I was raised in the church (mostly Methodist), and have also read many authors, Bible teachers and preachers from other denominations. Nearly all of them will tell you that "The Gospel" goes something like this.
"If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in this lifetime, while you have the chance, you will be saved and will spend eternity in heaven. If you fail to believe in this lifetime, you will spend eternity in hell; an endless torment."
Some churches preach this very openly and directly. Others do not talk much about it, but this is what they believe.
Another way of stating this "Gospel" is ... "If you believe, you will be saved and spend eternity in heaven. Sorry it's too late for your loved ones who failed to believe when they have a chance. Take heart; MAYBE they did believe just before the end. MAYBE you will see them in heaven."
So "The Gospel" is good news/bad news. And God is either unable or unwilling to do whatever it takes to rescue the most stubborn of souls. God is love! But that love only extends so far.
Not so! To say these things about God is to blaspheme Him. Through the years the Bible translations have become filled with inconsistencies and errors. Pick up any English translation of the Bible and I tell you it is a combination of translation and interpretation. Those who translated are biased with their own preconceived beliefs about God (e.g. eternal torment) and these biases become a part of the translation.
And sadly, many people stay away from "The Church" and religion because of this erroneous message about God. Many want nothing to do with a God Who has sent their mother, father, sister or brother to eternal torment. Many cannot believe that if God is truly love, He would be content to send anyone to eternal torment; keeping them alive just so they can continue to be tortured.
I believe the Bible is 100% God's Word. I believe it is perfect. But translations are imperfect. Teachings of every "church" are imperfect. And the biggest travesty in Christianity is the teachings concerning eternal torment.
In future weeks I will share with you all of the Biblical evidences in support of what I have said. Stay tuned! "The Gospel" truly is 100% GOOD NEWS!