This answer has been edited
I am going to start of by saying Hell is a term put together by mankind for mankind. It is only a figurative “place”.
What do I mean? God has created Heaven and God has created Earth and
God has created all of creation. But God has not created some “place”
or “location” called Hell. There is no record in the entire Bible of
God creating Hell. It is a term mankind has used to describe the final
state of the wicked and unconverted.
Quoting Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson, pg 456 -
“Throughout life, a person says to God, in effect, “Leave me alone.”
Hell, the absence of God, is God’s simply giving that person at last
what he or she has always asked for. It is not God, but one’s own
choice that sends a person to hell.”
Hell is not a ‘place’, it is being apart from God, which most of the
following is trying to say.
Now I believe some will follow this question and read that and say, “exactly!”. But the problem is, the substance of their conclusion and mine is totally opposite.
Quoting from Dr. Deffinbaugh’s article - “A Hell to Shun”: “No one
really wants to talk about hell. The person who finds some kind of
satisfaction in exploring its horrors must have a problem. Many do not
wish to believe that some will suffer eternal torment. One survey over
ten years ago indicated that 58% Methodists, 60% Episcopalians, 54%
Presbyterians, 35% American Baptists, 22% American Lutherans deny it
is a specific place after death.9 It is not difficult to understand
why some choose to believe there is no such thing as eternal torment.
After all, such a fact would have dramatic implications!”
“The cults have generally tended to distort biblical teachings on
eternal punishment: Christian Science believes there is no final
judgment. The Jehovah’s Witnesses hold that lost men will have a
second chance and that those who reject this offer of salvation will
be annihilated. Mormonism maintains that all non-Mormons will be
sentenced to eternal torment, along with those Mormons who are thus
judged worthy of it. Unity refuses to believe in the finality of
death, but believes that through mind action we resurrect ourselves
from the dead. Modern theology insists that a loving God could never
subject anyone to such punishment.”
So according to Mr. Deffinbaugh, there are those who will say,
“exactly - there is no hell”. I now go on to show the substance behind
their conclusion cannot be correct. Though there may not be a “place”
called hell, there certainly IS a condition for it, that of being
apart from God.
He is Creator, I am created.
He is Holy and lives without sin because His nature cannot sin.
My nature makes possible my own suffering and the suffering of others.
Belief in His Son provides my Salvation and moves me into His realm.
With Him, I can now relish this blessing and strive to live like Jesus Christ.
His realm is one of beauty and righteousness and awe and wonder. We know this because we see His handiwork in the earth and the heavens. There are many incredible things God has created around us which we have learned from over the years. And in God’s realm, there is an eternity MORE of things to learn and experience.
But you cannot be part of this realm and presented with this boundless goodness unless you choose now that Jesus Christ provides the way to this realm. There is the issue. There is the stopping point for many. Presented with an eternity that FAR surpasses any and all that has been experienced on this planet, there are those who don’t want to get there through Jesus Christ. But that is not a problem.
God is going to go out of the way to make sure that is your final decision. He is going to allow suffering like you have never known just to make sure you really want to live with your decision. But this suffering will come by the hands of mankind, not God. It will be mankind who invokes such suffering upon mankind. At some point in time God will have to step in or all would be destroyed. But he is going to allow mankind to do this because He would much rather you choose salvation through Jesus Christ then live apart from Him.
At some point in the future, there will be a separation. Those who accepted Jesus Christ will go to live in God’s realm, the kingdom of God, ruled by Jesus Christ. What about the rest? Where will they go?
Those who choose not to accept Jesus Christ will get to live outside the realm, outside the kingdom of God. Where is that place? One term mankind has put together for this is “hell”.
All created beings are to face a final judgement before Jesus Christ.
At this judgement, some people will be turned aside as they have
desired all their life while others will receive the blessings and
rewards God chooses to bestow upon them. There will be no other
judgement after this. Those who are turned aside will reside in “hell”
- being without God. You really do not want to be in that group so accept the salvation God offers through Jesus Christ.
See: “The Future Judgment of the Believer” by Lehman Strauss
Now to answer the question. If we permit “hell” to be a term that does not describe a “literal place or location”, we must yet realize there will be a separation of people based upon their choice of believing Jesus Christ is their Savior. We must also realize there will be a group who rejects a kingdom based upon “love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control” and who will not be in that kingdom.
Though dispensing with the term, Jesus Christ would still have had to come to provide salvation for those who will be allowed to live eternally in the kingdom of God. We are created, therefor not perfect, as is the Creator, and still have need of a Savior.
At the start, I showed “hell” as a term created by mankind rather than
a “place” or “location” created by God. But we must realize we are
created beings and being created, are not perfect. Since this is the
case, Jesus Christ would still have had to die because nothing else
would have been sufficient in God’s eyes to bring us into the perfect
kingdom of the Son he Loves.
See: “God’s Plan of Salvation” by J. Hampton Keathley III
One Final Point
If I am not created, I am perfect
If I am not perfect, I need a Savior
Yes, Jesus would have had to die for me.
Now points about the comments
First off, most of what I have written is from an Evangelical, Christian, Biblical point of view and not from any specific denomination. Perhaps I have stated what a specific denomination believes but did not do so with that purpose in mind.
Second, the scriptures mentioned in the comments suggest the word “Hell” be taken as authoritative. The problem is that the word “Hell” in Rev 20:13, according to English translations offered at Bible Gateway and Dr. Deffinbaugh’s article above, is more often translated as “Hades”. Further, “Hades” does not carry the idea of everlasting separation from God. Quoting Dr. Deffinbaugh: “As is seen by its usage in the New Testament, Hades has the same general reference to the abode of the dead, whether righteous or wicked.”
For Matthew 10:28, it seems “hell” is the term most commonly used by translators. But from the context, I would suggest it is really talking about eternal separation from God, as was mentioned above. Regarding this, all people should fear its meaning and seek salvation offered by God because, like you implied, Jesus was not a liar.
The Edits: Seeing the down votes and disparaging comments, I recognize
my answer lacked clarity. Due to this, I have added the highlighted
text and references above in an effort to be better understood.