What Is Hell Like?

Kevin Zuber
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Many misconceptions exist about hell because of cultural or media representations. What does the Bible say?

Matthew 8:11–12
“I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

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.’”

Matthew 25:46
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Mark 9:47–48
“If your eye causes you to stumble, throw 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 20:14–15
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The doctrine of hell, the eternal conscious punishment of the unsaved is not a pleasant notion to contemplate and it is offensive to many. Nevertheless, Scripture clearly teaches that hell exists and is the destiny of the devil (see Rev. 20:10), his demons (see Matt. 25:41) and the lost. Jesus referred to hell more than any other individual in the New Testament. The references to “eternal fire” and “eternal punishment” indicate that the destiny of the lost is as interminable for them as the “eternal life” is for the saved. Thus, the notion that hell is only temporary, or that the lost are ultimately annihilated (made to go out of existence) is not tenable for anyone who takes the Scriptures literally.

For Further Reading:

The Essential Scriptures

by Kevin Zuber

Which Bible verses support that doctrine? All good theology is grounded in the Word of God. Yet sometimes it’s hard to keep track of...

book cover for The Essential Scriptures