I am very often asked how I understand the doctrine of hell. I usually begin by saying two things: (1) Our common understanding of the subject is generally messed up. (2) Tough I wish universalism was true I cannot accept it as such.
I have wrestled with this biblical doctrine for my entire life. I wish that I did not believe in hell but I do. I also do not believe a great deal of what I hear people saying about hell in the Christian circles I grew up in and sometimes still find myself in day-to-day. Trying to explain this, cogently and simply, is never easy. Rarely have I seen anyone deal with this subject better than N. T. Wright does in this first rate video. If Wright is right then we need to have a much greater conversation in most of our Christian circles about this doctrine, both what it means and what it doesn't mean and how handling it correctly would make a real difference in what be tell people and how we tell them.
I can't help but think of some evangelicals that still believe they are warranted to biblically try to scare the hell out of people so they will decide to follow Jesus. I have never seen an iota of support for this method in the New Testament itself.