Where is hell? Does hell have a specific location?
People often speak of heaven as "up" and hell as "down." In the Old Testament the Hebrew word sheol was used for hell or the grave while the Greek word used in the New Testament, hades, referred to the unseen world of the dead and was often associated with judgment. Gehenna was another Greek word used to describe hell, meaning the Valley of Hinnom. This valley existed outside of the city of Jerusalem as a burning rubbish heap and was associated with judgment and fire (Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:43).
Where is hell? While some passages speak of hell or the place of judgment being below the earth or downward (1 Samuel 28:13-15; Luke 10:15), hell exists in a non-physical realm. Similar to heaven, hell exists beyond our physical universe as a place where the souls of humans continue to dwell. For unbelievers, hell includes ongoing torment (Luke 16:23) and is permanent (Luke 16:26). Those in hell appear to be able to see at least parts of heaven (Luke 16:23) and remember earthly events (Luke 16:25-28).
This view is also consistent with Ephesians 6:10-12 that speaks of the battle between forces in the heavenly realms. In other words, the realms of angels and demons exist in a dimension largely unseen by humans.
Revelation 20 speaks in detail regarding the final state of Satan and unbelievers. Verse 7 notes that at the end of the thousand-year millennial kingdom, Satan will be released for one final battle along with the deceived nations of the world. After he is defeated, "the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).
Then all unbelievers will be judged before the Great White Throne. Revelation 20:15 declares, "And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." In the next chapter, Revelation 21:8 adds, "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
So where is hell? Hell exists in a non-physical realm in which Satan is present, along with demons and unbelievers. Unbelievers experience ongoing torment and are unable to escape their judgment. At the end of time, Satan and unbelievers will experience the "second death" in which they will be in the lake of fire. This dreadful situation is one no person would desire. This is why God has offered salvation through Jesus to anyone who will believe (John 3:16) and patiently offers this salvation still today (2 Peter 3:8-10).
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