What is hell?

Hell is the place of torment created to punish Satan and his followers, and to destroy sin. Whoever dies in sin goes to hell. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell , so He sent His son Jesus to die for us and save us from our sins. If you accept Jesus as your savior, you will have eternal life with God, you will not be condemned in hell.

Does hell exist?

Yes, the Bible says that hell is real , like Heaven; it is not a metaphor. Hell is the place where sins are punished. When we sin, we are separated from God ( Romans 3:23 ). This causes death, both physical and spiritual. Hell is the place of total separation from God. Since everything good comes from God, those who are totally separated from God will only experience sadness and torment. That is why hell is such a bad place, without hope.

In the Old and New Testaments there are mentions about the existence of hell. Sometimes the words sheol , sometimes hades , ehenna (geena) or tartar (these last 3 Greek words occur only in the NT) appear to designate hell, as a place of punishment and eternal separation from God. Here are some examples:

For a fire was kindled by my anger, a fire that will burn to the depths of Sheol.
He will devour the land and its crops and consume the foundations of the mountains.

Deuteronomy 32:22

And will you, Capernaum, be lifted up to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades ! If the miracles that were performed on you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained today.
Matthew 11:23

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to trial. Also, anyone who says to his brother: ‘Racá’, will be taken to court. And anyone who says, ‘Crazy!’, Runs the risk of going to hellfire . (translation of ‘gehenna’)

Matthew 5:22

For God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them into hell , trapping them in dark abysses in order to be reserved for judgment. (translation of ‘tártaro’)

2nd Peter 2: 4

What does the Bible teach about hell?

What will hell be like?

The Bible does not describe in detail where and how hell will be, but it clearly states that it will be a place of great suffering and distance from God. Here are some characteristics related to hell, according to the biblical text:

  • Place of punishment and absence of God2 Thessalonians 1: 9 )
  • Place prepared for the Devil and his angelsMatthew 25:41 )
  • A place of complete darkness and darkness2 Peter 2:17 )
  • Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teethMatthew 8:12 )
  • There will be suffering compared to the fire that never goes outMark 9:43 )
  • Where there will be destruction of the soulMatthew 10:28 )
  • Place with lake of fire and sulfurto torment ( Revelation 21: 8 )

How can a loving God allow eternal suffering?

God allows hell to exist because He is Just. Hell is the just punishment for sin. All sins committed on earth will be punished in the judgment of God. If we accept that Jesus took the punishment in our place, we will not have to pay for our own sins. But if we reject Him, we will face punishment worthy of our sins.

God cannot live with sin, because He is Holy. Hence, when we sin we are separated from God. Hell is complete death, with no connection to God. This causes eternal suffering, because when we die we will no longer be limited to the rules of time and material space, we will be in eternity.

God is love ( 1 John 4: 8 ) and sent Jesus to save us from hell and restore our relationship with Him ( John 3:16 ). But God does not compel anyone to be with Him against their will. God loves us and has given us freedom to choose to love Him or to reject Him. If we decide not to be with Him, we will pay for the consequences of our choice ( John 12:48 ).

If He didn’t give us that choice, it wouldn’t be love, it would be a prison. He does not compel anyone to follow Him, but those who accept him by faith will enjoy eternity in His presence.

A matter of choice …

Only those who do not want to be with God go to hell. The choice is of each one. If someone doesn’t really want to spend eternity with God, then they won’t. But God has already warned of how it will be, the suffering of hell, separated from Him ( Revelation 21: 8 ). God does not hide the truth from anyone.

Do not be fooled or miss the opportunity to choose to be with God. There are consequences for whatever we choose: eternal life or eternal death ( Matthew 25:46 ). There is no option for indecision or abstention. If you are undecided, decide for God while there is time and live as Jesus taught.

God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but He respects everyone’s choice

 

Leave a Comment