I have a question: is the Orthodox description of hell true? I mean, are there demons with horns out there which put you in cages and torture you?
I will tell you how hell is described in Bible. When people say “hell”, they think of a place of torture. Most of them don’t even know that there are two such places. One is temporary and the other is eternal.
HADES (or so called SHEOL) is the temporary place of torture for those who rejected repentance.
When a man who did not repent of his sins dies and did not enter the New Covenant with Jesus Christ, the soul of this person goes to Hades. This is a place in the depths of the earth. Lord Jesus gave details about this place in the description of the following case:
“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31, NASB Strong’s)
The Savior has mentioned the following details about Sheol:
- it is a place of torture, those who find themselves in there are tortured
- they can see the blessing of those who have lived in righteousness from this place (which makes it even more torturous for those in Sheol to see the difference)
- they are tortured by thirst, for there is lack of water, and if one could only dip the tip of his finger in water to cool off their tongues
- no one can leave this place
- nobody can come to ease the torture of those who are in this place of torture, not even by a drop of water
- their greatest wish for their relatives is for them to not come to this place
- they have arrived to this place, because they did not believe what is written in Bible and did not repent
In the book of Isaiah, it is said about Sheol that those who are tortured there have worms laid out as their bed and worms are covering them (Isaiah 14:11).
Hades is where the souls of all unrighteous people will end up: the souls of those who have lived since Adam until the great Judgement day, all those who rejected the salvation given by God through His Son Jesus Christ.
THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE is an eternal place of torture of those who have rejected the love of truth
After the last prophetic week of Daniel, the Kingdom of 1000 years will follow. And after that, the Judgement of the Nations – that is when all people since Adam until then and those who have rejected the Word of God and chose to live in sin and unlawfulness – will be judged. Here is how this Judgement is described:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.(Revelation 20:11-15, NASB Strong’s)
It is also written that the devil and the false prophets will be thrown there.
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10; NASB Strong’s)
They together with all those people who will be thrown there will be racked and tortured; and this will last day and night, forever.
I have observed that many people when they hear the Gospel and are called to enter the New Covenant with Jesus say that they are not ready. So then I ask them: ‘Are you ready then to go to hell and endure the eternal tortures?’
This evening, I told the Gospel to a Jewish woman who said she lives in Jerusalem. Even though she knew about Israel’s God, she was saying she had her own God. Nevertheless, she was interested to hear the things I told her about the Lord Jesus and eternal life. When I asked her if she has ensured her life in eternity, she looked at me surprised and said: ‘I am doing well and have done everything so that everything in my country and in my city would be well in the future.’ Then I said, ‘No, ma’m, I am referring to the eternal life. What do you do and where will you go after you leave this life? If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you can not have forgiveness and neither the gift of eternity with God, but punishment and Hades awaits you; and then the Judgement Day; and you will be spending your eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone. Receive the love of God today and believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no other name given by God to the people under the sky through which we can be saved!’
I have the same calling for all of you reading this article.
Translated by Jessica Filat