I was taught of a literal place called Hell. Hell, basically, is a place of eternal torture where folks that aren’t saved will go when they die. When evangelicals talk about “being saved,” they mean “being saved from eternal torture in Hell.”
Here’s a verse taken from the Baptist Faith and Message about it:
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might…2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 (NIV)
Which, to my kid ears sounded like:
Do what we say, or you’ll be tortured so badly not even death will save you.Me, as a child
This is heavy stuff for kids. I can’t remember when I was introduced to the concept of Hell, but I know it was really early in life.
This is a bumper sticker I found that captures it perfectly.
Being LGBT, and constantly hearing about how LGBT people were evil and going to Hell, this was a really hard thing to think about. I supposedly served a loving God, yet, he was going to punish me for all eternity for feelings and things I really couldn’t control?