The central issue for the version of Christianity I grew up with was whether you would go to heaven or hell after death. The churches I attended all taught that your ultimate destiny depended on whether or not you had been saved.
Wrath and Punishment
There is a better way than adopting the literalist readings of either Dawkins or conservative defenders of everything ascribed to God in biblical stories. Just as we might acknowledge that a biblical writer can have an overly anthropomorphic view of God, we can say that a biblical writer can have a view of God that is morally deficient, which comes from common ways of thinking about deity at the time.