In this short post I am going to explain Heaven and Hell, what happens to the soul after death, the problem of sin, and the logic behind Jesus sacrifice on the Cross in under 300 words.
We were made by God with a soul. That soul animates our conscious, is eternal, separates us from mere animals, and it is sealed by God in our bodies.
Upon death our soul is untethered from the flesh. Because we were made by God, in the image of God, to be with God, the soul immediately attempts to gravitate to Him after death like iron placed near the most powerful magnet.
Because our souls are stained with both original and personal sin, and because God is infinitely Holy, our souls are separated from what it is desperately trying to reach. It is like a flower that needs the sun for sustenance but finds it blocked by impenetrable, never-ending cloud cover (or as Jesus similarly put it, “the outer darkness.”)
Our souls being free from our bodies and unable to reach God, and the misery and pain that provokes, is hell.
Jesus, God incarnated as Man, sinless and infinitely Holy, was the only possible means to offer infinite holy atonement for humanities finite sins. But we have to choose to wash our soul clean by these means before we die and it tries to reach God. He used the analogy of “washing our robes in the blood of the Lamb” to describe it. We do this by believing and invoking the merits of Christ’s atonement, asking for our sins to be forgiven, forgiving others for their sins against us and by following His commandments.
Being so purified, which is the state of grace, our soul can make the journey to God that we were created for and the eternal happiness and sustenance which only God can provide.
This is why original and personal sin had to be eradicated by Jesus. This is the glory and unearned love of the Cross.