I couldn’t have said it any better!
I will third that!
I am with you on that…mostly. Since I believe we were created/designed to depend on God, the absence of Him will result in misery and seeing what it is like to live in a world void of our l of misery and fear, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sad, and scared lashing out at everyone, all alone.
Though the fire might be real, that isn’t that big of a deal. Pain let’s us know something is wrong, pain is good, it alarms us to stop what we are doing or we will receive damage or death. But if there is not death, physical pain is the least of our worries.
Or there is the conditionalist view, that our physical bodies die (since we are already spiritually dead), we remain dead. Eternal punishment is eternal death/separation from our creator.
I am not convinced to chose the formal or the latter. But neither is the popular narrative of hell fire forever is why we need to be saved or fire is what Jesus saved us from.
Jesus saved us from living a life apart from God.
And that is what heaven is, life with God, for those who acknowledge we need God, that He designed be dependent on Him.
Freedom is doing as designed, not doing as you desire. A fish is designed to be in the water, and if it follows its design, will live a long life. If the fish desires to jump out of water, it will die. It’s desires will kill it. Following your desires will not give you freedom, but death. We were designed by God, that is the truth, and the truth will set you free.
I subscribe to much of what @aleo says. There is no original curse of man, rather an original blessing. This blessing was to depend on God in all of our occupations. To relate with one another and share God’s love and to praise Him with the blessings He gave us. Whether it is singing, mowing the lawn, art work.
1 Cor 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
He blessed us with so many abilities to worship Him in thanksfulness.
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
That is from NT Wright. God created us to be kings and priest. Kings spread the blessings of God to men(relating and healing and loving) and priests bring praises to God. Like a mirror pointed 45 degrees (us on Earth and God in the heavens above), receiving His light and reflecting it to others, and sending the hankfullness and praises from us back to Him. Image bearers of God.
That is a massively impressive power He gave us, an original blessing given to Adam (who spread this knowledge/blessing to others). I believe we are all born sinless like Adam or Jesus, but like both of them, are cursed (blessed, depending how you look at it) with the propensity to sin, and though I don’t know when, there is some age/cognitive ability that we reach were we sin the first time. The propensity to sin can also be seen as a blessing because it drives us depend on God. To make us “want the healer, more than the healing, the savior, move than the saving” (Natalie Grant-More than anything) Adam, who also followed his desire as opposed to design, and did not depend on God, but wanted to be his own God and in charge of his destiny, as opposed to trusting in God. Rejection of God’s will, rejection of God.
Hell is not a punishment, nor is heaven a reward. Hell is a consequence (a reality) of rejecting your creator. He loves you greatly, and wants what is best for you (Him), but allows you to reject Him. Heaven is not a reward, this is why good works can’t get you there. It was never about works, it was about you recongnizing who God is and His purpose for us. That we need to depend on Him.
Jesus couldn’t even do it alone. Jesus was fully human, in the same boat as us. He managed to live a sinless life, because of God and the help of the Spirit. Jesus was also an example of how we too can live a sinless life (acknowledging and honoring the Father) and it is no through our own power, it through God. Though Jesus was never tainted with sin nor ever rejected God, and because of that was able to be a spotless lamb for us. Humans are burdened by the propensity to sin naturally (our biology), all animals have desire to procreate and self preserve (which have no law to break therefore can’t sin) Early Humans/Homo sapiens developed a brain to use logic in assisting this goal, which helped the, behavior a bit better but still without a law, unable to sin, but also like animals, non image bearers of God. But when God gave Adam the status of being an image bearer and a law, we now needed to depend on Him to achieve this.
After sinning, and rejecting God, and giving that power to Satan, we now have spiritual death. We then needed a physical human to be born, to not sin (through depending on God), which means they never experienced spiritual death like us. To physically die, but physically raised, so that we can be spiritually raised from the dead in Him (spiritually born again) And now we are just waiting on our physical death, and we will also receive a physical resurrection in our glorified bodies. Forever acknowledging that we need to depend of God, and will forever praise Him and live others as intended from the beginning.
Rom 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
John 3:7You[d] must be born again.’
Heaven or hell at the roots comes down to pride. Do you want to be dependent to do the designs of your creator? Or do do you want to follow your desires. God allows both choices. And if we “pass this test” in the temporary world, we are blessed with an eternity with the one we wanted in this fallen world. If we reject Him in this temporary world, we face the consequences, condemn ourselves to eternal separation, whether that is an eternal torture or ceasing to exist is unknown to me. But really doesn’t matter or have a bearing on how I live my life. I try to live to honor Him in all I do (priest) and to shine His light and love before all men (king). And I am blessed and thankful that He revealed these truths to me and allowed a wretched person such as me who rejects Him, a way/path (Jesus) back to Him, being forgiven of my rejection out of His eternal grace, and has nothing to do with what I did or ever can do. If there is anything I boast in, may it be in the grace of God!
Also to say that being a king and priest is much easier said than done. It’s easier to talk the talk then walk the walk. Thankfully Jesus was and is the King of Kings and Most High Priest for me, because I fail often, and I’m extra thankful for a God who knows this, and loves me in spite of who I am or what I do or do t do. I am no better than a Athiest or Satanist who are lost or blind, I’m just forgiven and shown the way of Jesus and can see the light of God. I know I’m dependent on my creator for for grace and fulfillment of my life, the only thing that can fill he void in my life created when I rejected my Creator and His designs.