Is hell a literal place?

Mary from South Carolina asked: Is hell a literal place?


The idea that people might be in hell is such a horrifying concept that some have tried to soften it with false views. When you read the gospels, you discover that Jesus probably preached more about hell than He did about heaven. He certainly wanted to deliver the warning that yes, hell is a literal place. 

Jesus described hell as a place of isolation in Matthew 22; a place of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in Luke 13; a place where the devouring worm never dies in Mark 9; a place of fire that never burns away in Matthew 5; and a place of tormenting, thirst, and guilt and regret in Luke 16. 

Some people claim that these descriptions of hell are just figures of speech. But using figures of speech to describe something doesn’t mean it’s not real. Jesus and the biblical authors used those terms to describe for us what hell is like. It’s so horrible that it cannot be fully described, but the descriptions we have give us insight into what it is like.

Hell is a literal place and those sent there are there for eternity. Jesus taught that both heaven and hell are real and eternal. Every human will spend eternity in one of two places. The eternal home of the believer is heaven. The eternal home of the unbeliever is hell.

Thanks for asking, Mary.



Add a Comment

How to use this page:

Here at Wisdom International, we believe that the Bible is God's Word. Therefore, it carries the authority of God himself and is the final authority by which we order our lives. 

Sometimes the Bible can be confusing and difficult to understand. But God desires to be known. Scripture answers the big questions of life and should seek to know and understand what it says. 

This section of our website contains Stephen Davey's articles and his ever-growing archive of answers to questions from people like you. If you have a Bible question and are seeking an answer from the Bible, use our contact form to submit your question for Stephen. 

If you have questions, the Bible has answers and we want to help you! Ask Stephen your question here

You can browse this section to read Stephen's previous answers and read all of his previous posts. To search and see if your question has already been answered, click on the search icon above.