Is hell a real place of fire?

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
Yes, the other example that stays with me is imagine being lost in a cave, isolated with no other person to call out to. Your just submerged in total pitch darkness. That would be terrifying. Now take that and intensify that to a million with fire and never ending pain. Yikes. Thank God He has saved us from that place.
Your cave analogy is apt and terrifying. We went into Luray Caverns once while on vacation. They did that 'turn the lights off and wait for the reactions' thing. In seconds the nervous laughter turned to moans, cries of concern and soon enough, wails of fear. Just before the cacophony became unbearable, the cheshire-cat grinning guide turned the lights back on...ain't never going back there again either...albeit the visual memories will stay with me for my life. I can imagine that hell has that effect on the heart and mind. In a cave, they say a person goes insane without light in short order. In hell that won't be an out or an option.

Heh, I can talk all day about rock climbing. Dry, open air ascents. Multi-pitch to a lesser degree, but top-rope to a great degree and in boring, mind-numbing detail. Caving on the other hand, all I can say is that once I couldn't clearly see my hand in front of my face, I nope-nope-NOPED my way out to the entrance as quickly as my feets would take me. I ain't never looking back and with zero humiliation or regrets.
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Your cave analogy is apt and terrifying. We went into Luray Caverns once while on vacation. They did that 'turn the lights off and wait for the reactions' thing. In seconds the nervous laughter turned to moans, cries of concern and soon enough, wails of fear. Just before the cacophony became unbearable, the cheshire-cat grinning guide turned the lights back on...ain't never going back there again either...albeit the visual memories will stay with me for my life. I can imagine that hell has that effect on the heart and mind. In a cave, they say a person goes insane without light in short order. In hell that won't be an out or an option.

Heh, I can talk all day about rock climbing. Dry, open air ascents. Multi-pitch to a lesser degree, but top-rope to a great degree and in boring, mind-numbing detail. Caving on the other hand, all I can say is that once I couldn't clearly see my hand in front of my face, I nope-nope-NOPED my way out to the entrance as quickly as my feets would take me. I ain't never looking back and with zero humiliation or regrets.

It's crazy to think that in the modern days in which we live, there are so many people who think Hell is a joke. If I could, I would take my unsaved friends to Luray Caverns and have them experience a little taste of how Hell would be like and tell them," you think this is bad? Hell is much worse." I think that would truly make them think about their eternity more often.

I have never had that exprience, being a cave in complete darkness but I don't want to find out lol
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
Your cave analogy is apt and terrifying. We went into Luray Caverns once while on vacation. They did that 'turn the lights off and wait for the reactions' thing. In seconds the nervous laughter turned to moans, cries of concern and soon enough, wails of fear. Just before the cacophony became unbearable, the cheshire-cat grinning guide turned the lights back on...ain't never going back there again either...albeit the visual memories will stay with me for my life. I can imagine that hell has that effect on the heart and mind. In a cave, they say a person goes insane without light in short order. In hell that won't be an out or an option.

Heh, I can talk all day about rock climbing. Dry, open air ascents. Multi-pitch to a lesser degree, but top-rope to a great degree and in boring, mind-numbing detail. Caving on the other hand, all I can say is that once I couldn't clearly see my hand in front of my face, I nope-nope-NOPED my way out to the entrance as quickly as my feets would take me. I ain't never looking back and with zero humiliation or regrets.
You know, it ought to be Christian tour guides taking people on a field trip like that. After giving guests the experience of "turning the lights off", the guide can say, "You've just experienced a little of what Hell will be like..." then go on to give the message of salvation. We're not properly using the tools God gave us. That cave could be a wonderful witnessing tool.
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
We had that same cave experience at Carlsbad. Two things that stick out to me about Hell. One is the fire/pain part. I burned myself on my bbq this summer. Just a touch on that hot lid was excruciating...put ice on it, ran water over it, aloe cream...finally stopped to a tolerable level, but I realized that was only 400 degrees or so. And for an instant. I can't imagine hotter and forever. The second part about Hell that is just unimaginable to me is the eternal part. Everything we know has an end. Everything. Even the longest prison sentence will come to an end. Buildings will eventually become dust, cars will rust to nothingness. But Hell? As bad and painful after a billion, billion millennia as it was at first. And no hope for escape or release. None, even for an instant. Add to that the knowledge of what you could have had and maybe the knowledge of those you deceived and are now with you. The physical pain added to the emotional pain and the 'what ifs' and 'if onlys' and the cries of your children and grandchildren who followed you. It is impossible for me to wrap my head around. Every day now, I pray for every single person on the planet, really, all 7.8 billion of us. I heard Andy Woods says a couple weeks ago that he thought every person on the planet was save-able at this time. I hope he's right. I don't want a single person to go to Hell. I've asked God to put me with the others who are on that last inch before people step into Hell. My prayer every day is that people, all 7.8 billion of us, get just enough clarity in the day to consider what happens when they die. Put that thought into every persons mind. Block Satan's lies just long enough for every person to have a moment of clear truth and understanding. Yeah, Hell is a hard concept for me. I understand, I think, the justice of it and I don't question it, but wow, the reality and the magnitude and the eternality of it.
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
The second part about Hell that is just unimaginable to me is the eternal part. Everything we know has an end. Everything. Even the longest prison sentence will come to an end. Buildings will eventually become dust, cars will rust to nothingness. But Hell? As bad and painful after a billion, billion millennia as it was at first. And no hope for escape or release. None, even for an instant.
I have a theory about that and our 'modern' sensibilities. Almost every form of entertainment I can recall from my personal experiences resolves around, 'it will get better' or 'last minute rescue' or 'made the shot of before the buzzer' or 'the cavalry has arrived and just in time' or, you get the idea. Even a lot of the songs I know center on themes about a better day and tomorrow and the next time around, again, you get the idea.

