literally, others interpret the words as metaphors, symbols or myths.

Heaven

Many Christians think of Heaven as a place where they will be happy and surrounded by their favourite things. They will know God on a more personal level and will be aware of his physical presence and his all-loving and forgiving nature.

Hell

In contrast, the Bible depicts Hell as a terrible place where God is completely absent.

Many Christians reject literal interpretations of Hell. Some acknowledge that in the past, the idea of Hell was used to frighten people and make them obey the rules of the Church. Many also argue that the existence of Hell would contradict God’s omnibenevolent nature.

These Christians do not think that God would punish people for eternity. Instead, they believe people will be offered an opportunity to pay back for their sin. Some Christians believe that everyone will eventually repent and be forgiven.