The reality of hell, like heaven, is hotly debated in large part because no human has visited and returned with first-hand knowledge of the place. In Christianity, followers of Jesus Christ believe he is the incarnation of the all-knowing God (Matthew 1:23) and the “Word [of God] made flesh,” (John 1:14). With this understanding, we the living can best know what hell is like by studying how God’s word as a whole describes it and what Jesus, specifically, said about it in the Gospels.
We can know from what Jesus said that hell is an eternal (Matthew 25:41), physical (Matthew 10:28), and horrifying (Mark 9:43) place where those who’ve sinned (Romans 3:23) are headed, and from where Jesus Christ came to rescue all who would believe in him (John 3:16-18
The book of Job, known as the oldest book in the Bible, contains many descriptions of a “land of deepest night, of utter darkness and disorder,” (Job 10:21-22). Other passages in Job mention a “realm of darkness” (Job 17:13), even a “day of darkness” (Job 15:23), which may refer to continued suffering on earth or a day of judgement and eternal suffering in hell. These verses show early depictions of how people understood the place of the dead.
“Blackest darkness” (Jude 1:13)
Plunged into darkness” (Revelation 16:10)
2 Gnashing of Teeth
Jesus spoke about hell more than any other person in the Bible. He often warned people against this terrible place using the vivid word gnashing, which means biting or grinding (Strong’s 1030).
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:41-43)
In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied about a place of “unquenchable fire.”
“And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind” (Isaiah 66:24). WHY PEOPLE DIE IN EARLY MORNING
Other descriptions of fire in hell:
- “Blazing furnace” (Matthew 13:42; Matthew 13:50)
- “Fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9)
- “Eternal fire” (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41)
- “Unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43; Mark 9:48)