So to the theory. I have come to believe that so much of that isn't about the 'human will or spirit triumphant' as much as it's about the true deceptive power of satan and his insidious, wicked schemes. We have been programed to believe that there will always be an out or an escape. In other words, we are programmed to NOT beleive in an eternal hell...because, as we know, deus ex machina...the god from the machine and pull us out, just in time.
I heard Andy Woods says a couple weeks ago that he thought every person on the planet was save-able at this time. I hope he's right. I don't want a single person to go to Hell. I've asked God to put me with the others who are on that last inch before people step into Hell. My prayer every day is that people, all 7.8 billion of us, get just enough clarity in the day to consider what happens when they die.
I agree with him. After all is said and done, if the sacrifice of Jesus Christ didn't pay the sin debt in full for my neighbor down the street or for the stranger half was around the globe, it certainly couldn't be relied upon to cover for me. The assumes belief of course.

I've asked God to put me with the others who are on that last inch before people step into Hell. My prayer every day is that people, all 7.8 billion of us, get just enough clarity in the day to consider what happens when they die. Put that thought into every persons mind. Block Satan's lies just long enough for every person to have a moment of clear truth and understanding.
It's a fantastic understanding to have an understanding of life's real purpose for a believer. Rick Warren somehow missed that part in his purpose driven drivel.

Yeah, Hell is a hard concept for me. I understand, I think, the justice of it and I don't question it, but wow, the reality and the magnitude and the eternality of it.
It's one of those realities that I wish wasn't in the Bible.
 

PortWen

Well-Known Member
My prayer every day is that people, all 7.8 billion of us, get just enough clarity in the day to consider what happens when they die. Put that thought into every persons mind. Block Satan's lies just long enough for every person to have a moment of clear truth and understanding. Yeah, Hell is a hard concept for me. I understand, I think, the justice of it and I don't question it, but wow, the reality and the magnitude and the eternality of it.
Eternity is a concept I struggle with - even trying to grasp being in heaven forever is hard to get my head around - never mind hell! I think about the people I knew who died without Jesus and are in hell now and it is a very, very difficult thing to cope with.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
We had that same cave experience at Carlsbad. Two things that stick out to me about Hell. One is the fire/pain part. I burned myself on my bbq this summer. Just a touch on that hot lid was excruciating...put ice on it, ran water over it, aloe cream...finally stopped to a tolerable level, but I realized that was only 400 degrees or so. And for an instant. I can't imagine hotter and forever. The second part about Hell that is just unimaginable to me is the eternal part. Everything we know has an end. Everything. Even the longest prison sentence will come to an end. Buildings will eventually become dust, cars will rust to nothingness. But Hell? As bad and painful after a billion, billion millennia as it was at first. And no hope for escape or release. None, even for an instant. Add to that the knowledge of what you could have had and maybe the knowledge of those you deceived and are now with you. The physical pain added to the emotional pain and the 'what ifs' and 'if onlys' and the cries of your children and grandchildren who followed you. It is impossible for me to wrap my head around. Every day now, I pray for every single person on the planet, really, all 7.8 billion of us. I heard Andy Woods says a couple weeks ago that he thought every person on the planet was save-able at this time. I hope he's right. I don't want a single person to go to Hell. I've asked God to put me with the others who are on that last inch before people step into Hell. My prayer every day is that people, all 7.8 billion of us, get just enough clarity in the day to consider what happens when they die. Put that thought into every persons mind. Block Satan's lies just long enough for every person to have a moment of clear truth and understanding. Yeah, Hell is a hard concept for me. I understand, I think, the justice of it and I don't question it, but wow, the reality and the magnitude and the eternality of it.
Yep, and just when a million years have passed in Hell, the awful thing to think about is that eternity has just begun. Everyone in Hell is utterly alone, utterly bored, and utterly in pain. People cry out from just being alone in solitary confinement after a few hours or days. What would a million years of loneliness and boredom do to them; what would an eternal night do?
 

