Is hell a burning in our soul?

chairfire

Question: “Jim, do you believe if people deny Jesus, that they won’t see the kingdom of heaven? I’ve always thought of hell as a separation from God, a burning in our soul. I was once told that the kingdom of heaven lies within our heart. I like that.”

My response: “I think your thoughts make a lot of sense. On the one hand, no human being would be here at all if it weren’t for being born out of the image, likeness, and being of God. God’s being is the ground of your being. God’s being is the ground of all being. So in that sense, separation from God isn’t even possible. However, there is a way that we experience this separation in our ignorance, and in our denial of the truth. Perhaps this is the “burning in our soul” you are referring to. The truth that Jesus lived and taught is truth that sets us free, and truth that opens our hearts and lives to the present reality of God’s kingdom of true peace and well-being. If by default or choice we refuse truth or remain in our ignorance, it only stands to reason that we will suffer great inner anguish. The cause of our present suffering is our ignorance. Jesus said, “If the eyes are good, the whole body is good.” In other words, once you see things as they truly are, your suffering is alleviated, and you experience the present reality of God’s kingdom.”

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