What does the Bible say Hell will be like?

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Hell).”

Revelation 20:15

Some very interesting polling has been conducted in the past few years, the results of which are quite shocking. The Pew Research Center recently surveyed Americans and found that while 72% do believe in Heaven, only 58% believe in Hell. In other words, Satan has deceived a large percentage of people into acknowledging there is a Heaven but because God is such “a nice guy” He would NEVER condemn anyone to Hell so therefore it does not exist! A Satanic lie!!! If you honestly believe there is only a Heaven but no Hell, why would you live your life the way God instructed you to live? If you thought no matter what you do, you are going to go to Heaven, that would negatively alter the way you lived your life while on earth! Exactly what Satan wants!

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

John 3:36

Absolutely astonishing to me is only 40% of Jews believe in Heaven while 20% believe there is a Hell! These are God’s Chosen people! How can you believe in Heaven BUT NOT in Hell? That would be like saying, “I believe in daytime but not nighttime.” Or, “I believe in the good, but not the bad.” Interestingly, based on their poll the belief of where people will spend eternity was also determined, whether in Heaven or Hell, primarily on how they felt people lived their lives, either good or bad. Nothing about simply believing what the Bible teaches, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM (capitals mine) should not perish (Hell), but have everlasting life (Heaven) John 3:16. It goes even deeper in a LifeWay Research Survey that broke it down further. While their results say 61% of Americans do believe in Hell, those who responded had very different views based on their denomination. For example, 87% of Evangelical Christians believe in Hell but only 66% of Catholics and 55% of mainline Protestants believe in Hell. Perhaps most striking and concerning is yet another poll (completed by the Prophecy Reformation Institute) where only 32% of Americans believe Hell is an actual  place of eternal suffering and torment. Why should that be concerning? Because that is NOT what the Bible tells us!

As I wrote about in a previous post Will you be Judged or Rewarded for Eternity? there will be a Great White Throne Judgement at the end of Jesus Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth and just prior to the beginning of the New Earth. The dead, who failed to accept Jesus as their Savior while they were still alive, will be judged according to their earthly works. Since we know NO works, other than Jesus’s Death and Resurrection, can ever atone for our sins and “…the wages of sin are death”, they will be judged and since their names ARE NOT written in the Book of Life, they will be cast into Hell.

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (hell).”

Revelation 20:15

The righteous, the Believers in Christ will not be judged! Their names are already written IN the Book of Life! They will be rewarded, not judged, for what they did with what God gave to them on earth and will go on to spend eternity with Jesus Christ in Heaven!

“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son. BUT (capitals mine) the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Hell).” 

Revelation 21:6-8

Perhaps we can now all agree there is a Heaven for those who have accepted Jesus, He died for our sins AND we have asked Him to forgive those sins. Likewise, if you DON’T do these things you will spend eternity in Hell! That then leaves a yet unanswered question. What exactly will Hell be like? Why should I NOT want to go there for eternity? Just a VERY few of the things the Bible tells us Hell will be like are listed below. I hope we also agree, it’s not going to be a very nice place! Really scary though is what is said in Hebrews 10:30-31, “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, THE LORD SHALL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE (capitals mine). It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” There will be no appeal! The Lord’s Judgement is FINAL!!

So, what will Hell be like, according to the Bible?

  • Outer Darkness – Matthew 25:30

“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into OUTER DARKNESS (capitals mine): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

As opposed to Heaven where there will be NO need of a sun but which will still be bright with the Light of God, Hell will be a very dark place WITHOUT either the sun OR moon. Have you ever been in a dark room hearing strange sounds but not being able to see what is happening around you? Scary! It won’t be like that in Heaven. How do we know this? “And the city (the New Jerusalem – Heaven) had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God DID LIGHTEN IT (capitals mine), and the Lamb (Jesus) is the light thereof.” – Revelation 21:23.

  • Weeping – Matthew 8:12

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out in outer darkness: there shall be WEEPING (capitals mine) and gnashing of teeth.”

I cannot imagine the pain of being in Hell because I previously decided against accepting the Truth of Jesus and therefore elected to not believe the simple way forward for eternal salvation. Yes, it is a decision we ALL must make but unfortunately many will decide instead to NOT accept God’s Gift of Jesus’s Sacrifice for us and instead believe the lies and deceptions of Satan. For eternity they will probably remember the exact moment in their earthly lives when they decided to  follow Satan instead of Jesus and they will WEEP! For us then who instead are in Heaven, there will no longer be any weeping! “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

  • Wailing – Matthew 13:42

“And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be WAILING (capitals mine) and gnashing of teeth.”

Have you ever experienced great pain? An injury? Childbirth? The loss of a loved one? The natural response is to wail, to let your emotions out vocally. By doing this, while it may mitigate some of the pain and discomfort, it does not eliminate it all. In Hell you will still be wailing for eternity!

  • Gnashing of teeth – Matthew 13:50

“And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and GNASHING OF TEETH (capitals mine).”

If you have ever watched a football game where someone has been injured, what do they do? Almost always as the athletic trainer tries to straighten out their damaged knee or shoulder, they squint their eyes and they gnash their teeth in pain. I have done it and I bet you have also. Can you imagine doing it forever knowing there will be NO relief?!

  • Flames – Luke 16:24

“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented IN THIS FLAME (capitals mine):”

When I was in my late 30’s I accidentally spilled flaming cooking oil on my right hand causing third degree burns on my thumb and parts of the top of my right hand. While the shock of the incident did cause immediate excruciating pain, recovery was painful and over the years since the pain remains with increased susceptibility to bruising, bites, etc. which I don’t experience on my other hand. To be cast into the flames won’t kill you but the pain then and forever will be excruciating!