Neonap

Well-Known Member
Eternity is a concept I struggle with - even trying to grasp being in heaven forever is hard to get my head around - never mind hell! I think about the people I knew who died without Jesus and are in hell now and it is a very, very difficult thing to cope with.

I had a uncle who I really was close with while I was growing up, but had passed away when I was 19. For the majority of the time I knew him, he was a devout atheist but was a "good" person that I had admired. When he had passed, I never had the chance to say goodbye and now I wonder if he ever had come to believe in Jesus Christ before he moved on from this life.

Picturing him in hell hurts but I know God is good, and I've come to understand that God respects our freewill, He will not force us into Heaven nor make us believe in Him.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
I had a uncle who I really was close with while I was growing up, but had passed away when I was 19. For the majority of the time I knew him, he was a devout atheist but was a "good" person that I had admired. When he had passed, I never had the chance to say goodbye and now I wonder if he ever had come to believe in Jesus Christ before he moved on from this life.

Picturing him in hell hurts but I know God is good, and I've come to understand that God respects our freewill, He will not force us into Heaven nor make us believe in Him.
I feel the same way about my maternal grandfather. He died believing that Christ was just a man, not God.
 

Rocky Rivera

Well-Known Member
Let's not forget that Hell is a place so terrifying that even the hardiest demons dread going there. What's the first thing the demons say through the possessed man when they meet Jesus? They plead, "Do not send us into the abyss..." About that episode, it's intriguing to see that Jesus grants the demons "mercy" by allowing them to possess the pigs instead. It appears that He gives them some kind of mercy and love while they are not in Hell, yet. Once a soul is in Hell, however, be they human or demon they get no more love from the Almighty.

Evidently, Hell is structured in such a way that angels, though great in power and might, exceeding anything the physical universe offers in terms of strength and speed, are unable to escape the gravity of Hell. You could almost say that there is an iron curtain that locks the prisoners inside, preventing any escape. In the end, despite being offered a full pardon for sins and a sure promise to live in endless beauty and life forever, they hate the King enough to say something like, "Give us our own place where we don't have to deal with you any more..."
 

GEOINTAnalyst

Well-Known Member
Gehenna [gevenna in the Greek] is the standard term for hell in the New Testament. Related phrases include "punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 7), "lake of fire" ( Rev 19:29 ; 20:14-15 ), and "judgment." English versions occasionally translate as Hades [adeß in the Greek which was pronounced as hah-dace] (esp. Luke 16:23 ) and tartaroo [tartarovw] ( 2 Pe 2:4 ) as hell. However, these terms appear to denote the intermediate state, not the final destination of the wicked. Hell is a final place of bondage and isolation from the righteous. After the resurrection and the final judgment, the wicked and even Hades are thrown into hell. The New Testament describes hell as a place: a furnace ( Matthew 13:42 Matthew 13:50 ), a lake of fire ( Rev 19:20 ; 20:14-15 ; 21:8 ), and a prison ( Rev 20:7 ). The wicked are imprisoned here so they cannot harm God's people ( Matt 5:25-26 ; Matthew 13:42 Matthew 13:50 ; 18:34 ; Jude 6 Rev 20:14-15 ).

While the parable of Lazarus and the rich man occurs in Hades, the intermediate state, and not Gehenna, it does foreshadow the latter. Jesus says an unbridgeable spatial chasm separates these two so no one can "cross over from there" ( Luke 16:26 ). John's vision in Revelation 21 of the new city on a high mountain confirms this separation between the blessed and the damned after the day of judgment.

In the New Testament hell is where the reprobate exist after the resurrection from Hades and the final judgment (Rev 20:11-15). In this lake of fire God punishes the wicked, along with Satan and his henchmen ( Matt 25:41 ), bringing an end to evil's free ways.
 

