This is another most intriguing and somewhat perplexing question. It has been considered many times down through the ages by Christians and non-Christians alike. Back in 1320 AD Dante wrote the book, Divine Comedy, and it was published finally in 1472 AD. It describes his view of what torment might be like in various levels of Inferno or Hell. It is of course fictional but worth reading to get one perspective on torment in Hell for body and soul.
We, however, always look to see what God has said in His inspired Word, the Bible. First, in many references it says that Hell is a real place, a place that was initially created for Satan and the fallen angels. (Jude 1:6) It is also a place for all those who have rejected God’s free gift of redemption and salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are very clear that there is no condemnation or punishment or torment for those who have trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Romans 8:1) That’s the good news! Jesus, who spoke more about Hell than heaven, described Hell as a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In other words, a body.
In the book of Revelation there is reference to the resurrection of the dead nonbelievers with bodies as it says every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. (Philippians 2:9-11) Unfortunately, it will be too late for those to enter heaven as they made their choice while on earth to say no to God. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed onto man once to die and then judgment.” Again in the book of Revelation 20:11-15 we learn that the unsaved will stand before God in judgment and be cast into hell or the lake of fire for all eternity.
Finally their unsaved souls will be in constant torment and anguish. They will forever regret the choice that was made to reject Jesus. They will lament over thoughts like, if I had only listened, or if I hadn’t been so stubborn, or if I had only believed, or if I only trusted in Jesus. God gives everyone an equal chance to have eternal life and be forever with Him in heaven. So choose wisely while there is yet time. Jesus is calling. We trust that you will say yes.
Some religions suggest that evil is just an illusion. That it is a condition of the mortal mind. Others have said it is a result of ignorance and superstitions and if you don’t think about it evil will go away.
Our life experiences argue otherwise. We lock our cars and houses. We have security systems. We have laws against murder, rape, child abduction, lying under oath, etc. Yes evil is real.
It came about when Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to disobey God. There was only one commandment and they chose not to keep it. At that moment the human race and the earth began to experience the opposite of God’s goodness, evil.
Evil is the absence of God. We see it expressed in pain, suffering, discord, war and death. The ‘good news’ is that God reigns and one day evil will be overthrown. All those who put their trust in him will live eternally where there is no pain, no suffering and no death.
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God doesn’t send anyone to hell. People choose to go there when they reject Jesus Christ.
Surprised by that answer? you shouldn’t be. God is both loving and just. He won’t force anyone to love him. In fact, he allows all to to pursue the longings of their lives. People who want nothing to do with God in this life will be granted that desire for eternity. That results in eternal separation from God who is the source of all love, joy and beauty.
But God’s desire is for all of us to enjoy Him. He wants everyone be saved from the torments of an endless pursuit of that which will never truly satisfy–an eternity devoid of love and beauty. One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, reminds us :
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
He has provided a way to much better eternal life, one in which there is no more sadness or disappointment or loneliness or war or pestilence or pain or death. It comes though a personal relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. God is patient and long-suffering, but eventually all must choose.We all will die and meet God the Creator face-to-face; no reincarnation and no second chances. When we do, we may discover that our choices in life lead to an eternity in hell. Choose wisely.
The simple answer is yes. The Bible makes more references, over 65, to hell than to heaven. It is described as a place of eternal torment, utter darkness, constant weeping, no water to quench one’s thirst and a place of eternal fire.
There are personal true testimonies of people who had out of body experiences and were headed through a dark tunnel to hell. The pain they reported to have experienced was unbearable. The book, Dante’s Inferno, paints a realistic picture of what hell would be like only it will be much worse and there is no escape. Why is the Bible so graphic about hell? Because God does not want anyone to go there.
God gives all mankind significant warnings about the destiny of those who reject God’s offer of salvation in Jesus Christ. The choice is clear heaven or hell both are real places.
To fully answer these questions, we must review the sequence of end time events as written about in the Bible and how they affect both believers and non-believers. Though Biblical scholars differ in their understanding of these complex issues, they agree in their understanding of the effects on these events on those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We are now in what is called the Church Age which began following Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and the subsequent arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This Church Age will continue until what is called the rapture, when we believers and all deceased believers in Jesus Christ will be “taken up” from the earth and be forever with Christ. As to your question ‘When’, it would appear we are getting closer and closer to this event. As mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and elsewhere in scripture, “…. sin will abound and man will deny and even mock Christ at this time.”
Then a period of time known as the Tribulation will begin and last for seven years. During this period, there will be massive devastation and loss of life and there will be a world leader known as the Antichrist sitting on a throne in Jerusalem. It is described in the Book of Revelation.
Immediately following, a period known as the Millennium, i.e. 1000 years, will begin. It will be ruled by Christ and we as believers will be with Him as leaders. There will be also present those Jews and others who accepted our Savior during the Tribulation. This is generally referred to as the Millennial reign of Christ.
Following this period comes the final White Throne Judgement by Jesus described in the Revelation to John at the end of the Bible. That ushers in the eternal dwelling for believers in the new Heaven and eternal separation from God (hell) for the non-believers.
While the exact sequence of the events I have just described may be debated, the important thing for you is ‘where will you be? Have you made your life’s commitment to Jesus?
ETERNITY IS A LONG LONG LONG TIME