From fiery pits to all-too-conscious states of despair,  Beliefnet users give their take on Satan’s lair or how it has been confused and distorted over the years. Find out how people from varying spiritual persuasions differ on their personal vision of the netherworld. -- The Editors

Describe what, if anything, hell looks like to you. Join the discussion.  

Hell Is A Man On A Milk Crate


Of course there is a Hell. It manifests in many different ways throughout our lives. I believe the most potent hells are the inner ones we create for ourselves. However, once in a while another person’s hell is imposed upon us.

I walked by a hell last Sunday.

This version of hell came in the form of a young man in a nice suit standing on a milk crate outside a busy shopping mall, screaming about Judgment Day and Gods Wrath at the top of his lungs.

I felt a moment of anger at his judgmentally, then a moment of resentment for his delusions of superiority, then a fleeting afterthought of disgust for his pride. Far be it from me to quote the Bible, but I do recall the passage;

Matthew 6:5,6 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing… on the street corners to be seen by men.”

I can’t imagine the hell of trying to prove your piousness to the world 24/7, to the point of giving up actually living your life in the process.





Life – God = Hell


Hell is just the absence of God.





Hell On Earth

 Anyone who has experienced depression will tell you that there are certain states of mind that result in a hell-like experience. Interestingly, in my own case my experience of depression has been a result of self judgement and self hatred. Coming out of "hell" has been a process of facing the reality of my feelings about myself and others and learning to forgive.


If anything at all happens after death, perhaps it is a mind-created reality in much the same way.




Hell Is What We Wish For
 Hell is really a place where we are separate from God because we wish it to be that way.


Do all people who go to hell wish to be there? I am not sure, but it seems to me hell is a place where one wishes to go.... Why would God send someone he loves there; only by objecting to God do we go there. I will not know until the end of my life on this earth. I hope to enter Heaven and be with Jesus and His Mother, and all the saints.



Hell Is the “Presence of God”


This is an interesting perspective: Hell is the PRESENCE OF GOD, and that those who fail to repent will find God's presence painfully unpleasant.

What I can't understand is, why? Why would God's presence be so painful, even to the wicked? What is it about being with God that would make God so unendurable?

And if God is supposedly everywhere, how could he be any more present in the hereafter than he is right now?




C.S. Lewis Said It Best

I was always taught that hell is, indeed, the absence of God…


One problem: <that thinking seems to be based> on the OT belief in Sheol, the place of the dead. Eschatology, especially pertaining to people's eternal destiny after death, developed quite a bit up until the end of the first century.


I believe that God is love, and I agree with those who suggest it's bad theology to say that God's presence would be painful for anyone. C.S. Lewis says it well, when he says (this isn't verbatim, but the general idea) that hell is the state to which a person will go after death, when that person had told God to leave them alone all their life, and finally God grants them their wish.





Hell Is All In The Mind
 I've always wondered if Hell was simply something inserted by the Church to scare believers into controlling them.

Even if not, and Hell really does exist, I don't think it's like anything we've been lead to imagine, as most of what is described to us comes from Dante's Inferno, cartoons, folks stories, and man-made sermons.


Like the Virigin Birth, much detail is left out and our imaginations are filling up the blanks.



A Final Hellish Thought

It could simply be that Hell is just as bad as Jesus makes it out to be. Hopefully many will never have to find out.



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