I am very glad to have the contributions made in comments to my post on hell (see below). The subject of hell is theologically demanding, partly because it seems to place the gracious love of God in conflict with the holy justice of God, and partly because (as Rob Bell makes a play in Love Wins) one can come up with lots of puzzles about hell as a destination for people (e.g. the question 'What about those who have never heard the gospel?'). So, here are a few thoughts buzzing in my mind - a few thoughts, not a complete theology - as I prepare for Sunday night's sermon:
To the extent that heaven and hell are responses to how we live our lives on earth, both are required. There could not be a meaningfulness to morality or to justice if (say) the abused and the abusers reach the same end beyond the grave. (Something of this conception is at work in the Parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Luke 16:19-31).
To the extent that heaven is the location of God in which the people of God enjoy the unmediated fullness of God's presence, then hell is the absence of God and the location to which all anti-God forces are consigned. (Althought Revelation does not mention 'hell' something of this conception is at work in this vision of the seer John).
To the extent that heaven and hell are outcomes to our acceptance or rejection of the gospel, again, the question arises whether meaningfulness would be associated with either 'gospel' (what would be 'good news' about it if it does not matter whether we accept or reject it?) or 'human dignity' (the honour God accords us by creating us with genuine freedom to choose to accept or reject the gospel). If God overrides our freedom to choose how we live our lives, then we are not free. (It is very important that we acknowledge that our Lord himself lived with the rejection of the gospel by those he encountered, notably in Luke 18:18-30).
To the extent that heaven and hell are words in our human language used to describe futures we have not experienced and which is also revealed to us as a future beyond our imagining (1 Corinthians 2:9), it is important to be agnostic about the detail of what these futures involve. Some of our unease about hell may be due to presuming we understand fully from this side of the grave what the other side will be experienced as. On this side of the grave we tangle ourselves in theological knots over the question of "annihilation" versus "everlasting punishment" when, in reality, we have no idea what either fate would involve in respect of states we call "death", "pain", "torment" and the like.
Finally, I have always liked C.S. Lewis' insight that heaven is not a reward like promotion and a pay rise is a reward for hard work, it is more like marriage is a reward for courtship, an appropriate destination for a particular journey (I cannot recall where he wrote that). It is hard to see how heaven will be (so to speak) heavenly for those who have rejected God, let alone for those who persist in rejecting God no matter how many gracious entreaties are made.