When we read through the Bible, we come across the word hell. But how do we define hell? Is it a place? Did God create it?
Is hell separation from God or the very presence of God? These are theological questions that are being talked about and have become controversies among the Christian community.
Many of you will not agree with my view, but I believe God has put this on my heart to start a conversation. My hope is that we all may learn and be humbled by discussions we have. With that being said, let’s dive in.
We see in Matt. 25:41, Jesus describes hell as a place designed for Satan and his demons. Many evangelical Christians believe that “hell is separation from God.” And what they may mean is hell is a place where God is not present.
We can all agree that hell is a place created by God, and God is omnipresent –present in and to all creation. With hell being a place, and a part of creation, is it wrong to say that God is present in hell? And if He is present in hell, how can we say hell is separation from God?
I believe hell is God’s wrath poured out. Now I am not saying there is no separation whatsoever, because I firmly believe hell is separation from God’s blessing. It is here that we are truly separated from the grace, love, and mercy of Christ.
It’s not separation from God’s wrath. We see this in Revelations 14:10 (NIV): “He, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.”
What’s important to realize is God does not gain pleasure from sending people to Hell, but He does receive glory. God is glorified no matter what judgment is made.
As theologian R.C Sproul said, “To be separated from God for eternity is no great threat to the impenitent person. The ungodly want nothing more than to be separated from God. Their problem in hell will not be separation from God; it will be the presence of God that will torment them. In hell, God will be present in the fullness of His divine wrath. He will be there to exercise His just punishment of the damned. They will know Him as an all-consuming fire.”
Understanding this is crucial to our drive to appreciate the work of Christ and to preach His gospel. Anyone with a question, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Let’s grab coffee and talk about it!
To read more about the concept of hell, check out Revelation 15:8, Revelation 14:8 2 and Thessalonians 1:8,9
Kelly Bard says
Thanks for your thoughtful ponderings on the subject of hell. I think when people say “hell is separation from God”, what they mean is a separation from a friendly, loving relationship with God. It makes sense with the Sproul quote. :-)
Stefan Hinkley says
Thank your for your comment! Yes I definitely agree, that was the point I was trying to make within the article, growing up in church I was taught it was the complete separation and God really put this on my heart to talk about. While also blessing me with great conversations with your son. I hope it starts some great conversations and God can be glorified in them.
Real Estate Litigation Lawyer says
Thanks a lot for your sensitive and very sympathetic views that you have shared with us about hell. That is quiet a realization for me that ‘hell is actually a separation from God’. Indeed, a nice thought to ponder.
Millie Christopher says
Very well said. For me, hell indeed is not the separation from the Father Himself but only from His blessing. I hope to read more on topics like this.