GEOINTAnalyst

Well-Known Member
Eternity is a concept I struggle with - even trying to grasp being in heaven forever is hard to get my head around - never mind hell! I think about the people I knew who died without Jesus and are in hell now and it is a very, very difficult thing to cope with.
Humans cannot really grasp the concept of eternity due to the fact that in the physical form which we are in now - we are finite - we are born, we live, then we die - since we live in a physical linear time-line we cannot truly understand the things outside of it where God is for God is outside are space-time dimension - so for me - I do not worry about those things since I cannot fully comprehend it and never will in this existence
 

usoutpost31

Well-Known Member
I have often wondered why God does not simply destroy those who have chosen to reject Him, rather than having them suffer such agony forever…
Erwin Lutzer offers an explanation for this that I believe is sound, in his excellent book One Minute After You Die.

"Unbelievers Are Eternally Guilty

Hell exists because unbelievers are eternally guilty. The powerful lesson to be learned is that no human being’s suffering can ever be a payment for sin. If our suffering could erase even the most insignificant sin, then those in hell would eventually be freed after their debt was paid. But all human goodness and suffering from the beginning of time, if added together, could not cancel so much as a single sin.

Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.
“Rock of Ages”

What if, from God’s viewpoint, the greatness of sin is determined by the greatness of the One against whom it is committed? Then the guilt of sin is
infinite because it is a violation of the character of an infinite Being. What if, in the nature of God, it is deemed that such infinite sins deserve an infinite penalty, a penalty that no one can ever repay?"

Lutzer, Erwin W.. One Minute After You Die (p. 107-108). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
 

GEOINTAnalyst

Well-Known Member
I have often wondered why God does not simply destroy those who have chosen to reject Him, rather than having them suffer such agony forever…
It is because the Sin still exists - even after death - the sinner cannot repent after death or ask for forgiveness so the sin is always there, they died to that sin, and God separates the two for all eternity, one place called Heaven the other Hell - the Soul lives forever
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
I have often wondered why God does not simply destroy those who have chosen to reject Him, rather than having them suffer such agony forever…
I think from close reading of the Bible that we must conclude that souls are indestructible. They (we) have two choices— to accept God's means of salvation and spend eternity with Him; or reject God's means of salvation and spend eternity without Him.

Everything outside of God is chaos. I think Genesis 1:1-2 reveals that. God brought order to the chaos. He ALWAYS brings order to chaos; while Satan always tries to undo God's order, His creation. In God there is order; outside of Him is outer darkness: chaos.

The word that God used that means order or peace is "shalom". As Israel prophecy watcher Doug Hershey explains, "The ancient Hebrew meaning of shalom was “to make something whole”. Not just regarding practical restoration of things that were lost or stolen. But with an overall sense of fulness and completeness in mind, body and estate." And God produces shalom where—without Him—there would only be chaos.

I do not understand eternity; I do not understand the Trinity; I do not understand many, MANY things that are hinted at (or even plainly mentioned) in the Bible. I simply accept what God says. I know that one day He will explain it to me ... in fact, to everybody who is His. Right now it would make as much sense to me as explaining quantum physics to a 5 year-old. (Hey, I'm 77 and I have trouble grasping even part of THAT subject ... let alone the things of God!) I know that He is not like us, but is a being of an entirely different order. Heaven is not an elevated earth but is on an entirely different plane of existence; and those who dwell there are quite different from us. But the promise of God is that one day —whether by undertaker or Uppertaker— we will be there with Him. And when the Rapture comes (as it surely will) we will ALL be changed in the twinkling of an eye: the dead in Christ first and then those of who remain. The corruptible will put on incorruption; this mortality shall put on immortality. I don't understand it, but I believe it. And I am eagerly waiting for it.

In the meantime, like all of you, I just want to serve Him as best I can so that He may be glorified in and through what is left of my life.
 

Jonathan

Well-Known Member
This is a question I have thought about a lot. Primarily, I am going to assume the Bible is literal here when it refers to Hell as a place of fire. However, it doesn't even have to be a technical inferno to be just as horrible. When I deeply contemplate the concept of hell, the main concept that comes to mind, that is more hellish than being roasted alive, is the idea of being eternity separated from my own Creator,

I will elaborate, because this isn't lip service.

Since your soul is most likely eternal, it can't be destroyed. The bible refers to "Death" and "The Second Death" which indicates stages and transitions, but ultimately your soul can never cease to exist. It is far worst than that.

