The thought and threat of hell is not much of a motivator for me to obey God. As a matter of fact it may not be any. What motivates me is the thought of potentially having a relationship with a loving Father. That is heaven…to know and be known by the Father through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hell is to not have that relationship. This being so, it does not seem the threat of hell would or will motivate me to love the Father. Only love can do that.
As a kid I remember listening to preachers clearly making exacting definitions of heaven and hell and the requirements of attaining them. It scared the freckles off my arms listening to this stuff. In both cases it seemed it was purely up to me to perform and work my way into or out of either one. I later determined that some so-called theology is in fact bad theology, and therefore a wrong message.
These fuzzy and frightening thoughts of heaven and hell became comprehensible to me when I determined that they were more of a presence and personality than a place. Heaven is the loving presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hell is the dark and evil presence of Satan and his demons. The choice seems simple and obvious. It is our choice where we want to enter.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Jesus