My Condition

Though various authorities will declare that mankind, or the human spirit, is basically good the Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Sin is the Biblical word for rebelling against God.  The Bible teaches that God, being a perfect and righteous judge, has to punish us for our sins.  So the natural state of all persons is that they are sinful/rebellious toward God and so will be punished for their sins. 

The Bible acknowledges that a sinful person can do something that is good.  The problem exists in that no matter what good you may do you also have done sinful things, displeasing things before God.  Imagine a person who committed the murder of your child standing before a judge and the defense lawyer is bringing character witnesses forward who tell of all the good that this murderer has done. Is the judge going to say that 'since this murderer has done so many wonderfully good things we will declare him innocent?'

In the same manner God will hold each person accountable for their sins on the merit of their sins and not balance them on a scale against any good they may have done.  

What is the punishment for sin?
The Bible teaches that there are two places of existence after we die, heaven and hell. Heaven is an eternal state of existence in the presence of God and His son Jesus that is joyful and fulfilling. Hell is an eternal state of existence in a fire that never consumes the person placed there. Jesus spoke about both of these places often and warned his listeners sternly to avoid hell. John the Baptist warned people to repent so they would not have to go there. The Apostles, who learned from Jesus, warned of its reality. This place of "weeping and nashing of teeth" is where God sends those who rebel/sin against Him.
What must I do to be saved from hell?
Jesus came preaching a message of 'Repentance' from sin and a 'Belief' in Him. The major purpose in Jesus' taking the form of man was to become a sacrifice for the sins of anyone who would believe in Him. His death on the cross and the shedding of his blood became the substitute 'punishment' for the person who would become his follower. Those who repent (repent = turn from sin) and turn their hearts to Jesus will be saved from the fires of hell because the heavenly Father takes the punishment of His Son as payment enough. It is one's faith in Jesus that effectively washes away their sin by the power of His perfect sacrifice. If your sins are forgiven (washed away by the blood of Jesus' sacrifice) because you turn your heart to believe and follow him, then there is no reason left for God to have to condemn you to hell. God will then allow you to be in His presence forever. God loves His son dearly and likewise loves those who love His Son.
How can God love us and still send us to hell?
God loved you enough that he took human form as a baby in the womb of a virgin named Mary. The name Jesus means, one who saves. As God in the flesh, Jesus related to God the Father as His Son. He lived a perfect life without ever sinning! He chose to allow himself to be arrested beaten and crucified on a cross on which he died. He chose to do this on our behalf because He wanted a way to be able to forgive us of our sins. He was willing to die because of his love for us and desire to have us be able to go to heaven and live with him forever. And while Jesus chose to suffer a terrible death at the hands of men, the Father watched and endured the suffering of his Son because likewise, He desired to have us with him in heaven because he loves us. All in all, the sacrifice of Jesus proves the love of God for us more than anything could. The sending to hell part is our decision. Those who bow the knee before Jesus will not be sent to Hell. Those who CHOOSE not to bow the knee CHOOSE rebellion, they choose to tell God 'I do not want what you want.' So, God grants them their desire to not be with Him.