You Believe in Heaven - What about Hell?

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The Bible is very clear that there is a heaven and a hell, but whether hell is a literal place or symbolic has been much debated.

Here's what some people had to say about hell:

"I believe there's something that's a worse place to go than heaven," one man told CBN News.

Click play to watch an interview with Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell, and his candid discussion of the topic of hell.

A young boy said, "The closest thing to hell - I guess - is that your soul is kind of like a washing machine. It just gets washed out - and depending on how bad you were - that's how long it takes. And it supposed to be extremely painful and extremely embarrassing to be there in front of God and having God list off all your sins for what you did. "

"I was raised that it was hot and you didn't want to go there," said a woman from Iowa. "Actually, the way I was raised there was purgatory and you went to purgatory until you were forgiven for your sins and then you went to heaven. I would hope to go to heaven; I might spend a little time in purgatory.nobody's perfect."

Another woman said, "Whether it's fire and brimstone, maybe, but I think it's probably going to be very individualized, to each person's hell - what they're going to pay for."

According to a Barna survey, most Americans do not expect to experience hell first hand.

Just one-half of one-percent expects to go to hell upon their death. Nearly two-thirds of Americans - 64 percent - believe they will go to heaven. And 54 percent believe if you do enough good things during your life, you'll walk through the pearly gates.

"I just try to be a good person on a day to day basis - the whole golden rule thing and do unto others and that sort of thing," one young man told CBN News.

"I hope I'll never know exactly what that is like," said Bill Schuler, former campus pastor for Oral Roberts University and current pastor of Capital Life Church in northern Virginia. "And I know I won't because of my relationship with Jesus Christ."

Hell and what happens to us after we die used to be a popular sermon topic in pulpits. Some preachers, such as Rod Parsley - senior pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio - say it needs to make a comeback.

Pastor Parsley said, "We must begin again to preach on the biblical reality of eternity either in heaven or in hell, that's the biblical mandate."

*Originally aired September 9, 2007.

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