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Imagine you are single. In your group of friends there is someone who likes you. They continue to make it obvious that they really want you two to be together. You eventually break their heart and say no thanks. Despite this, they continue to come after you. It's almost to the point of becoming a stalker situation. You tell them to get lost. You don't even want to be friends. They will not give up and say you don't have a choice. You MUST spend the rest of your life with them. You just want them to leave you alone. They never do and you finally get are stuck with them... forever.
Does that sound good? No. It sounds like a nightmare.
Does that sound fair? No. It sounds terrible.
This is exactly what some people think is going to happen when we die. Jesus comes after us our whole lives. He places people in our path. He stirs our heart toward Him. However, some continually say, "No thanks, Jesus. Just leave me alone." Then, people think after die He is just going to force us into His presence for eternity. Nope. Jesus will honor our desire to be separated from Him.
That is what Hell is. Hell is a place where people go who do not receive the free gift of salvation and, therefore, have to pay for their own sins.
What is Hell?
Hell is described as a place absent from God's goodness. In the verses below, we read of a place of torment, punishment, and anguish. Pop stars describe it as a place of partying and mischief. They speak of drinking with the devil and seeing their friends. Many movies have their villains saying things like, "I'll see you in hell." It doesn't work like that. If someone ends up in hell, they are not interested in who else is there. It's a worst-case-scenario.
Where is Hell?
Short answer, we are unsure. The Bible speaks of hell being underneath us. Since Hell is a spiritual place, the Bible may be speaking about it being below us as a metaphor.
Should I believe people who say they have seen Hell?
It's up to you. There is no Scriptural reason not to believe them. I would only caution you to weigh what they say with God's Word. If they don't agree with the Bible's description of Hell, go with the Bible.
Hell is a literal place for fallen angels who rebelled against God and for those who decide to pay for their own sins. It is a place of eternal torment and separation from God.
FurtherGreat article on topic of hell:
- Does the devil own hell?
Answer: No. Hell was originally created as a place of punishment for Lucifer and other fallen angels.
- Does God send people to hell?
Answer: No. Hell is a place where people go if they do not accept the free gift of God's grace.
- Can I leave hell once there?
Answer: No. Once there, the judgement is final. To some, this may sound like an unfair judgment by God. Why would a loving God sentence someone to stay separated from Him forever? The answer is actually more simple than you might think. The bottom line is... He doesn't have to "force them" out of His presence. These people do not want to be there. People who go to hell are those who decide to refuse God's gift of grace. They do not want to bend their knee and submit to the Lordship of Jesus. Therefore, in God's infinite kindness, He gives them what they want.
Bible Verses on Hell
(These are not all but many.)
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'"
And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.
2 Thessalonians 1:9
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
And throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
2 Peter 2:4
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.