Home  |  End Times  |  Seeker Answers  |  Believers Guide  |  Blog  |  Donate  |  About  |  Contact

Is Hell A Real Place?

You Should Know What Hell is Like If There's
A Chance You Might End Up Going There


Is Hell for Real? 


Understandably, most people don't like the idea that God could send them to a place of eternal torment because they've sinned. Although believing in hell is not popular, what if that place really exists and you might end up being sent there? If there's even a slight chance in your mind that you could end up in hell, you should probably find out more about it. In this article, I would rather scare the hell out of you then have you end up going there.


Many are fond of saying that they would rather party in hell than to be stuck in heaven with all the Christians. Now if that sounds funny to you, you should understand that hades is no laughing matter. There will be no partying in hell.


The Bible has more to say about hell than it does about heaven. That's because God doesn't want anyone to end up there. He did not create hell for men. It was created first and foremost for Lucifer and his angels who were kicked out of heaven when they rebelled against God.


Is Hell A Real Place?


Yes, hell is a real physical place. It already exists because people and demons are already in it. It is where everyone now goes who dies without knowing Christ. Where is it? We don't really know. Skeptics often site verses in the Old Testament that refer to it being under the earth. They will use the King James Version which translates the Hebrew sheol as "hell" in place of the more correct term "the grave." The grave is the destination of all human beings (both believers and unbelievers) and doesn't necessarily refer to hell. (The Bible actually says that the grave or death will be thrown into hell after the judgment, ending death altogether.)


I would call the place where non believers currently go now as a "temporary hell", because it will be replaced later by the lake of fire. Keep in mind that this is not some sort of perjury in which people can work their way out of (or which believers can pray their friends out of). There is no redemption from this hellish place. While the Bible does not actually tell us where hell is, we are told that it will survive the destruction of the earth so it would seem not to be in the center of the earth. That it exists as a real place is important as it is definitely not a mythology.


What You Must Know About Hell

Life After Death


Death is not the end of your life. Everyone continues to exist eternally after they die. Your body will die but your soul never dies. Either your soul will go to a place of torment as you await your final judgment, or you will go to be with the Lord in heaven. “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” (Matthew 24:46 NLT).


Eternal punishment. Think about that for a moment. Being punished for what you've done wrong would be hard enough, but to be punished forever, with absolutely no breaks or relief—has to be the worst fate imaginable. You don't want to end up in such a place.


So why do people give so little thought about hell? It seems that most prefer to blank out the subject of death and hell from their minds just a bad dream as if it will go away if you stop thinking about it. But not thinking about death and the final destination of your life won't change your reality. My prayer is that you will be haunted by a vision of hell until you make your final decision, because God is chasing you to save you from the hounds of hell.


Contrary to what Hollywood has portrayed, you won't come back to earth as an angel or be able to haunt those who are still living. Movies like the old film "Ghost" are pure fiction, meant to be entertaining and nothing more. Any spirits that inhabit our world are in reality demons (who are just fallen angels) masquerading as dead humans. No one who dies comes back in another form. That belief is only found in false religious teachings such as reincarnation which is definitely not seen anywhere in the Bible.


So can you really know if you are destined to go to hell? And can you do anything about it if you are? Fortunately, you can know what your eternal fate is, and you can change that destiny right now, right here.


You only have one life and how you respond to Christ will determine what your final destiny will be. We are told that "inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:17 NASB). So everyone will die a physical death, but after that death comes a second life, and in that second life we will all be judged by God.


The Two Judgments of God


There are two separate judgments in the Scriptures: one for believers and one for non believers. Yes, even Christians will be judged (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10). Those who have died as believers will be judged by Christ at the Bema Seat Judgment. The Lord will reveal our lives openly to us and we will have to remember our disobedience; the quality of our works will also be judged (as to whether it was performed in the spirit or accomplished in the power of our own flesh). But after that judgment, we will be rewarded for our repentance and for following Christ. Although our judgment will be comparatively painful, it will be quick. And afterwards we will enter into eternal life with our Lord.


But this is not at all like what everyone else experiences who dies without Christ. They will all have to appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (see Revelation 20:11-15). All of those who have died after having lived in disobedience toward the Lord will go to a place of torment immediately after death. But then when Judgment Day arrives at the end of the world, they will be temporarily resurrected from that torment to appear before the righteous throne of God.


You don't want to stand before God at this judgment! There will simply be no defense. No spitting in God's face. Everyone who appears at this judgment will have all their deeds revealed. Would you like to watch a video version of all your corrupt deeds and even you evil thoughts toward others? My guess is that will be a part of this judgment.


But it isn't just your deeds that are judged. The key that decides your fate at the Great White Throne Judgment will be that your name won't be found written in the book of life. And that's what will decide your fate. "Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15 NIV).


