Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has revealed that he doesn't believe hell is a physical place, as he cannot imagine a loving God "tormenting somebody forever."
In a recent interview with The Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn, the retired neurosurgeon stated, "I don't believe there is a physical place where people go and are tormented. No. I don't believe that."
"Well, you know," Carson admitted, "there's going to be different interpretations. You know, I see God as a very loving individual. And why would he torment somebody forever who only had a life of 60 or 70 or 80 years? Even if they were evil. Even if they were only evil for 80 years?"
The GOP hopeful clarified that he does, however, believe heaven is a physical place. "The Bible says when you die, you know, there is no soul that kind of floats away," he said. "But essentially, when you die, the next thing you know is the coming of Christ because you don't know anything when you're dead. If you're dead for a second or a thousand years, it's the same. But when he comes, according to the book of First Corinthians, that the sound of the archangel will rise and that's when things happen."
He also revealed he does not subscribe to the belief of a rapture, arguing that he does not see "any evidence for that in the Bible."
When asked if the many tragic events currently occurring world today could signify that Jesus will return soon, Carson replied, "It could. Of course it could, yeah. It [the return of Christ] could come at any time ... You live your life as if he's coming back today. As if he's coming back tomorrow."
Carson said that ultimately, he strives to follow God's lead in every area of his life, even if it may be uncomfortable for him.
"I would put it this way. [The campaign] wasn't something I particularly wanted to do ... And I finally just said, 'Look, Lord, you know this is not on my bucket list. And the pundits say it's impossible anyways.' "
"But, I said, 'If you really want me to do this, then you will have to open the doors. I'm not going to push them open.' And the doors have flung open. So I don't know what the eventual end of it all is, but I promised that I would walk through the doors if they opened."
According to the New York Times, Carson, who just last month was close behind front-runner Donald Trump in a national Quinnipiac poll, has dropped to third place, falling more than 10 points behind the billionaire businessman in a poll released Wednesday.
But regardless of what happens, Carson said he will continue to follow God's plan for his life -- even if it doesn't mean winning the presidency.
"I don't know what his eventual plan is," the presidential contender said. "When I commit to something, you know, I go into it wholeheartedly. If I'm not president, it will not be a devastating blow to me."