The paranoia fuel is part of what makes the concept of Hell so potent, by playing on the fear of what comes after death. Just because you transgressed this one small rule, you are condemned into eternal punishment. And you don't even know when you will die or be able to repent.
This idea is also why many atheists, skeptics, and less dogmatic believers write off such an idea as preposterous.
There's also the notion that since it seems since God is all knowing, he can actually see the future, including if you are going to Hell or Heaven. Meaning all those stuff about how you have to choose your own destiny is all lies. Happy living, everyone.
This is the idea behind the Calvinist and Islamic concept of predestination. Meaning that God has decreed your final depository beforehand and you can do absolutely nothing for it.
Which increases the paranoia and Tear Jerker. You can be the nicest, sweetest person in your town. Construct and run no-kill shelters for abandoned pets, adopt disabled orphans, fund foster homes, donate to the poor and needy, etc, but you'll go to Hell anyway because God has seen to it before you were born.
It should be noted that, in the Christianity-based religions at least, that God does not determine where you are going in the afterlife from birth. He merely knows what's going to happen, as one's own actions determine their place after death. Though in Calvinism—-also known as double predestination, as in God predestines those to be saved and those not to be saved—-and several traditions do state he does so, based on several biblical quotes that imply that.
There's also the fact that even if you do everything right, follow every rule, go to church every Sunday, save puppies from fires on the weekends- there's still a significant chance that your beliefs are the wrong religion, or even the wrong church, and you're going to hell anyway. You can be the kindest person, but if Jack Chick was right, you're screwed.
According to Classical Mythology, the world is ruled by a pantheon of Jerkass Gods who will utterly screw over mortals for the most petty of reasons, or no reason at all. Yes, yes, if you managed to piss off the gods knowinglynote Although let's face it, if you were stupid enough to knowingly anger a God, you probably deserve whatever punishment they dish out. It happened to Tantalus... or unknowingly, get ready for a very hard life, if not worse. Being Properly Paranoid won't even help: there's a reason why cruel Irony is a major theme in Greek drama. Oh, and by the way, destiny rules everything and you have no control over your life. As a bonus: The ancient Greek word for "safe" translates to English as "free from fear". Their word for "safe" meant that they weren't in danger. It's a negative. To them, the default state of existence was "not safe". The Greeks basically lived in this trope.
σῶς, the most common Greek word meaning "safe," means pretty much the same thing the English word does and it is a root word ("savior" σωτήρ is based on this root word) with no overt connotation. There is a word meaning "free from harm," but not very frequently used.
Also from Greek mythology, there's the Hydra. You know, the one that Heracles killed? Except... one of the heads was immortal, so he had to trap it under a rock. All it would take for an undying, poison-spewing monster to be released is for some unsuspecting builder to dig up the wrong rock.
Gnosticism laughs at the two examples above and makes it more horrifying. Your entire existence is pretty much to be food for an evil lion-headed god and his angels, unless you adhere to exceedingly ascetic rituals and ways of life that may or may not allow you to escape from physical reality. And sometimes, the archons don't feel like waiting for you to die.
And how can you tell if someone's under Archon control? They act like The Fundamentalist. How many people do you know who act that way?