Bible Truth About Hell

What is the truth about hell? Do the lost burn forever in the fires of hell in pain Truth About Hell and suffering? Are the lost dead burning in hell right now as many believe? No, and we will show you clear truth from the very Word of God in the Bible that hell fire does not burn for eternity and there is no one burning in the fires of hell now. You are about to find out the Bible truth about hell.

Please note that we do believe God will judge the world, and the judgment courts are seated in heaven now. And when this "investigative" judgment has finished, then the wicked will be cast into the "lake of fire" as described in Revelation chapters 19-21. But it is our firm belief that the Bible clearly teaches the wicked will be burned up in the lake of fire and will cease to exist.

Now before we get into the Bible evidence, just think about these couple of very important points. Just imagine putting your hand into a fire and leaving it there for just 30 seconds. That would be incredibly painful right? Now just imagine throwing your whole body into the fire and staying there forever! This is what many people believe God will do to the lost. But does God stop loving those who are lost? No! So if God loves the sinner forever then He wouldn't burn them in flames of fire in never ending pain and suffering would He? We do not serve a God that is in the business of torturing people who do not serve Him. Think about it, it is our NATURAL way to sin and not walk with God because we are a fallen race. So according to this teaching of eternal hell fire, God is going to burn the lost for eternity, just because they didn't serve Him, even though they had a NATURAL tendancy to sin. If God did that then He would not be a just God. But thankfully this isn't the Bible truth and we do have a just God who will punish the wicked, but will NOT burn them in hell fire forever, rather they will die the second death in the lake of fire and will cease to exist.

What is Hell?

There are four words for hell in the Bible. One in the Old Testament, which is "sheol", and three in the New Testament; "Tartarus", "Gehenna", and "Hades".

Sheol is an easy one, it basically means "the grave", which is our resting place where we go when we die. "From dust you were made and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19). The other three in the New Testament need a little bit of explaining:

TARTARUS

2 Peter 2:4 .....'For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus ], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.' ..... Now have a good think about this one. Where are Satan and his angels now? Are they in "hell fire" roasting away? No, they are freely roaming the earth tempting and deceiving people. So why does it say that they are being held in hell? Well, the meaning of tartarus is "dark abyss", or "place of restraint". Now this isn't a place of judgment, because as the Bible verse above confirms, satan and his angels are "RESERVED" for judgment. They won't be punished until after Christ Jesus returns. And what about the chains? Are they literal chains that the angels are kept in? No, as I've said, satan and his angels are FREELY roaming the earth right now. So the chains are symbolic of the circumstance of satan and the fallen angels. They have been cast out of heaven and are BOUND to this earth. They are chains of circumstance. These angels used to be in the presence of Almighty God, but now they have been cast out of heaven and are bound to this earth, which to them is a "dark abyss" and they are "restrained" to this place, reserved for judgment.

GEHENNA

Matthew 5:22 .....'but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna] fire.' ..... It is pretty much universally agreed that the word for hell in this verse was based upon the "Valley of Hinnom" where trash and dead animals were burned, and the fires ONLY continued to burn as long as the people added more rubbish or dead animals to it. But the things that were added to it were burned up and consumed away into nothing but ash. In this Bible verse, Jesus is confirming that there will be a real fire where the lost will receive their punishment. But are the lost dead there now? Well, Christ answers this for us in Matthew 5:29, where He says that it is more profitable for us to lose one of our body parts that causes us to sin, than for our WHOLE BODY to be cast into hell [Gehenna]. Now how is it possible for someone who has died and their body is in the grave, at the same time to be cast into hell whole bodied? Doesn't make sense does it? That's because Jesus here is talking about being cast into hell fire, or the lake of fire, AT THE END OF TIME. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 13:40-42:

'As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.'

Do you see? The lost are cast into the lake of fire [Gehenna] AT THE END, not when they die. And we will show you further in this study that the lake of fire at the end does NOT burn forever, but it will go out once it has done it's job of consuming all the wicked. And then the wicked will be no more.

But many Christians believe that it isn't the body that goes to "hell", just the "soul". The truth is, we do not have an immortal soul that lives on when we die. The creation account in Genesis confirms that we didn't RECEIVE a soul, we BECAME living souls when God created us. So when we die we just return to the dust and are no longer living souls. Now many people are happy to accept this teaching of us having eternal souls, and that it is the souls of the lost that burn in hell, and they will use the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to back it up. But when you really look at this teaching, you begin to see huge problems with it. How? Well, this rich man in hell is supposed to be just a bodyless soul, and yet he has a TONGUE, amongst other body parts! So our souls have tongues do they, that can cool a person burning in hell fire with just a few drops of water? You begin to realise how rediculous this teaching is when you really look into it with open eyes. Please see HERE for the truth about what happens at death.

HADES

Revelation 20:14 .....'And death and hell [Hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.' ..... Ok, so if we take hades as being hell fire, a place of torment, then we have a problem because as you can see it says in the above Bible verse that hades is cast into the lake of fire. Now how can a place of fire and torment (hades) be cast into a place of fire and torment (lake of fire)? Do you see the problem? So what is hades? The King James Version Bible and Strong's Concordance translates hades as being "the grave". So does this make sense now? Yes! If we re-read the verse above with this new information it reads as; "death and THE GRAVE is cast into the lake of fire. Obviously this is symbolic of death and the grave being destroyed forever.

1 Corinthians 15:55 ..... 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Hades], where is thy victory?'

Just to confirm this even more, let's take a look at the above Bible verse in context ..... 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 .....'Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Hades], where is thy victory?

