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!