Why is hell so horrific?

If there is one aspect of the Bible that riles unbelievers, it is the proposition of hell.  How can a benevolent ‘Granddaddy’ in heaven, who smiles on all people and blesses whatever they do, plan something as gruesome as hell?  It is totally out of sync with a God of love.

#  Why did God design hell?

Despite all the arguments that eternal punishment for the ‘non-religious’ is very unfair, most people never ask the obvious question: why did God design hell?  What was His idea and for whom did He plan it?  People were made in God’s image.  So it sounds incongruous that God would plan something that gruesome for them.

#  God designed hell for a specific category of ‘criminals:’ rebellious angels.

Angels are part of God’s created order. 1  Like people they have free will.  One of them, gifted and rebellious, decided to usurp God’s throne. 2   After he convinced millions of angels to follow him, he set up his own kingdom, the kingdom of darkness. 3  For his treachery against God, the devil and his demons were sentenced to spend the coming age, which is eternal, in the lake of burning sulphur (hell).

#  Hell is gruesome. 

Make no mistake, hell will not be a place of drinks and drugs.  God designed it to fit the crime of the kingdom of darkness.  It will be never ending torment in a lake of burning sulphur where the fire never goes out.  The question is why such harsh punishment for the rebels?  The obvious question is which government through the ages regarded rebels in a favourable light?  Usually they were summarily executed.  It cannot happen with the devil and his demons, since they cannot die, but live eternally.  Torment, burning sulphur, relentless pain and agony is what waits for them.

#  The devil’s crimes

The devil is responsible for thousands of years of human misery, deaths, murders, wars, et cetera. Think of every kind of atrocity and living hell that people experienced, and it can be laid at his feet.  He is the murderer, the liar, the thief who steals people’s eternal lives. 4   The rivers of blood that have flowed over the earth since he took control of the world is indescribable.  The tortures inflicted by man on man, instigated by the devil, are too gruesome to mention.

#  Hell is fitting punishment.

The devil killed billions.  He must serve life sentence for each one.  This amounts to eternal punishment, ‘And the devil, who deceived them [people at the end of the age], was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur where the beast and false prophet had been thrown.  They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.’ 5

To summarise

Hell was designed for rebellious angels and their leader.  God designed a place that will fit their treachery and rebellion, a ghastly ‘prison.’


  1. Hebrews 1:14
  2. Isaiah 14: 12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-17
  3. Matthew 12: 25-26; Colossians 1:13
  4. John 8:44
  5. Revelation 20:10

Author: Gerard and Alida

As you can see in the photo, there are two of us. We live and work together 24/7, studying and enjoying our grandchildren. Our passion is to know and understand what will happen after death. Is there a way to provide for and invest in that?

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