Is there a Hell?

hell n.

  1. the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus.
  2. A state of separation from God; exclusion from God’s presence.

There are several Christians that I’ve come across who do not believe that Hell exists. Some believe that just by being baptized, you will go to Heaven no matter what. The Catholic view on that can be found in the FAQ on Baptism. Others believe that at death if they don’t go to Heaven, they cease to exist. That would contradict the knowledge that the soul is immortal. However, both claims can easily be disputed by reading the Bible.

Where does the Bible mention Hell?
There are several references to Hell throughout both the Old and New Testament. I’ll show a few.

(Daniel 12:2) Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever; others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.

(Matthew 25: 31-33,41) "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left … Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’

As we can see from the above passage, Jesus tells us of a place of eternal fire that exists.

(Matthew 25:45-46) He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Here is another reference to eternal punishment for the unrepentant.

(2 Thessalonians 1:9) These will pay the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power.

The above passage shows something that Catholics believe about Hell. God is not present in Hell. When a soul goes to Hell, it’s wholly severed from God’s presence, which is part of the torment.

(Revelation 14:9-11) A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, “Anyone who worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, will also drink the wine of God’s fury, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.”

Here in Revelations, John hears the angel speak of fire that forever torments the wicked.

(Matthew 13:41-43) The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.