A gaggle of social media theologians went at it on Facebook as to whether or not a minimalist sort of Christian could profess a belief in Jesus but deny the existence of Hell as a literal place of torment.
Granted, such a doctrinal combination is a less than Biblically comprehensive and optimal one. Eternal damnation is one of the most attested to of topics throughout the Holy Bible.
If an individual professes such a dogmatic formulation in an evangelization encounter, the soul of the recipient of this deficient rendition of the Gospel could be endangered.
One might conclude that simply passing out of existence at the end of one's life wouldn't be too bad, simply akin to falling asleep, and better than having to embrace the limitations of Christianity in this life in order to prepare for the next.
Yet it might be a step too far to categorically declare that belief in Jesus but not in Hell is not sufficent for one to slide through the Pearlie Gates.
It says in I Corinthians 15:1-4, “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel...By this gospel you are saved...For what I received I passed on to you of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (NIV).”
One would hope that those sincerely seeking redemption through Christ's completed work would come to accept the whole counsel of God.
However, if even those pleading sufficiency under Christ's shed blood will still be kept out of God's Celestial City as a result of those areas in which they still fall short of the glory of God, not a single one of us will have a snowball's chance in the disputed region of the Afterlife of walking those famed golden streets said to be guarded by United States Marines.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.