What Will Hell Be Like?

“The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham with Lazarus at his side.” (Luke 16:22b-23 NLT)

Let me begin with this disclaimer – NO ONE knows with certainty what hell will be like, except Jesus. So, my observations in this article are based on His words and the illustration of hell that He gave in Luke 16:19-31.

In his book entitled Heaven, Randy Alcorn wrote: “The best of life on Earth is a glimpse of Heaven; the worst of life is a glimpse of Hell. For Christians, this present life is the closest they will come to Hell. For unbelievers, it is the closest they will come to Heaven.”

My goal isn’t to scare anyone or pretend I know more than I do. My purpose is to make some observations that many people, in the harried pace of this life, may never stop to consider. Please also note, like the other parables that Jesus used, this is a fictional story designed to portray a relevant truth.

  • We can’t assume because Jesus used a rich man and a beggar, that all rich people go to hell and all poor people go to heaven. That is an individual decision that each person, irrespective of material wealth or possessions, must make in this life. It’s a decision, essentially, as to whose will, will reign supreme in a person’s life? Theirs or God’s? We have to assume, from the context of Jesus’ words, the rich man chose his will and Lazarus chose God’s will.
  • For illustration purposes, in Jesus’ story, the rich man can see and communicate with Abraham in heaven. Based on the evidence revealed in the rest of Scripture, I don’t believe this will be the case, but Jesus uses it here to make a point.
  • The central purpose of the story to me, that illustrates the vivid torment of hell, is the rich man’s request of Abraham: “Father Abraham, have some pity … I am in anguish in these flames.” What was the source of his anguish? Was it simply the flames? I have no doubt he was in physical pain beyond description, but the source of his true torment is revealed in his next request. “Please, Father Abraham, at least send him (Lazarus) to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.”
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What can we learn from this story?

  • Hell is a real place. A place of severe and eternal punishment with which nothing on this earth can compare, and from which, once there, there is no recourse.
  • The greatest torment won’t be physical, but emotional, intellectual and spiritual, realizing we had an opportunity on earth that we ignored. Compounded by the likelihood, that even in light of all the churches and all the internet, radio and TV programs that proclaim the good news of who Jesus is and what He accomplished on the Cross on our behalf, unless we and our loved ones personally repent and turn to Christ, seeking forgiveness of sin and a new life that can only be found in Him, we/they will share this rich man’s fate.
  • In this story, it’s glaringly obvious that there is no one else present with the rich man. No one with whom he can commiserate his torment; no one to give a word of comfort or encouragement; no one to share the burden of an eternity alone, without one single hint of the presence of God, thus no influence of love, compassion, caring or empathy. People often believe they will have lots of company in Hell, and they very likely will, but the implication of this story reveals an eternal aloneness that is literally unbearable.
  • In life on earth, the rich man was too distracted with his wealth and material possessions to be troubled with thoughts of God, but in hell ALL he can think about is his deep regret, not only that he didn’t put his trust in God when he had the chance, but his brothers are on the same path that he followed and he’s agonizing over their fate.

Dear friend, it’s not an accident that you’re reading these words. I often ask the Lord to give me the very words that will make an impact on the hearts and minds of the ones He already knows will be reading them.

If you can’t point to a specific time when you first yielded your life and allegiance to Jesus, you probably haven’t. We don’t become a believer by osmosis, simply by hanging around Jesus followers. This is a personal decision that only you can make. A decision that will determine the eternal destination of your soul and be reflected in every subsequent action and decision you make.

PLEASE don’t wait another minute! Click on the link below and watch a brief video by Ron Hutchcraft, then pour out your heart’s desire to become a follower of Jesus, connect with a local church and begin your walk to heaven, one step at a time. https://hutchcraft.com/the-bridge-to-god

Blessings, Ed 😊 (you can direct questions/concerns to me at walkingwithjesus09@gmail.com )

2 thoughts on “What Will Hell Be Like?

  1. Hi Ed, I’ve heard in my past Bible studies & in commentaries, that on the day of judgement our body is cast into the lake of fire to burn for eternity, but that our soul lives on for eternity in a place of cold darkness, with no light & especially without the light of God, with no one else to share your great loneliness, sorrow, pain, & grief, for the rest of eternity.

    I know our bodies burn eternally in our own personal hell, but I’m not sure if our souls will also be burning in torment, or if they are in a cold dark void like space, but without any light. Without the light of God it would have to be complete darkness & loneliness that would torment us for eternity. I can only imagine how bad it would be to live for eternity without the light of God, all alone, whether burning or in a cold dark void. I wouldn’t wish that upon even my worst enemy.

    Steve Boyle


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