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What does Hell look like?

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Is Hell real? Where is Hell? Who will burn in Hell? Why does Hell exist? What does Hell look like? Does God want you to go to Hell?

In this article, we will explore what Hell looks like from a Biblical perspective and provide answers to important questions.

Etymology

The Word hell is derived from an old English word Helle which means 'hidden place,' which has its roots from a Proto-Indo-European language word called Kel, which means to conceal.


Ask anyone about hell, and they will tell you that it is not a good place to be. This is not surprising because nearly all religions and folklore define Hell as a place of punishment for deeds done in this life.

Cyclical religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism depict Hell as an intermediate location where the souls of the dead spend a certain amount of time to pay for sins committed during one’s lifetime. Once purged, the purified soul reincarnates back on the Earth to start life fresh with a clean slate.

On the other hand, linear religions such as Christianity and Islam teach that hell is a final destination for sinners from which there is no coming back. However, Islam teaches that sinful Muslims who are punished in Hell will be eventually forgiven and allowed to enter paradise.

While the concept of Hell may sound outdated in the 21st century, it is very much real. It is important to understand that God has created a beautiful Paradise, and He wants to see you there. And trust me, you will like it there because Heaven looks completely different to Hell as there will be no more suffering, no more crying, and no more death.

Unfortunately, most people who have ever lived will end up in Hell, not because they didn’t get a chance to go to Heaven but only because they didn’t take their salvation seriously enough to learn how to avoid Hell.

This article on Hell is not to scare you but to reveal the reality and certainty of eternal doom if you neglect the marvelous salvation that the Lord Jesus Christ has purchased for you through His sacrifice.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.Matthew 7:13-14

The concept of Hell that is popular in Christiandom and generally the Western world is derived from various Pagan Greek and Roman philosophies. Hell is described as a place of eternal torment and torture of people who lived a sinful life on Earth. The Devil is depicted as the overlord of this fiery abode to which God has abdicated all His rights.

looks like the devil is in charge of hell


If you look at popular representations of Hell in books, movies, and folklore, Satan and his demons are often depicted with scary features such as red scaly bodies with cloven feet, bat wings, sharp nails, pointed tails, and horns protruding from the head. They are said to rule Hell with a hard hand, often carrying pitchforks to poke people with. Sinners are portrayed in the most miserable conditions, often with distorted body parts who endure immense suffering accompanied by screechings, screams, and loud weeping. Laughing demons with evil grins on their faces are shown to be diligently at work, throwing people into lakes of boiling water and blood or punishing them with various torture techniques.

These scenes seem to give an impression that the Devil and his demons are partying away in Hell, enjoying the suffering of sinners while God turns a blind eye as though He has an agreement with Satan to supply him with victims for his kingdom of doom constantly.

But is this what Hell looks like? Keep reading to find out!

Secrets Unlocked Fact

Door-to-Hell-Turkmenistan


Is this the door to Hell???

A huge gaping sinkhole appeared decades ago in the middle of a desert in northern Turkmenistan, baffling scientists. The Darvaza Crater, more commonly known as the Door to Hell, still burns continuously 24 hours a day, a surreal feature in an otherwise barren landscape.


What does Hell look like according to the Bible?

1. All ungodly people will be punished in Hell

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.2 Peter 3:7

According to the Bible, all ungodly people whose sins have not been forgiven will be punished in Hell. They don’t go to Hell just because they are sinners but because they have unforgiven sins. They didn’t confess their sins and hence have not been washed by the blood of Jesus.

Suffering in Hell will be both physical and spiritual. An important point to note is that the punishment of the condemned will vary in time and intensity in proportion to the sins committed.

Revelation 21:8 provides us with an example list of people whose final destination is going to be Hellfire.

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 21:8

2. Hell is a lake of fire and brimstone

Revelation 21:8 (The verse we just looked at) describes Hell as a lake of fire and burning sulfur (brimstone). Contrary to popular belief, Hell will not be on some piece of land or inside a deep cavern but rather a lake of fire.