At this judgment you will be sentenced. And you will be thrown into the lake of fire, based both upon your deeds and the fact that you never believed in Christ. You never took the time to seriously consider how much Jesus loved you and you never accepted his sacrifice of dying in your place on that cross. So your destination in hell will be certain.


Salvation is NOT About Your Good Works


So remember your final destination of either heaven or hell is determined by whether you believed and put your their trust in Christ. "Anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment." (John 3:36 NLT).


So your salvation is NOT based on whether you have more good works than bad, as some people imagine. "Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2:9 NLT). Your destiny will be decided by what you do with Christ. The severity of your endless punishment will probably be determined by how bad your sins have been. But make no mistake here. If you have not trusted Christ for your salvation you will end up in the lake of fire. And that has to be the worst fate imaginable. Nothing could be more horrific than to be doomed to spend all of eternity in endless agony.


While our sins deserve punishment, you should understand that everyone sins—even believers. And I'm sure that the sins of some Christians are even greater over the course of their lifetimes than the sins of some non-believers. So why does God judge non believers so harshly?


God is not judging you just on the number of your sins or based upon the intensity of your evil or sinful activities. What determines whether you go to heaven or to hell is what you do with Jesus Christ in this life. If you reject his love and the salvation which he purchased for you, you will be sending yourself to hell. But if you respond to him and allow him to change your heart about the nature of your sin, then you will be saved.


So what sends you to hell is a basic godless attitude that you have. When you flaunt the sacrifice which Jesus made on your behalf, even if you are just ignoring him, you are rejecting Christ. By rejecting him you are also rejecting heaven. And that will seal your destination to spend eternity without him in hell. Ultimately, that's what hell really is; its when God takes his goodness away from you.


Many say they don't believe in God, but then they enjoy the life he gave them without acknowledging him. Whether you believe it or not, God made you. He breathed life into you and created in you a capacity for good and for pleasure. But he won't forced himself upon you. He give you the choice to respond or to reject him. But don't think that because God is letting your sinful behavior slide right now that it doesn't matter. He's just giving you "common grace."


This kind of grace is when God is longsuffering about your disobedience. But there really is nothing that keeps you from slipping right down into the pit of hell except the grace of God. God's grace toward you won't last much longer. And when it ends—and you die—you will find yourself in hell.


What Is Hell Actually Like?


Just the name "lake of fire" should conjure up some pretty striking mental images. Hell is a conscious torment. You will be totally awake and completely aware at all times why you are suffering and of what you did to bring you to hell. I can't imagine the mental anguish of wishing you had lived your live differently and wishing you could go back and change your life or wishing you could warn your family about your fate. That itself would be pretty intense.

The fire that sears you doesn't burn you up, because you're no longer a physical body; you just have a spiritual body. The agony you feel is “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:48). You "will be tormented with fire and brimstone." (Revelation 14:10). It will be like a “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:50). “The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night” (Revelation 14:11). Wow, you don't want to end up here.


Keep in mind that hell is eternal and irreversible. Once you die, there is no second chance. You will be condemned forever with no way out. Why would anyone let themself come to such an end?

"Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." (2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV). Because I know the Bible is true about judgment and hell, I plead with you to wake up. Open your heart before it becomes impossible to respond. There comes a point where you say "no" to God for the last time. You never know when that will happen. You never know when you will take your last breath. Soon, God will take away the precious gift of life which he has entrusted to you. We all know that's inevitable.


If you do not change your attitudes about sin and turn to the Lord, you will be judged—eternally. Wrap your head around that. Are you actually willing to take the chance of being in endless torment simply to get a little pleasure or to live life in your own selfish way? If you are willing to take that risk, let me say it bluntly—you're a fool. 


What will it take to convince you that stand in grave jeopardy? It is a terrible fate to face an angry God. That's a terror you definitely don't want to experience. So I'm strongly encouraging you to soften your heart and let God persuade you of the truth.


There are a lot bogus near death stories around, some of which seem incredibly unbelievable and they also contract the Bible. Anything which contradicts the Bible is definitely wrong. But here is one story I found that is both very powerful and it also lines up quite well with what God tells us in his Book.


Ian McCormack was an atheist who lived for pleasure. Although his mother was a believer, he had never read the Bible right up until the day he died. He ended up going to hell briefly and then to heaven. When he came back to life after about 20 to 25 minutes, he was laying on a cold slab in the morgue. This is an pretty amazing story. If you have not made your peace with Christ yet, I encourage you to watch this video.




Ian was very blessed to have a slow death that allowed him time to think about what he had done and also to repent. You should not count on being so lucky. So what are you choosing today? Will you choose Jesus and heaven or will you do nothing and thus guarantee for yourself that you'll end up in hell?


The Lord is holding off his judgment of your heart to give you a little more time to repent (2 Peter 3:9). Take advantage of his longsuffering and respond to him right now why you still have a chance. If you need more help in your decision, check out How to Become a Christian and Coming Under Conviction


Fresh Light Source Logo