What (if any) are different sections of hell? Please provide scriptural references.


Clarify Share Report Asked January 10 2020 Mini Lehlohonolo Makanke

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that, while the Bible does not contain a reference to "levels" or "circles" of Hell (such as described in Dante's Inferno), it does make multiple references to varying degrees of punishment in eternity, such as:

Revelation 20:12-13 (indicates that people were judged according to their deeds, which implies varying degrees of punishment for the unsaved)

Revelation 22:12 (Jesus speaks of rendering to every individual according to what he or she has done, which again indicates differing levels of judgment)

Matthew 10:16 (Jesus speaks of it being more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for the cities that had witnessed His miraculous deeds, but yet had rejected Him, also suggesting degrees of punishment.)

Luke 12:47-48 (Jesus indicates that there will be differing punishments for people who did not do His will during their lives, based on whether they had known what they should have done, or whether they had not known what they were supposed to do.)

Hebrews 10:29 (This verse draws a distinction between the consequences of sinning before coming to a knowledge of God's truth (that is, salvation through faith in Christ), and continuing to deliberately sin after coming to that knowledge.)

However, I would also emphatically say that the focus of any person should not be on receiving a lesser degree of punishment in eternity, but on avoiding punishment altogether through saving faith in Christ.

January 10 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Paul Hooker
The Compartments of Hades: Sheol in the Hebrew is sometimes translated "hell" and sometimes "the grave." The parallel Greek word, Hades, is always translated "hell". But Sheol or Hades is the general designation for the abode of the dead, for both believers and unbelievers, before the resurrection and ascension of Christ. 

Hades contains three compartments: Paradise (a Persian word, meaning, "Garden of the King") or Abraham's Bosom (the Jewish designation, Luke 16:19-22); Torments (Luke 16:23-25); and Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4). 

Paradise was the section where the souls of all believers of the Old Testament resided after death. Christ carried these souls with Him to heaven after descending into Hades; so Paradise is now empty as far as we are told (Ephesians 4:8-9). These believers had an I.O.U. for sin that was not redeemable until Christ made the actual payment for the sin of mankind at Calvary. So, Christ either figuratively took them to heaven as they may have been immediately accepted there after Christ’s death and resurrection or personally escorted them as part of the implication of Ephesians 4:8-9. Regardless, paradise is now empty and subsequently believers immediate go into the presence of Christ in heaven at death (2 Corinthians 5:8).

The second compartment, Torments, is temporary affliction for the souls of unbelievers. Between Paradise and Torments was "a great gulf fixed" (Luke 16:26) so that none could pass to the other side. Hades and Torments are actually synonymous, but the rendering of both as "hell" creates confusion because there is yet a final hell, designated as "Tophet," "Gehenna," or "the Lake of Fire." The Lake of Fire will not be occupied, except by the "beast and the false prophet (Revelations 20:10), until the second resurrection, when all unbelievers will be raised, judged according to their works, and sent to their final punishment (Revelations 20:11-15).

The third area, Tartarus, is the prison of the angels who were involved in the satanic conspiracy of Genesis, chapter 6. They were the only angels who have not been watching the activities of the Son of God on earth and therefore were not aware of the defeat of Satan. They still entertained hopes that their leader would emerge victorious in his battle to keep Christ from going to the Cross. But it was not to be, for Jesus Christ went to Tartarus to issue a victorious proclamation to the spirits in prison. It appears that Jesus proclaimed the status of the angelic conflict to all the fallen angels incarcerated in Tartarus.

March 11 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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