Before I became a Christian and did not know the Bible, I learned what our popular culture tells us of Hell. We all get the picture of the red man with a bifurcated tail and pitch-fork sitting in a fiery place. The typical understanding is that Satan lives in hell and tortures people who go there. We are told that God is in heaven and Satan is in Hell, and that Hell is the devil’s dominion. We see this in popular movies like South Park and Little Nicky. But this is not what the Bible says about hell.
Hell is actually the place God prepared for Satan and his angels (Matt 25:41, Jude 1:6-7). Right now, Satan is actually upon the earth, eagerly trying to bring people away from God (1 Peter 5:8). God rules hell; God created it to doll out punishment. We should not fear Satan. We should not fear that he will punish us in hell, because he won’t! No, we should fear God! God is the one who judges! God is the one who separates His sheep from the unbelieving goats (see Matthew 25:31-46).
I know hell is a hard thing to grapple with and understand. I still struggle with it. Some say Jesus didn’t talk about hell. That is incorrect (again see Matt 25:31-46). Why do you think Jesus willingly endured ruthless scourging (whipping nearly to the point of death) and then horrible crucifixion? Why did Jesus willingly go to death even though he was innocent? Why would he endure such horrible punishment if not to save us from something equally as horrible?
God created us to be eternal beings. That’s why death seems so unnatural. We were made to live with God forever. We have the choice to either live with God forever (heaven) or to live away from God under His wrath and punishment (hell).
Do you fear going to Hell? Good. You should. God put that fear into my heart, which helped me become a Christian. He gave me dreams of going to hell and they scared me. We should fear hell because we fear God.
Do you think you might go to Hell? If so, the Bible says “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9-10). It’s a free gift from God! You do not have to DO anything, you simply must believe with all your heart and eagerly yearn for that relationship with God through Jesus Christ.