  • Everlasting fire – Matthew 25:41

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE (capitals mine), prepared for the devil and his angels:”

Enough said! The fire will be forever regardless of how much you plead, wail or gnash your teeth! And note, Hell was originally prepared for Satan and his angels. You now will have just joined his team in a place God prepared for them AND you will be with them FOREVER!

  • A furnace of fire – Matthew 13:42

“And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE (capitals mine): there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

This will not be a fire with a low temperature of only 90 degrees. This will be a FURNACE capable of melting iron but NOT capable of “killing” you. It will ONLY cause you terrible, excruciating pain FOREVER!

  • Separation from the righteous and everlasting punishment – Matthew 25:46

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

In the same way the tormented rich man in Hades observed Lazarus far off being comforted in the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16), I believe those in Hell will still be able to observe the Comfort, Blessings and Joy being experienced by those in Heaven with Jesus. They won’t be able to communicate with them but they will see what they are missing. This only adds to their suffering knowing they could also have been saved. What is not said but obvious is think who they will spend eternity with. The worst people in the history of the world will be with them also wailing, weeping and gnashing their teeth!

  • Everlasting destruction, away from the presence of the Lord – 2 Thessalonians 1:9

“Who shall be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION (capitals mine) from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Probably the worst punishment of all is the eternal separation from Jesus and the resulting eternal “companionship” with Satan. Once condemned to Hell there is NO second chance. As Dante infamously said in his Inferno, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” We do have that choice and it is ours alone to make! Please choose carefully!

  • Torment – Luke 16:23

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being IN TORMENTS (capitals mine), and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

Simply put, no one can experience the pain of Hell while being able to see the beauty of Heaven without being forever tormented by that vision. Tormented not only for the pain but tormented because they could have been in Heaven also if only…

  • The lake of fire burning with brimstone – Revelation 19:20

“And the beast (the anti-christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received  the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a LAKE OF FIRE BURNING WITH BRIMSTONE (capitals mine).” 

Repeatedly, Hell is referred to as a lake of fire, fire and brimstone, a furnace of fire, etc. It will not be a paradise because God has told us what it will be like and anything different would mean God lied to us and God does not lie!! Please note also what it says, IF you take the Mark of the Beast (during the last half of the Tribulation – Could the iPhone be the Mark of the Beast?) in order to buy or sell, you will be damned in Hell FOREVER!

  • Knowledge of Heaven   – Luke 13:28

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”

Once again, those who failed to accept Jesus WILL see the righteous in Heaven and know for eternity there is a far better place than where they are being tormented. Very similar to this in a small way would be like  inheriting $10 million dollars and wasting it on gambling, drugs, prostitution, etc. and then as a homeless person passing by and seeing the mansions where others who also inherited $10 million are living luxuriously because instead of wasting it, they “invested” in the Promises of God. Again, it was their choice and they made it..

  • Second Death – Revelation 20:14

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

Except for a very, very few who will live righteously through the 1,000 year Millennial Reign of Christ on earth or were Raptured prior to the Tribulation Period, ALL men will die once. The “second death” refers to those Unbelievers who did not accept Jesus as their Savior and who then will be thrown “…into the lake of fire (Hell).” For those in Heaven, however, there is “…NO MORE DEATH (capitals mine).” – Revelation 21:4.

Incredibly, these are just a few of the descriptions from the Bible relating to what Hell will be like; Darkness, Weeping, Wailing, Gnashing of Teeth, Flames and Fire, Separation from the Righteous, Everlasting Destruction AWAY from the Presence of God, Torment, Lake of Fire and Brimstone, and perhaps the most painful things of all, Eternal Knowledge of what is going on in Heaven with those who have been saved! Each of these are not described only once in the Bible but many times. If you have a Bible app on your iPhone and type in the Search box for “Outer Darkness”, it comes up 3 times, always referring to Hell. “Gnashing of teeth” appears 7 times, always in context of Hell. Lake of Fire appears 4 times. And, so on and on… God has told us the pluses and minuses of the results of our personal decision whether or not to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Eternal Damnation in Hell or Eternal Glory with God in Heaven! We all have a choice to make in our lifetimes and I pray you have made the right one!

For me, it is so comforting to know the Lord has not only outlined what finally awaits for us, either in Heaven or in Hell, but died for us so we can meet up with Him forever in Heaven. This is a story I never get tired of telling and I hope you are as comforted to know we have Salvation waiting for us. We just have to choose. If you agree, please help me in telling others about His Gift. Remember, we will all be rewarded in Heaven for the things we have done for God on earth. Help me get His Word out by simply Sharing/Liking this on Facebook and/or LinkedIn or forwarding your email to friends and family. What we all should be doing is what Jesus asked us to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” We don’t need to scare people with the horrors of Hell but rather make sure they know the Blessings of Heaven and what we must do to be saved. It is that simple!

May God Bless you!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Bill Clark

    Mike you do such a great job of explaining issues such as Hell. You are a great writer, simple, to the point and referenced throughout to the Bible our only source of TRUTH. God bless you and thank you for doing this.

    1. Mike Wigton

      Thank you so much Bill! ALL Glory goes to God!


    Thanks for reminding us about hell. According to 2Peter.3:9 God doesn’t want any one of us to perish but to have faith in Jesus Christ. Man of God may God continue using you and bless you abundantly.

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