I just fear there is a suffering for those who don't receive christ,otherwise why would evangelism be so important? Marcus
My former understanding of evangelism had been built upon the same system of doctrine that allowed me to see myself as NOT being in Christ except in a technical way. Since evangelism is a word that comes from the word for "good news" is it possible that it also needs to be seen within the reality of Christ in a new and living way? Religion has established the concept that "good news" refers to destination, while it really has to do with the true life of Christ. Declaring the good news (evangelism) is not about a "place" at all, but is about Christ, who IS the "eternal life" (John 17:3; 1 John 1:2). Yep, Jesus is the eternal life.
Also, why do we think suffering can only be indicating a place of torment? Now, we all know there is no doubt that burning in fire is a torment, but I think we overlook the obvious: the inability to find the very purpose of your being. It's called being "lost". Humanity was created for magnificence, and it suffers without the sense of its own purpose and calling because it lacks the very thing that fulfills it. Check out the "condemnation" passages and you might see this sense far more than any physical punishment. To live and to never discover oneself is a horror hidden away in the human consciousness. If you will listen, you will hear this behind most fears. To be "cut off" and unfulfilled more accurately describes the "eternal" condemnation or suffering of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 7
Let's face it, we've all had our "Christian concepts" totally rearranged before. I just wonder why it took me so long to even consider that the same religious machine that has destroyed the "good news" of Christ might not have also painted an inaccurate view of both heaven and hell. :)