Now if you connect the line "we shall not all sleep", with "O grave [Hades] where is thy victory", it tells us that the saints also rise from hades to everlasting life with Jesus. This shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that hades is the grave and not a place of torment and hell fire, because as we know the saved do not experience any part in hell fire.

So what is the true meaning of the word "hell" throughout the Bible?

Sheol means the grave, the resting place for all who have died.

Tartarus means a place of darkness and restraint for satan and the fallen angels, ie. this earth.

Gehenna means a place of real fire where the wicked are punished and destroyed.

Hades means the grave, the place of the dead.

Does Hell Burn Forever?

We do believe that there will be a real fire that God will reign down upon the wicked of this world, but the important question is, will it last forever? The simple answer is no, and we will show you from the Bible why we believe this. There are so many people around the world, and I have come across some, who will not serve God because they have been taught that God will burn people in pain and anguish for eternity. It's so sad, and this teaching of eternal torment in hell for the lost is a wicked teaching itself and is the cause of keeping many people away from God. So what is the Bible truth about hell fire?

First of all, if you do believe that there is a literal everlasting hell where the wicked are burning and tortured for eternity, then there are some clear contradictions you have to somehow overcome. In Matthew 25:41 Jesus says to the lost, "depart from Me, into everlasting fire", but then in John 3:16 He says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not PERISH , but have everlasting life". A clear contradiction! And this verse shows us there are only two routes. To perish, ie. cease to exist, or everlasting life. Now if the lost are burning in hell forever, then they have everlasting life too! Do you see the problem? The following is another contradiction:

Revelation 20:10 .....'And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.'

Ezekiel 28:18-19 .....'Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.'

So in Revelation 20 above it says that the devil (satan) will be tormented forever in hell fire. And yet in Ezekiel, talking about satan, it says that the fire will devour him and he will be no more, ie. he will cease to exist. So you have a few problems if you believe in a literal eternal hell fire. So what is the truth about hell?

Malachi 4:1-3 ....'For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch .'

What happens to the wicked? They become as stubble, they burn up and turn into ash and are left with neither root nor branch. Now what is left of a plant if the branches and roots are destroyed? Nothing!! It's all gone and ceases to exist, the same as the wicked when the fire from God destroys them as Malachi says.

Psalm 68:2 ....'As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.'

Psalm 37:10 .....'For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.'

Psalm 37:20 .....'But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.'

As you can see, the Psalmist knew the truth about hell fire. He knew that the wicked will be destroyed in the lake of fire. So why is it that some verses seem to suggest that the fire will burn the lost forever? Well, why is it that Jonah said he was in the whale forever (Jonah 2:6) when he was actually there for only 3 days? How about Hannah, who said that her son Samuel would serve God in the earthly temple forever (1 Samuel 1:22), when in fact he ceased to serve God there when he died? Or in Exodus 21:5-6 where it says that a servant will serve his master forever, knowing that the servant will die one day and not be able to serve his master? It is because the word forever in the Bible simply means "a period of time" or "an unbroken age". Now if we apply this to the fires that burn the wicked " forever" it begins to make sense that they won't burn for a literal eternity, but the fire will keep on burning for "an age" or " period of time" UNTIL it has done it's job of destroying the wicked. And the effect of the fire is eternal in that the wicked are destroyed FOREVER.....

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 .....'In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.'

Where is Hell?

Those who believe that hell is a literal place of torment with eternal fire tend to think that the place of hell is in the core of the earth or some other holding place in the heavens. But what does the Bible say where hell is?

Revelation 20:9 .....'And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.'

Just this one verse is enough on it's own to show us the truth about hell. Right at the very end of this world, the wicked join together and go to attack the "camp of the saints", which is the New Jerusalem that has decended from heaven and is now on earth. And what happens? God reigns fire down from heaven onto the earth upon the wicked. So where is hell? ON EARTH. And notice what else it says in this Bible verse; The fire DEVOURS the wicked, ie. they are totally destroyed. Now look at the following Bible verse from Isaiah:

Isaiah 34:8-9 .....'For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.'

Again we can clearly see that hell fire is ON EARTH, not in the core of the earth or some other place in the universe. Now the next question is, will the wicked burn in the fires of hell on earth forever?

Revelation 21:5 ....'And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful.'

2 Peter 3:13 ....'Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.'

It is impossible for the wicked to burn in hell fire for eternity, because as it confirms in the above Bible verses, God will make ALL THINGS NEW. The heavens will be renewed and the earth where the wicked burned will be renewed also, and as Peter says above, ONLY righteousness will dwell in the new heaven and earth, which means there will be no UN-righteous people burning in hell fire. This is the Bible truth about hell.

Revelation 21:4 .....'And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.'

As Jesus said Himself in John 3:16, there are only two options. He didn't say that there is either everlasting life in the fires of hell or everlasting life with Him. No, He said that we get everlasting life, or we PERISH, ie. cease to exist. And in Revelation 21:6-8 it says that the wicked will have their part in the lake of fire, which is the second DEATH. It doesn't say that they will burn in hell fire forever and ever, but that they will die the second death.

Friend, we serve a God who loves everyone so much that He sent His son to die for us. We serve a God who is just and will punish the wicked with fire, but we do not serve a God who would torture the lost in eternal fire. Just imagine, according to those who teach this eternal hell, the lost having been burning in pain and suffering for a million years, would have only just begun the torture! And all this for just 60-90 short years of life on this earth. What a teaching of devils this is! The truth about hell is that the lost will be punished in fire from God, but they will be " consumed", they will be "devoured", they will "perish" , and "into smoke they will vanish away" and will be no more, even satan himself will be destroyed. This is the Bible truth about hell.