A Bartender Cannot Cure Drunkenness
Hershel, you went to the wrong place to be advised about the Lake of Fire (Adela Yarbro Collins, Biblical Views: “Is Hershel Doomed to the Lake of Fire?” BAR 37:01). Going to Yale for a literal interpretation of Scripture is like going to a bartender to cure drunkenness.
Your Gideon friends were right. There is a literal Lake of Fire, but no one need go there, be he Jew or Gentile.
Jesus explained how to avoid the Lake of Fire. He said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). Your first birth was physical and you had no control over it. The second birth, however, is spiritual and is a matter of choice. You can either accept Jesus Christ as your savior or reject him. To accept him is to believe in him. Andrew, one of your fellow Jews, found Christ and excitedly exclaimed, “We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:41).