I don't believe that hell is a place. It's not somewhere you go, but rather a state of being. I was always taught that hell is being apart from God, not feeling his presence.
The way my father teaches it is that hell is what you feel when you have not fulfilled your destiny, lived to your potential, done the right thing. Hell, from that perspective is more like shame. If God is a light that shines on us when we are fulfilled and know we've done our best, we feel good and rejoice in that light. However if we know that we have done wrong, the last thing we want is light to be shone on that fact.
I don't believe people who are "saved" necessarily go to a different place. I think that it's all the same and we experience it differently.
I believe that every moment on earth you have choices and that until the moment of your death you can shift your experience.
I am moved to help people live their lives to the fullest, be as whole and fulfilled as possible from a not-necessarily-religious perspective. I feel that being in tune with ourselves and giving back to the world around us, living a life full of love is what has the potential get you there. I do not, nor have I ever lectured people about religion.
In terms of God knowing everything you will or won't do...I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. He wants us to behave in a certain way, but we all have free will. We all have the potential to be amazing people or not...each and every day. He doesn't create people knowing they'll be terrorists, murders etc. He creates people, lays the framework and hopes for the best, like any parent. In my book anyway. Someone behaving badly is not a reflection on God in my eyes. God can forgive them if they ask, but he does not control them.
Running around so this is not terribly cohesive. I'll be back because I'd like to hear what others say as well.
I am Lutheran, btw.
ETA: it's not something I think about on a regular basis either. Like the following poster, I spend my days trying to do the best that I can, which is how I feel the grace of God. I don't fret about small mistakes sending me "to hell." Agree about being in the here and now.
Edited by Panserbjorne - 1/19/11 at 4:00pm