Plain and simple - if you have Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your Savior, you have eternal life. If you do not have Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your Savior, you do not have eternal life in heaven, but you will spend eternity in hell. John 3:16 speaks of the alternative to "everlasting life." That alternative is "perish." The rest of the Bible emphasizes that perishing is eternal in the "lake of fire."
Now, is that too blunt? Would you like it "watered down" a little? Would you like it to simply read "perish" and leave out the word "hell" and the description, "lake of fire"? Would that make it more palatable? Would the unsaved person feel they can handle "perish" a little easier than "lake of fire"? Are we really thinking that toning down "hell fire and damnation" is really going to make it easier for people to face eternity? Is that what we should do?
Let's get the message clear: PEOPLE NEED THE LORD! It's not just to avoid hell; it's also to have life, real life in Jesus Christ! We don't want to merely get people to be afraid of the lake of fire. We want them to know that God never expected people to live their lives without Him in them! And the only way they will be properly related to God is to have Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as their Savior! There's not "another way" to heaven. Our Daily Verse makes it "Plain and Simple."
Why this commentary today? I'm thinking of the carnage in Orlando this past weekend. I told our Sunday Night gathering that we need to think of those who died and those who are injured as people. Not "gays" or "straight." Not "black" or "white." Not "Oriental" or "European." Forget the categories. Simply call these who suffered, people. People need the Lord. I don't think of someone with a different color skin or who practice a different life-style than mine, or what nationality they may be. I think of everyone as human. They are people. And the message of the cross is to people. And people will either go to heaven with Christ or be in hell without Him. Plain and simple.