Trying To Understand Hell

Popular writer, Rob Bell, wrote a book called Love Wins where he gives his views about Hell.  I’ve not read Rob’s book, but here are my views of Hell uninfluenced by Mr. Bell.

I believe that Hell is a spiritual place of unrestrained evil as a result of the absence of God’s presence (not absence of religion or religious ideas, but of God, Himself).   However, in the physical dimension, God is omnipresent — He is everywhere.

Therefore I believe that Hell exists in another dimension of reality where human spirits go when their body dies. (Quantum physics supports the existence of yet undiscovered dimensions.)  That dimension consists of two places:  Heaven and Hell.

The Bible makes many references to Hell as a place of fire.  Flames of fire, however, are a physical, material reality.  Therefore I tend to believe that biblical references to hellfire and spiritual fire are metaphors — that the spiritual dimension does not contain physical fire.

I believe that the use of the fire metaphor to describe Hell is to illustrate the pain and horror of Hell.  So what, in the non-material, spiritual dimension could be as bad as burning?  Unrestrained evil in human spirits.

All human beings have a strong tendency toward evil thoughts, words, and behaviors.  However, there is much that restrains us — police, courts, fines, incarceration, conscience, public opinion, family, God’s voice in the human heart, consequences, tradition, love, fear of punishment in the afterlife, respect, fear of getting caught, etc.  And yet, despite those many deterrents, evil still abounds in every human society.

So how evil would we humans be without any deterrents?  For example, do you go over the speed limit if no cop is around?  Do you lie if you think you won’t get caught?  What would you do if there were absolutely no negative consequences?

After Katrina, when the police were gone, people looted like crazy in New Orleans.  After the fall of Baghdad to the Americans and before order and authority had been reestablished,  people looted and got revenge by killing their enemies.  Without restraint, the evil within us humans is hell on wheels.

So imagine an afterlife in the spiritual dimension of reality where God, good, and all restraints to evil are gone.  That’s Hell!

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
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5 Responses to Trying To Understand Hell

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    The greatest problem with the concept of Hell is our efforts to avoid it. Being human, we tend to think of it as a place, whereas Hell has its greatest impact in the mind of those who will do anything to avoid it – too often, promising to be “good” when there is no motivation for being good..

    And alas, far too many of us believe in Hell only because someone posing as clergy declare it to be so and – in effect, condemn all who do not live up to that individual’s dictates.

    To understand Hell properly, we must first realize that the God in whom we have placed our trust is love, unrestrained and irregardless of the limitations of our minds. Only as we experience His love, His unconditional love, can we accept the concept of Heaven and thus, deny Hell as an eventuality.

  2. May the mercies of God convince you of Hell by the better source of truth, the holy spirit. Selah!

  3. David says:

    great post steve, I believe hell is a real place that does leave us in torment. But from speaking with someone who has died, and was pronounced dead and leaving his body and entering hell told me, he was in a cell of fire waiting to be taken to another location but even though hearing people screaming and crying out for help with no relief was horrible, the greatest pain wasn’t that.. It was the fact that there was no hope anymore, no hope instilled in our hearts from God, it was a place of utter hopelessness– something of that magnitude no one on this earth will experience unless they go to hell and for the majority unless God has mercy on them, they’ll be no second chances, no do overs.

  4. Pingback: Which Burns In You — Hellfire Or Holy Fire? | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

  5. Pingback: Rigid Intellectualism Is The Demise Of Spirituality | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

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