posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 10:12 AM
A general Christian belief is not that "you sin, you go to hell," because we all sin, that's just a part of our nature. Another Christian belief
is that, while "deathbed recantations" are possible (as witnessed by the scene on the cross with the repentant thief) it is unlikely that such a
repentance would be truly heartfelt -- the person in question is likely regretting their death and punishment, more so than regretting their
Hell isn't viewed as a place for eternal human punishment (which I think is what TruthIron is referring to -- the notion that Hell is "oblivion"
not punishment) but that it was created for housing Satan and the rest of the rebellious angels. As a result, it is the only place in the divine
realm where one is apart from God.
So, a person who has spent their life on Earth choosing to be apart from God finds themselves in the afterlife, before God. In one view (there are
others, but this is the most common,) God, who is infinitely just, grants that person what they demand -- existence apart from him. But, as there is
only one place in that realm where this desire can be granted, Hell is the only option.
In the original Jewish faith, the notion of heaven and hell wasn't part of it, there was just simply Sheol. It is a Christian belief that Christ was
the first person in heaven, and that during the time between death and resurrection, he preached the Gospel to those in the Jewish underworld. So it
was definitely a Christian notion, and reincarnation was never a part of mainstream Judaism or Christianity -- that was an aspect of "mystery" sects
of them, but not a common belief. That is, and has always been, one birth, one death and one resurrection.