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Where Is Hell

by Stephen Davey

Shawn asked:

Where is hell?

The question, "Where is hell?" has intrigued theologians, Bible scholars, and believers for centuries. The Bible doesn't provide a geographical location for hell, so we don’t know it’s location. We do believe that hell is a literal place of torment and eternal separation from God. But trying to define where hell is would only be speculation.

Here are some things we do know:

1. Hell as a Place of Divine Absence:

In 2 Thessalonians 1:9 (ESV), the Apostle Paul describes the fate of those who do not know God: "They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might." This passage suggests that hell is characterized primarily by separation from God.

2. Hell as a Realm of Torment:

The Bible describes hell as a place of torment. Revelation 20:10 (ESV) states, "And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." The imagery conveys the severity of hell but doesn't offer a geographical location.

3. Hell as a Place Created for Satan and His Angels:

Hell is also described as a place originally created for Satan and his fallen angels. Matthew 25:41 (ESV) records Jesus saying, "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Again, no physical location is stated.

4. Hell as Gehenna:

Jesus often used the term "Gehenna" to describe hell. Gehenna was a valley outside Jerusalem (Valley of Hinnom) where refuse was burned, and it served as a potent symbol of the destructive and desolate nature of hell. But again, Gehenna's earthly location doesn't provide a map to the spiritual reality of hell.

5. Hell as Outer Darkness:

Matthew 22:13 (ESV) describes hell as a place of "outer darkness." This metaphorical language illustrates the complete absence of God's light, reinforcing hell as a place of God's absence rather than a geographical location.

In conclusion, the Bible doesn't give us a physical address for hell but offers vivid, descriptions to convey its reality as a place of punishment and separation from God. As Christians, our focus should not primarily be on identifying hell's location, but on understanding its seriousness, appreciating the magnitude of Jesus' rescue mission on the cross, and sharing the Gospel message with others so they can avoid such a fate.

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