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24 Aug 2016 Americas Europe Middle East - Africa News USA Vatican No comments

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Where is hell? What is the location of hell?

Question: “Where is hell? What is the location of hell?”

Answer: Various theories on the location of hell have been put forward. A traditional view is that hell is in the center of the earth. Others propose that hell is located in outer space in a black hole. In the Old Testament, the word translated “hell” is Sheol; in the New Testament, it’s Hades (meaning “unseen”) and Gehenna (“the Valley of Hinnom”). Sheol is also translated as “pit” and “grave.” Both Sheol and Hades refer to a temporary abode of the dead before judgment (Psalm 9:17; Revelation 1:18). Gehenna refers to an eternal state of punishment for the wicked dead (Mark 9:43).

The idea that hell is below us, perhaps in the center of the earth, comes from passages such as Luke 10:15: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell” (KJV). Also, in 1 Samuel 28:13-15, the medium of Endor sees the spirit of Samuel “coming up out of the ground.” We should note, however, that neither of these passages is concerned with the geographic location of hell. Capernaum’s being thrust “down” is probably a reference to their being condemned rather than a physical direction. And the medium’s vision of Samuel was just that: a vision.

In the King James Version, Ephesians 4:9 says that before Jesus ascended into heaven, “he also descended . . . into the lower parts of the earth.” Some Christians take “the lower parts of the earth” as a reference to hell, where they say Jesus spent the time between His death and resurrection. However, the New International Version gives a better translation: “he also descended to the lower, earthly regions.” This verse simply says that Jesus came to earth. It’s a reference to His incarnation, not to His location after death.

The notion that hell is somewhere in outer space, possibly in a black hole, is based on the knowledge that black holes are places of great heat and pressure from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Surprisingly, this concept of hell is presented in the 1979 Walt Disney film The Black Hole. Near the movie’s end, all the characters pass through a black hole. On the other side, the villain finds himself in a fiery place of torment, while the other characters enjoy disembodied bliss. It’s interesting that a Disney movie would include a depiction of hell, but it’s best not to base our theology on movies!

Another speculation is that the earth itself will be the “lake of fire” spoken of in Revelation 20:10-15. When the earth is destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:1), the theory goes, God will use that burning sphere as the everlasting place of torment for the ungodly. Again, this is mere speculation.

To sum up, Scripture does not tell us the geological (or cosmological) location of hell. Hell is a literal place of real torment, but we do not know where it is. Hell may have a physical location in this universe, or it may be in an entirely different “dimension.” Whatever the case, the location of hell is far less important than the need to avoid going there.









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12 comments

  1. Avril Reply

    but why is hell there i thought when Jesus saved us all we be safe ?

    1. rasgonie Reply

      jesus saved us just believe,if you believe in jesus,you must follow his words and teachings.

    2. ranisama Reply

      Some people love sin more than God. If they allow themselves to become the kind of person who can sin and sin and sin and Never Feel Sorry at All, they don’t Want Jesus or His Forgiveness, because that would mean apologizing, and they’re Not Sorry. A life of unrepentant sinning will twist your soul into something monstrous. If a monster dies and meets God, it’s reaction will be to run away screaming. Because God’s holy light shows you your soul. Shows you what you’ve allowed sin to turn it into. So they run. They can’t stand to be anywhere near that light. God, in a final act of Mercy to them, gives them a place to run to, where they can lock the door behind them, to escape from Him. When Jesus says “Go and Sin no More”, he means it. He’s trying to stop you from turning into That.

    3. Mike Trahan Reply

      Hi Avril, Jesus cannot save those who do not want to be saved

  2. Julia Reply

    Basically we pray for the best and hope for better

  3. Glenn Berry Reply

    Also at Fatima, the ground opened to reveal hell to the three children. Although this still can’t be said to be definitive being that it was a vision that took place during a private revelation. But it’s still something to consider when pondering the question.

  4. kunjira Rugereza Reply

    Just and true

  5. Andrew Reply

    My question is this that God made hell ? True or false? Where in bible it is written that God made hell? Please clarify. Thanks

  6. Andrew Reply

    Jesus said that God made hell?? True or false ??

    1. Bridget Farace Reply

      God created it as a place for Lucifer and the other fallen angels. Human souls who have rejected God go to Hell because they don’t want to be anywhere near God, and that’s the one place they can go to get away from Him.

  7. yo bog Reply

    there is no location that can be found. The spirits do not fill a space, they are in a dimension where there is no material anything, that means no space, no physical space. God and the angels are spirits and so is the soul, not physical at all. Hell, like St JPII said, is a state of mind, those who are heading there are already there, those who are not heading there are purging already and those heading to heaven are already in that state of mind.

  8. Nancy Reply

    What the “hell” is going on?

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