Aside from wars there are other forms of Hell. Famines, plagues, poverty, and diseases afflict billions today. But the least discussed source of Hell is mental illness, which is for millions an incurable and unrelenting nightmare. Nameless terror, paranoia, and uncontrollable rage grip people mercilessly, and they can't find any pleasure in life. Murders and suicides follow.
Ironically, the fabulous inventions of science can't do much to alleviate humanity's pain and agony. Psychiatry has turned out to be of little use. Surgery, penicillin, anesthetics, and drugs of tremendous power help, but only in those advanced nations that allow them and can pay. Most countries aren't able to take full advantage of these scientific wonders. Their economies are unstable, tyrants steal much of their wealth, and chaos reigns in large regions ruled by criminals. Their suffering is ancient and has no foreseeable end.
Is there a worse Hell than these, the Hells we see on film and television? Oh yes, much, much worse. The first person to attempt a description of spiritual Hell, the one our souls might go to, was Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321). He was a soldier, physician, and poet from a prosperous Florentine family, but was forced to choose sides in a bloody civil war between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. He had a price on his head for many years, and he knew suffering. Dante's greatest work was the three-chapter Divine Comedy, and particularly the first chapter, Inferno (Hell) Link. It's been one of the most popular books ever written, a best-seller since 1300, and has inspired the world's greatest writers.
This isn't proof of Hell, but it conforms to the testimony of many thousands who have experienced severe injury, near death, and have come back to talk about it. This author has seen it. It's worse than any earthly Hell, and there's no end. Death is no escape because our souls, which originate with God, cannot die.
The words of Jesus provide many references and warnings of Hell. In Luke 16:19-31, our Lord describes how a wealthy, religious, proud, and ignorant man descends into the Inferno (Link). Also, see Mathew 25:41-46; 22:13; and 25:30. Hell is "an eternal fire", where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Hell is an eternal drowning in Matthew 18:16.
Most of humanity is doomed, according to Christ in Matthew 7:12-20: "Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction."
But, you might say, "What about Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus? They don't believe in eternal punishment." Oh yes, they certainly do. The Muslim Jahannam (Link) is just like the Christian Hell. Hindus and Buddhists fear the terrible Naraka (Link).
Maybe you're a maverick and an individualist who wants to go his or her own way. Perhaps you think you're smarter and wiser than the 85% of believing humanity through the ages. This author certainly understands, having been an atheist and agnostic for many years, early on in life. You are free to choose any path, but just know that death is final, reincarnation is not assured, and we will all face the judgment of our Creator eventually.
People often ask, "Why would a kind God create Hell and throw people in it?" Answer: because it's justice, which is an essential quality of God. People go to Hell because they're criminals at heart, lawless rebels, thieves, murderers, pedophiles, sadists... the list is very long.
Also, criminals create their own Hell wherever they congregate; it's who they are. Cruelty and hatred are in their being, and their environment reflects their being, just as prisons do. God could empty-out Sing Sing and make it a paradise, but it would become Hell within hours after the prisoners returned. Mercy, too, is a major attribute of God, but only when coupled with justice. If we repent and reform, we can be worthy of mercy. Otherwise, mercy is worthless.
Here is an ancient vision of Hell and Heaven written by Enoch, who is known by Scripture and tradition as the great-grandfather of Noah:
How can we avoid Hell and attain the many ascending worlds that lead to Heaven? First of all we must take seriously and live according to the Ten Commandments. We must believe, and then later know, that God gave them to us and they are the foundation of all civilization:
What if we stumble and fail to keep these commandments? We can be forgiven, even if we murder. Truly. But there is one sin that cannot be forgiven:
"You shall not carry the Lord's name in vain." That is, if you falsely claim to be acting in God's name by proselytizing, or in any way playing the priest or priestess, you will be cut off with no hope.
Once we grasp how easy it is to live and honor the Ten Commandments we will understand the priceless gift they are to humankind. Particularly the Sabbath, the day of rest. Before Moses set this in stone, most people - and their animals - rarely had a day of rest at all; unless their owner, boss, or king said they could. Pharaoh typically worked his slaves to death, and they had no intrinsic value. Moses and the Exodus gave freedom and worth to a new nation, Israel, which means, "Struggles with God". The Israelites were free to question and debate God. The Book of Job proves that we can even call Him to account for His actions. And God rewarded Job for calling Him to account! This had never existed before.
Act now, before it's too late. Time is short and eternity is... well...long.
See this film, it will inspire you: