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What Is Hell Like According To The Bible

What Is The Difference Between Sheol Hades And Hell

What Hell Really Looks Like In The Bible

Sheol is the term used in the Old Testament to describe where all people go after death. The Old Testament describes it as a place deep in the ground, and sometimes it is translated as the grave or the pit. Sometimes it is used to describe where people punished by God go, such as in Ezekiel 32 where its prophesied God will punish the Egyptians and they shall lie in Sheol with other slaughtered kings . The Psalms use it to describe being in the darkest place: you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol . However, Sheol doesnt just refer to where people who have rejected God go. Its also the term used in places like Genesis 15:15 to describe men dying and going to join their fathers or going to the place of their fathers. When Jesus shares a parable in Luke 16:19-31 about Lazarus and the rich man, he says after Lazarus died he was taken to Abrahams bosom, which may be a term for the section of Sheol where the Hebrews believed the righteous went.

Why Did God Create Hell

God created hell as a place of judgment for Satan and his fallen angels. Ezekiel 28:12-19 tells us that Satan was an anointed cherub who was in Eden, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, until unrighteousness was found in him. He was internally filled with violence, and his heart was proud because of his beauty, so God cast him down from His holy mountain.

Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels .

God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, held for judgment .

The everlasting fire of hell was prepared for Satan and his angels. But when humans joined the devil in rebellion against God, they were condemned to share the punishment prepared for the fallen angels.

What Is The Lake Of Fire

The lake of fire is spoken of in the book of Revelation as the second death, a place of eternal punishment from which there is no reprieve, where both body and spirit suffer forever.

In the end times, both Christians and unbelievers will be resurrected . The first resurrection will be Christians. Jesus will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will be resurrected to meet Him in the air. Then the believers who are still alive will be caught up together with the resurrected believers and will always be with the Lord from then on .

After this, the beast and the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone . They will be the first two beings thrown into the lake of fire.

Following this, Satan will be bound in the Abyss for 1000 years . The saints that were resurrected or raptured will reign with Christ over the earth for that 1000 years. . The rest of the dead the unbelievers will not be resurrected yet.

After this, Satan will be released, and he will deceive the nations, gather a huge army, and initiate a war against the saints . Fire will come down from heaven and devour the army, and the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever . Satan will be the third being cast into the lake of fire.

Some people are being held back by friends.

In hell there will be both spiritual and bodily destruction.

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The Act Of Punishment May Or May Not Be Eternal

Do texts such as this speak of eternal punishing or eternal punishment ? In other words, what is it that is eternal or unending: the act of punishing unbelievers, or the effect of their punishment? Again, is the torment of the lost a conscious experience that never ends? Or is the punishment a form of annihilation in which, after a just season of suffering in perfect proportion to sins committed, the soul ceases to exist? Does the ascending smoke of their torment point to the unending conscious experience of suffering they endure? Or does it signify a lasting, irreversible effect of their punishment in which they are annihilated? Those who argue for the latter view contend that there will be no rest day or night from torment while it continues or as long as it lasts. But whether or not it lasts forever or eternally must be determined on other grounds.

Popular Depiction Of What Hell Looks Like

What Does the Bible Say About Hell?

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.

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!

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Christian Theology On Heaven And Hell

Modified: Oct 1, 2021

As many as the number of religions in the world are the number of theologies about Heaven and Hell. Some often get confused about what is what, while others get their information about Heaven and Hell confused. We, Christians, however, should not be a part of this crowd. We should clearly know what we believe in and why we believe in it. Our belief about heaven and hell is related to one of many key points of our salvation. The things that we do as Christians basically revolve around our beliefs. Here, we aim to thoroughly explain the Christian theology on heaven and hell. The Bible verses included in this article will help clarify the misunderstood belief of most Christians about this matter.

Whos Going To Hell According To The Bible

The cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death .

Maybe youre looking at that list and thinking, Oh no! Ive lied! or Ive had sex outside of marriage. The good news is that Jesus paid for all our sins through His death on the cross. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness .

The primary item on that list above that will send you to hell is unbelief. If you fail to receive Gods wonderful gift of salvation through believing in Jesus, you will burn in eternal torment in the lake of fire.

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Hell Isn’t About The Magnitude Of Our Sins It’s About The Magnitude Of God

As for the argument from justice, we humans are hardly the ones to assess the enormity of our sins. Is the magnitude of our sin established by our own status, or by the degree of offense against the sovereign, transcendent God? . As John Piper has pointed out, The essential thing is that degrees of blameworthiness come not from how long you offend dignity, but from how high the dignity is that you offend . In other words, our sin is deserving of infinite punishment because of the infinite glory of the One against whom it is perpetrated.

What Did Jesus Say About Hell

What is hell like?

Jesus spoke about hell more than anyone else in scripture. Why did He do this? Jesus wanted us to see what He was going to endure on the cross on our behalf. On the cross, Jesuss punishment was pull of pain and heartbreak before he slowly suffocated to death. Hell magnifies for us the love of God by showing us how far God went, and how much he went through, to save us.

Jesus says it is a place of eternal torment , of unquenchable fire , where the worm does not die , where people will gnash their teeth in anguish and regret , and from which there is no return, even to warn loved ones . He calls hell a place of outer darkness , comparing it to Gehenna , which was a trash dump outside the walls of Jerusalem where trash was burned and maggots abounded. Theres no denying that Jesus knew, believed, and warned against the absolute reality of hell.

One day, all that is wrong will be made right.

Megan Bailey is the Social Media Specialist and Content Producer for Beliefnet. She attended James Madison University where she received a degree in psychology.

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Parables Of Jesus Concerning The Hereafter

In the eschatological discourse of Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus says that, when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate people from one another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats, and will consign to everlasting fire those who failed to aid “the least of his brothers”. This separation is stark, with no explicit provision made for fine gradations of merit or guilt:

Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. …whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

Matthew 25:4143

In a parable about “The Rich Man and Lazarus” in Luke 16:19-31, the poor man Lazarus enjoys a blissful repose in the “bosom of Abraham” , while the rich man who was happy in life is tormented by fire in Hades , the two realms being separated by a great chasm .

What Does Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth Mean

Jesus foretold the fate of evildoers: In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves being thrown out .

In Matthew 13:41-42, Jesus said: The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom every cause of sin and all who practice lawlessness. And they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The weeping and wailing in hell are from bitter grief and utter hopelessness. People in hell will be shrieking in uncontainable psychological pain. Likewise, gnashing or grinding the teeth like a wild beast snarling and snapping its teeth portrays extreme anguish and absolute despair.

Gnashing ones teeth also is a sign of anger those suffering in hell will be angry for bringing condemnation on themselves especially those who heard the good news of salvation but rejected it. Many in hell will think to themselves, why didnt I listen?

10. Matthew 8:12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

11. Matthew 13:42-43 And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Fathers Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

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Biblical Scriptures Of The Physical Nature Of Hell

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.

II Thessalonians 1:9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.

Revelation 21:8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liarsthey will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.

And if your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

It’s Either Eternal Conscious Punishmentor Final Destruction

Does Hell Burn Forever? Not according to the Bible.

What reasons do people give for denying eternal conscious punishment and affirming annihilationism ? Many appeal to the biblical language of hell, primarily the words to destroy, destruction, and perish . The fire of hell, so they contend, burns up, consumes, and utterly destroys its object, leaving nothing . Thus, they interpret destroy to mean deprive of life and existence, hence the extinction of being. Annihilationists also point to the Greek word often translated forever and insist that it more literally means age, referring to a lengthy but limited period of time. One also often hears an appeal to the dictates of justice. It goes something like this: A just penalty will be in proportion to the crime or sin committed. How can a sin committed in time by a finite creature warrant eternal, unending torment?

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Biblical Terms Describing Where The Dead Are

  • Sheol – a Hebrew term simply describing the grave or death Does not refer to hell specifically
  • Hades – A Greek term that usually refers to hell a place of torment
  • Gehenna – A Greek term that always refers to hell a place of torment
  • Lake of fire- the final abode of unbelievers after they are resurrected
  • Abrahams bosom – a place of eternal comfort
  • Paradise – a place of eternal comfort
  • With the Lord – a key phrase describes where church age believers are after death
  • New heavens and earth where believers will be after they are resurrected

Terms For Hell In The Bible

The Hebrew word Sheol occurs 65 times in the Old Testament. It is translated “hell,” “the grave,” “death,” “destruction,” and “the pit.” Sheol identifies the general abode of the dead, a place where life no longer exists. According to the Hebrew Bible, Sheol is specifically “the place of the unrighteous dead:”

This is the path of those who have foolish confidence yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah. Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.

Hades is the Greek term translated “hell” in the New Testament. Hades is similar to Sheol and often associated with a place of torment for the wicked. It is described as a prison with gates, bars, and locks, and its location is downward:

‘For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.”

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Where Is Hell Located

To find out where hell is located, one must look at the context of when this event occurs to discover the details. John 5:29 says that the resurrection of the righteous will be unto everlasting life while the resurrection of the wicked will be unto condemnation and the wrath of God. This same idea can be found in Revelation 20:5 when the wicked are resurrected from their graves. Once the wicked have been resurrected and cover the face of the earth, the devil convinces them to attack the beloved city of God. At that moment fire comes down out of heaven and destroys the wicked and Satan . Therefore the fires of hell will burn across the entire face of the earth, allowing no escape for the wicked. 2 Peter 3:10 adds the following about where hell is located and this fiery event, “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

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