In his attempt to paraphrase Jesus, an atheist said - "If you love me, you'll obey me. If you don't love me, you'll go to Hell. Therefore, you'd better obey me or I'll torture you forever!" He also said that people are Christians because they’re afraid of death and/or hell. I don’t know how he could be more wrong - on both counts. I’ll deal with the last one first.
No Christian on the entire face of this earth is afraid of either death nor hell. The process of dying? Maybe, but certainly not death itself. Our last breath on this earth is just the beginning of the main event for which we were created.
Nevertheless, atheists make the claim that fear of death and hell is a terrible reason to pledge allegiance to God. And they’re right!
Almost quoting a verse from, I think 1st John, my six-year-old daughter said, just out of the blue, "Dad! I love you because you love me." Because she loves me, she tries to please me by obeying me. Jesus said, “The one who loves Me is the one who obeys Me.” Not fear, not dread, but His love for us is what should draw and does draw most people to Jesus. Although, if fear is all that's left to do the prodding, then "How is it any benefit to a person if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?"
Regardless, the atheist is saying, “The only reason that I would come on side with God is out of respect, not fear. NOT that I do respect Him! In fact I think the God that I don’t believe in is evil. BUT if I did come on side with the God that I don’t believe in, it most certainly wouldn’t be out of fear."
Well, good for you. That really is a noble sentiment. And stupid!
An atheist is like someone to whom an invitation is being given for the last place on a lifeboat as the ship is going down. The atheist waves off the invitation with, “No thanks. I’d rather die than give the impression that I’m afraid of drowning.”
Now to the attempted paraphrase. The first problem is, the word torture is never used in the Bible when describing your stay in hell. On the other hand the word torment is used. Even at that, it’s not torment in the sense of God saying, “I’m doing this to you” like an older sibling twisting your nipple or giving you a wedgey. It is torment in the sense that after they die, atheists will be saying to themselves, for eternity, “Look what I’ve done to myself. Look what I did to my children; look what I did to my friends, they believed me when I said that God isn’t real. And I can’t even go back and warn people by telling them that I was wrong.”
Sometimes resting on your supposed integrity, logic and reason isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.