If Hell were situated on solid ground, then it would technically allow the denizens of Hell to live out eternal lives in damnation. If such a Hell would be possible, then it could allow the disgraced inhabitants to carry on with life in some shape or form.

hell looks like a lake of fire


However, the Bible doesn’t say that hell looks anything like the one usually depicted. Rather it clearly shows that Hell will not be a place of continued life because it will be a lake in which the suffering sinner will not be able to do anything much other than experience torment.

Hell has a particular purpose: the destruction or perdition of wicked people. No Hell-bound sinner will lead an everlasting life in an alternate reality.

2 Peter 3:7 describes the punishment of ungodly people as “perdition of ungodly men”.

The greek word for perdition is apoleia (ἀπώλεια) which means destruction. Jesus used the same word in Matthew 7:13 when He expressed the fate that awaits the damned.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction (Apoleia) and many there be which go in thereat
Matthew 7:13

In the 14th century, famous Italian writer – Dante Alighieri wrote the epic poem Divine Comedy, in which the first part called Inferno describes his allegorical journey through Hell. In the poem, Hell is depicted as having nine concentric circles of torment, with each lower level being worse than the level above. The worst sinners occupied the lowest level, and the ones that sinned the least lived in the highest level where they faced less torture.

This description of hell is popular but has no support in the Bible.

dantes depiction of hell
Domenico di Michelino, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons [CC0]


3. Hell will burn with Heavenly fire.

The fire of Hell is obviously not similar to any earthly fire because the human body will get burnt up within a short time. The fire of Hell will be of a heavenly origin. The Bible mentions this in Matthew 18:8 where Jesus describes the fire of Hell as “eternal fire.”

8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Matthew 18:8

The Bible in Jude 1:7 also compares the destruction of bad people in Hell to the annihilation of the Sodomites who were destroyed by “eternal fire.”

7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jude 1:7

According to Genesis 19:24, the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone sent down from Heaven. This account gives us a preview of what the fire of Hell will look like as it is also of a supernatural origin.

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Genesis 19:24

4. Hell will be a dark place of punishment involving weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Hell looks like a dark place of agony, as Jesus called it “outer darkness.” Therefore it is possible that the suffering evildoers will not be able to see each other. But they will definitely hear one another since they will cry out in pain with high pitched sounds. Jesus repeatedly used the phrase “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” to describe the experience of the damned.

SUFFERING IN HELL FIRE


This implies that even though they realize their evilness and feel sorry, the sorrow will not be because of genuine repentance but rather due to self-pity. They gnash or grind their teeth in anger against God for making them pay for their sins.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22:13
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:41-42

5. Hell was originally meant for the Devil and his angels

Many people incorrectly assume that God hates us and derives great pleasure in punishing humans. They believe God created Hell so He could torture people.

But this characterization of God as an evil villain is untrue. It goes completely against the central theme of the Bible, which consistently portrays God as benevolent and loving who decided to come down to Earth and sacrifice Himself to save us from the damnation of Hell (John 3:16). God is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9)

One might ask, if God loves us, then why did He create Hell? The answer might shock you. Not a single human was destined to go to Hell. The truth is that God devised the concept of Hell for the Devil and his minions.

That is a place reserved for these evil demons to suffer for all the pain and misery they caused. They lived in Heaven and served God. They knew His Holy and Righteous character but chose to rebel against Him and lead others into destruction.

Jesus Himself tell us this in Matthew 25:41

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:41

And we see the fulfillment of this in Revelation 20:10 when the devil is thrown into the lake of fire.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 20:10

You might be surprised to note that both Satan and his demons will suffer in Hell. Contrary to popular depictions, the devil is not in charge of Hell. He has no control or authority over Hell. Rather he will have the longest and most intense torment of all sinners.

