Sort of the corollary to the "What if there were no Hell" thread floating around. A few questions and thought experiments:
1) What if God promised an eternity of suffering for all those who followed his commands and teachings? If God is the ultimate standard of justice, this would, by definition, be a just system. It would still be objectively moral to follow His commands and teachings, but this system would ensure that you are following Him out of love for Him rather than out of desire for your own personal happiness. Those who chose not to follow Him would be annihilated upon death, but those who followed Him would be able to continue to love him for all eternity, albeit in endless suffering. Would you follow Christ under this system? Why or why not?
2) (Back under the normal system) Suppose your son/daughter or other loved one suffered from depression and committed suicide, damning themselves to Hell. Now suppose you eventually die and go to Heaven. According to the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), you will now be subjected to hearing their screams of agony across the gulf to Hell for all eternity. Would this not in its own way be a sort of Hell for you? How could you cope with this situation? Would you forget or ignore your loved ones in Hell? Are we not all (those of us who have loved ones who have died in mortal sin) doomed to an eternity of either direct or indirect suffering whether we are saved or not?
I realize these thought experiments and questions don't apply to the theological beliefs many of you hold, but I'm grateful for your thoughts nonetheless.