Then curiosity lured me back to that channel, and I'm glad I saw the portion that was showing.
As a Christian, I am very familiar with the concept of hell and believe it is a real place where I certainly do not want to spend eternity.
I was really interested in what other world religions believe. It seems that is a point that most world religions have in common -punishment in the afterlife for evildoers.
Christians believe that it is eternal separation from God and punishment that continues forever. Once a person chooses which side of eternity they are on and die, it is a non-negotiable destination.
However, some world religions believe that hell is a stop over punishment that a person can get free of eventually - after eons of punishment, reformation and repentance have passed.
Even the world religions that do not accept the concept of hell or believe hell is actually present on the earth in this lifetime all seem to agree that there are consequences that each person must pay for the evil they do in this lifetime.
Some believe that the memory others hold of them and the bad memories that follow them into eternity are punishment enough.
Others believe that eternal separation from God is the worst punishment.
The more graphic portrayal of hell is that it is a place of eternal torment, of tears, pain, fire, torture, and endless suffering.
This horrific place has been captured in literature, paintings and even music. There is nothing beautiful about it.
It represents all of man's darkest fears - the place where evil and darkness originate.
All world views have this in common - our actions in this life have consequences. One woman being interviewed for the documentary explained her view like this: "If you eat spoiled chicken, you get sick. It is not a punishment for eating chicken. It is the natural consequence of eating spoiled food... everything we do has natural consequences."
Some people believe in heaven but do not believe in hell. To my way of thinking, that is a totally irrational way of looking at life, behavior and consequences.
If everyone is going to heaven regardless of how they behave, how they treat other people, or how evil a life they live, what difference does it make how rotten we may be as individuals or as a society? Without consequences, anything would be OK - murder, rape, torture.
In an interview for a book by international photographer Barry Shainbaum, I was asked whether or not I believed in a literal hell and the devil.
When I answered "yes" on both counts, he wanted to know what proof I had for the existence of evil in the world.
Man's inhumanity to man has to be the greatest evidence manifested in our world, in my opinion.
The millions of Jews eradicated during the Holocaust, the ethnic cleansing of tribes in Africa and other places around the world, human slavery, 9-11, abortion for the sake of an inconvenient pregnancy - all of these things are a testament to me that evil does exist.
I found it very interesting that this unbiased documentary heralded Christianity as the only world religion that believes there is an opportunity for absolute and complete forgiveness by God through faith in Christ that erases every sin, every bad deed, every inhumane act in a person's life.
Even on the deathbed, a person can be forgiven.
It is the only religion that holds fast to the belief that mankind is redeemable on an individual basis and that hell is a place where no one must go.
As individuals, each has the right to choose where they will spend eternity.
In our region of the country, and across the Bible Belt, people are prone to be more familiar with the teachings of Christianity than any other religion.
I would not have guessed that the belief in a literal hell where people suffer the consequences of the evil choices they have made in this life is a concept that most religions have in common.
This insight leads me to other questions, though. If all the world religions agree on this point, then why don't we all behave better to one another?
Why don't we all strive to make the world a better place and behave in such a way that the consequences that follow us into eternity are all good ones?
I do believe in a literal hell, and I certainly don't want to end up there in order to have undisputable truth that it is real!