Myth #5 Hell is for Bad People
This is the most dangerous of all the myths about hell. "Hell is for bad people." Of course, this is a tricky one, and it depends on what we mean when we say "bad people." In my experience "bad people" simply means "other people." People who have done worse than us, at least in our own estimation. Hell is for the bad, the worse, the worst. Hell is for Hitler and Hussain, John Wayne Gacey or Kim Jong-il. It's not for us regular people. Good people. The one point of agreement we should have with this myth is that hell is for bad people. And we are all "bad."
Jesus said no one is good, but God. The Apostle Paul wrote that no one is righteous, all have turned away from God and become worthless. Yes, we are all bad and worthy of eternal condemnation. While one woman might be practically worse than another, or one man's sin might be more heinous than another's, we are all equally sinners and in desperate need of God's mercy.
Hell is for bad people, if by bad people we mean people like us. Our hope is not that we will become good people, or even better people. Our confidence before God is not that we will somehow stand out among the evil people in the world. Our hope and confidence before God is the gospel-- the good news that everyone who believes in Jesus is united with him, counted righteous in him, and forgiven through him of all sin.
So, in one sense hell is for bad people, but in another sense so is heaven. The former receives those who have rejected the truth of God, while the latter receives those who have received Jesus.