Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell? I can't reconcile the idea of Hell with Jesus' teaching about love. I'm not sure I even believe in Hell anyway. Maybe everyone will be saved, even if they weren't expecting it. — P.McN.
It may surprise you to discover that no one taught about Hell or warned us against it more than Jesus -- and we should take His words very seriously. He declared, "I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him" (Luke 12:5).
What is Hell? The Bible gives us several vivid images of Hell -- and without exception, they wouldn't make you want to go there. It calls it a place of "darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12). It also says it is a place of absolute hopelessness, because God is totally absent from it and those who go there will never experience Heaven's joy and beauty and peace. The Bible says Hell's inhabitants will be "shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
But listen: God doesn't want us to go there! If we do, it will only be because of our stubborn desire to leave God out of our lives. God doesn't hate us; He loves us, and that is why He has provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and go to be with Him in Heaven.
That way is Christ, who gave His life for us. Don't take Hell lightly or talk yourself into believing it doesn't exist -- for it does. Instead turn to Jesus Christ and open your heart and life to Him today.