Satan in lake of fire


God doesn’t want you or, for that matter, anyone to suffer in Hell because we weren’t created to suffer in Hell. The Lord Jesus died so that we don’t have to go to Hell. It will be unfortunate to see that many people will choose to go down the long and easy path that leads into the lake of fire despite His immense sacrifice.

6. People will go to Hell after the judgment

Many Christians have got the concept of the judgment totally wrong because they have a wrong understanding of what happens when we die. They think that vile sinners will suffer the pains of hellfire immediately after death. They arrive at this conclusion by reading the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:20-31. This is an incorrect understanding of the parable. You can read more details about this in the article Did Jesus Teach That We Have An Immortal Soul?

Firstly, the teaching that the dead are judged at their death contradicts Revelation 20:12,13,15, which plainly teaches that the dead will be bodily resurrected from their graves to be judged at the end of the world when the records of their deeds are analyzed.

If the dead were already judged and punished after their deaths, then why raise them again bodily to be judged and punished again?

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:12,13,15

Secondly, notice that the wicked dead are all judged simultaneously when they will be resurrected from their graves, unlike the incorrect teaching of judgment at one’s death because if that were true, then every person would be judged at different times depending on when they die.

Finally, we can see that according to this faulty understanding, the dead would be judged twice, once when they die and second when they are resurrected again at the end of time.

According to this erroneous teaching, we have:

Death ➜ Judgment ➜ Judgement

This contradicts Hebrews 9:27 which teaches that judgment follows death:

Death ➜ Judgment

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Hebrews 9:27

Also, 2 Timothy 4:1 confirms that Jesus will judge the dead at his appearance, which obviously will take place at the end of time.

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Timothy 4:1

7. There is no second chance or coming back from Hell

Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 that the objective of sending people to Hell is to destroy the entire being (body and soul) of the wicked. Those who go to Hell are on a one-way ticket. There is no coming back from there.

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28

Is there a possibility that the wicked might repent once they start suffering in Hell?

No the Bible doesnt say that such a scenario can happen.

In fact, after the wicked are judged, they will be enraged against God and will unite with Satan in a rebellion to take over Paradise (Revelation 20:7-10). Satan will make it look like they can avoid Hell and take over Heaven by force.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 20:7-10

After the manifestation of their unrepentant characters, God will punish all sinful people and demons in Hell. Every righteous person will then see with their own eyes and acknowledge that God’s judgment and the punishment of the wicked is fair. Even if the unrighteous are given a million chances, they will always choose to continue in sin. Therefore God has no choice but to destroy both sin and sinners in Hellfire.

8. No one is burning in Hell today

A fair legal system doesn’t allow a criminal to be punished without allowing him a fair trial. Imagine how perfect the legal system of God is. Does it look like God will punish people in Hell without giving them a fair trial? Of course not! He will not allow a person to suffer for their wrongdoings without first assessing his or her case in the courts of Heaven. Every sinner will be shown all their wrongdoings and their constant rejection of God’s forgiveness. Eventually, the wicked will acknowledge their crime, thus proving that God has judged them impartially.

In John 12:48 and Matthew 13:40, Jesus clearly told us that this judgment would be executed at the end of the world when Jesus comes back. He will then give out the rewards or punishment based on the verdict from the trial. (Revelation 22:12)

28 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
John 12:48
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Matthew 13:39-41

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Revelation 22:12

Therefore since God is a just and fair God, He cannot and will not allow any evil doer to suffer in Hell until the end of time.

9. Hell will burn on Earth

Hell is also not going to be in an alternate dimension or planet. It will be right here on Earth.

hell-burns-on-the-earth


The saints will live with God in the Heavenly city of Jerusalem right here on Earth (Revelation 201:1-3).

The righteous will see the destruction of the wicked with their own eyes because the lake of fire will be created on Earth.

Malachi 4:1-3 states that the saints will tread on the ashes of the wicked after their destruction. This can only be possible if the wicked perished on Earth.

