The way I have been taught, and everything I've read in the bible backs this up, (and you can agree with this or not) is that, since everyone is imperfect, and has sinned, we're unfit to be in God's presence and be in heaven. In other words, everyone "deserves" to go to hell. The only way we can enter heaven is through God's forgiveness of our sins.
So God isn't a punisher, he offers an eternal reward that, by our actions, none of us deserve.
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