Your soul will continue on but will be in a state of eternal separation from the very creator who not just created you, but created everything good that you know of as well. When I try to explain how horrific this would be, I find myself falling short trying to explain it. The only illustration I can think of that comes close to the way I perceive it is the following:

Imagine that you have been granted immortality. You can't die. You are immune to death. And you never sleep.

Now imagine that you have been buried alive in a very small coffin many feet below the earth with the full knowledge t that you will never be rescued, you will never escape, and your situation is permanent for all of eternity.

Yet, you are still fully awake and conscious, and will always remain so. And for all of eternity you will remain in this hellish nightmare of Claustrophobia with no lifeline to God. All of your screams and pounding on the interior of your coffin are all for naught because no one can hear you. And even if they could, they would be incapable of helping or even communicating with you. You will never know. The coffin starts filling up with the waters of panic, insanity, and absolute hopelessness, and even though you eventually find yourself eternally drowning in them, you still will never die, go to sleep, or receive any deliverance.

But this hellish existence inside a coffin of your own making will be your permanent state forever. And again, you cannot die. And you know this.

That is what I imagine Hell is like
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
This is a question I have thought about a lot. Primarily, I am going to assume the Bible is literal here when it refers to Hell as a place of fire. However, it doesn't even have to be a technical inferno to be just as horrible. When I deeply contemplate the concept of hell, the main concept that comes to mind, that is more hellish than being roasted alive, is the idea of being eternity separated from my own Creator,

I will elaborate, because this isn't lip service.

Since your soul is most likely eternal, it can't be destroyed. The bible refers to "Death" and "The Second Death" which indicates stages and transitions, but ultimately your soul can never cease to exist. It is far worst than that.

Your soul will continue on but will be in a state of eternal separation from the very creator who not just created you, but created everything good that you know of as well. When I try to explain how horrific this would be, I find myself falling short trying to explain it. The only illustration I can think of that comes close to the way I perceive it is the following:

Imagine that you have been granted immortality. You can't die. You are immune to death. And you never sleep.

Now imagine that you have been buried alive in a very small coffin many feet below the earth with the full knowledge t that you will never be rescued, you will never escape, and your situation is permanent for all of eternity.

Yet, you are still fully awake and conscious, and will always remain so. And for all of eternity you will remain in this hellish nightmare of Claustrophobia with no lifeline to God. All of your screams and pounding on the interior of your coffin are all for naught because no one can hear you. And even if they could, they would be incapable of helping or even communicating with you. You will never know. The coffin starts filling up with the waters of panic, insanity, and absolute hopelessness, and even though you eventually find yourself eternally drowning in them, you still will never die, go to sleep, or receive any deliverance.

But this hellish existence inside a coffin of your own making will be your permanent state forever. And again, you cannot die. And you know this.

That is what I imagine Hell is like
I think you are very close to the feeling of what it will probably be like. I cannot imagine the horror of those numberless souls who are already reserved for that fate, or the countless souls to come who will also wind up there. How crucial is the message we bear and the witness we bear that demonstrates it is real! How important we do all we can ...while we can. As I preached one Sunday last year: the night is coming when no one can work.
 

Jan51

Well-Known Member
The Calvinists/preterists/reformed bunch do not accept the literal historical grammatical dispensational interpretation of Scripture. Once you start down the allegorical path, nothing need mean what it says.

Years ago I was listening to a daily radio program of Sproul teaching through Revelation. It just made me shake my head, especially when he got to chapter 20. He ignored the first 10 verses completely, didn't even read them. Then he said, "I don't know WHERE people get this crazy idea of a thousand years."

Wow. Yet somehow he had some great reputation as a Bible teacher...
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
Years ago I was listening to a daily radio program of Sproul teaching through Revelation. It just made me shake my head, especially when he got to chapter 20. He ignored the first 10 verses completely, didn't even read them. . . .Yet somehow he had some great reputation as a Bible teacher.
:hmmm yeah, Jan, that always puzzled me, too. My dh teaches a couple of weekly Bible studies, both from a literal, historical and grammatical perspective. Over the years, we have heard Dr. Sproul quoted or we've seen a Bible associated w/his name. Eventually, after better teaching, these people began to understand that RCS wasn't such a great teacher after all. A lot of Calvinists don't have assurance about their own salvation. I think RCS had issues about it, too. So very sad. They are like the Pharisees in the gospel of John who rejected the Truth standing right before them while clinging tenaciously to their tradition. Such a sad lot. So grateful I finally understand their error after years of thinking they were ok and getting caught up in it myself. Thank You, Lord, for directing my steps to the accurate preaching of Andy Woods.
 
Top