1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 4:1-3

Right at the very end, before the punishment of sinners, Satan will rally all the wicked who had ever lived to one final battle against God to take His Holy City. Revelation 20:7-10 describes how Satan will garner the support of all the wicked. The point to note is that the rebellion takes place on the earth as the wicked “are in the four quarters of the earth” and “And they went up on the breadth of the earth.”

Notice how God foils their plans by sending fire from Heaven, which engulfs the wicked, and eventually, they are thrown into the lake of fire. This provides further proof that the lake of fire, aka Hell, will burn on Earth.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 20:7-10

10. How you live this life will determine if you will go to Heaven or Hell

Heaven or hell


There are only two destinies possible. Either we live forever in Heaven or be obliterated out of existence in Hell. There is no third choice available. We will all make active choices in this life, which will have eternal consequences.

By default, all humans were destined to go to Hell because we have all sinned and fall short of God’s expectations. But God intervened to save us from going to Hell by punishing Jesus instead. The only way for us to go to Heaven is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and accept Him as our Savior.

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:23
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Colossians 1:13-14

The blood of Jesus provides forgiveness for our sins. We only need to repent! Once we sincerely repent and accept the sacrifice of Jesus, we will be seen in the eyes of God as though we had never sinned. Not only that, God will change our minds and characters to enables us to live good, righteous lives. Thus we are made suited to live in the Holy sinless environment of Heaven.

Those who do not come to God and continue to live selfish unholy lives on Earth will never be able to bear the Holy Sinless existence in Heaven. God will be left with no other choice but to destroy both sin and sinners in Hell-fire.

Conclusion

We should take the topic of Hell seriously as the choices that we make in this life will determine if we go to Heaven or Hell.

Cross


Hell looks like a scary place, and many are frightened when they hear about it. The unrepentant heart doesn’t want to overcome the easy sinful life of pleasure and thus becomes fearful of hearing the doom of sinners in the lake of fire. But this doesn’t have to be your destiny.

Remember that God loves you so much that He died for your sins so that you could go to Heaven.

To know about Heaven and what God wants for you, read the following article:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

It will be a shame if people end up in Hell despite the price that Jesus paid on the Cross through His sacrifice just so that we could go to Heaven.

Unfortunately, most people will reject the salvation that our Lord Jesus Christ has bought for us. Many also wilfully reject the call to a Holy Life in Christ just because it is inconvenient to give up a life of luxury and sinful gratifications. Others find it difficult to follow God as it requires sacrifice and selfless effort.

Many have a wrong understanding of God’s character because of the prevailing misconceptions about Hell.

God does not derive pleasure in sending sinners to endless torture in hell; neither does He want them to suffer forever for a brief sinful life. God doesn’t want you to go to Hell but wants you to be in Heaven. Please accept His gift of eternal life now!

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3 comments

  • Romans 6:23 KJVS
    [23] For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Is says the wages of sin is DEATH, Not eternal life in fire.
    We will tread upon their ashes as Malachi says.

    satan says we won’t die:

    Genesis 3:4 KJVS
    [4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

    Is Sodom and Gomorrah still burning today? No, definitely not. Yet it says:

    Jude 1:7 KJVS
    [7] Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    2 Peter 2:6 KJVS
    [6] And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

    Isaiah 47:14 KJVS
    [14] Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

    Isaiah 13:6-11 KJVS
    [6] Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. [7] Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: [8] And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. [9] Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. [10] For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. [11] And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

    Joel 1:15 KJVS
    [15] Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

    2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 KJVS
    [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: [9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

    Matthew 10:28 KJVS
    [28] And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    One last thing:
    Hellfire will be upon this earth, Fire will come down from God from heaven and devour the wicked and they will be stubble. (Rev 20:9) Then, God renews the face of the whole earth and everything is made new, then New Jerusalem comes down from heaven above on the new earth. How can the wicked still be burning when God makes all things new on the earth….? (Rev 21:1)

    God bless you, Secrets unlocked 🙂

    -Organic

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