How Long Does Hell Last?

How long does hell last? Does hell last forever?

Many people are very interested in knowing about heaven and hell and how long they last. And there’s only one true authority on the subject.

No matter what anybody tells you, the one and only trustworthy authority on the matter is the Holy Bible. It’s the authentic word of God.

Jesus Christ – God in the flesh, affirmed the Bible over and over again – and the Bible has continued to prove itself for the last 20 centuries-and-counting.

Jesus himself made many direct comments about hell. And he ought to know.

The Bible is crystal clear on the subject of heaven and hell. When it’s rightly divided, there’s no question about it at all.

Let’s open up our Bible and learn how long hell lasts.

How Long Does Hell Last?

Hell lasts for eternity. Whoever ends up there will be in for a bumpy, unpleasant ride that doesn’t cease. Actually, calling it unpleasant is way too mild.

It’s sheer terror for those who are in this terrible place. It’s such an awful place that it’s better to cut off a sinful hand than to live the rest of your life with it!

And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. Mark 9:43 ESV

Scripture points out that the fires of hell shall never be quenched, implying no end to the awful torment of the wicked.

Can you wrap your head around a fiery place of torment that doesn’t have an end?

Imagine being inside a fiery furnace whose flames never cease.

Sounds absolutely horrible, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s what our just and sin-hating Creator has in store for anyone who rejects Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross.

The eternal fires of hell are also reserved for those who take the mark of the beast only to remain within this falling system a little bit longer, because hey – this life is all we have, right?


“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 14:11 ESV

So make sure to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior while you can, because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

Why Was Hell Created? 

The reason God created hell might be different from what you’ve heard. Some folks can’t understand why God would send people to hell.

But God never made hell for good people. He never even made hell for bad people.

And surprise!

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41, ESV

God doesn’t send anybody to hell. The truth is a bit different from what you hear out on the street.

“Well, if God didn’t make hell for good people, and he didn’t make hell for bad people, why did he make hell at all?”

God made hell for Satan and his angels. That’s it. That’s why he made hell. It was to punish Satan and his angels.

But this famous Hollywood actress says:

“I don’t think there’s a petty system of heaven and hell. The love of God is much more forgiving. I’m not a believer in a wrathful God at all.”– Susan Sarandon

Sarandon’s got a theological problem.

It’s like when Jesus confronted the Pharisees and said: “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29 ESV

She apparently doesn’t know that the true God is a God of wrath. God hates sin, and will never allow sin into his presence for eternity.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36, ESV

God’s wrath is very real, although genuine believers in Christ are saved from it as Apostle Paul writes:

“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:9 ESV (emphasis added)

Sin is a very serious matter. And God dealt with sin in a very serious way.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, God the Father poured out his wrath on his only begotten Son so that we who believe in Him – Jesus Christ – can enjoy eternity with him.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 ESV

Jesus carried that wrath when he paid for our sins with his own blood.

And Jesus is the only way to the Father.

The Father will forgive all who come to him through Jesus, but only those who come through Jesus, for there is no other way.

So what about the people who refuse to choose Christ? In their rejection of Christ, they are actively choosing hell.

Does that seem unfair? Consider what God says about the matter in his word:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20 ESV

What is Hell Like?

Hell is an unthinkably horrible place of eternal torment that’s specifically reserved for the wicked.

However, the original purpose that God intended for Hell is to be a place of punishment for Satan and his fallen angels.

It’s just that mankind fell to the deadly grip of sin and now any human being who isn’t saved will face inconceivable torment in the fiery pits of hell.

Okay, but how are we saved you might ask?

This is the exactly what the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas and here’s what they answered him:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 ESV

Short and simple, that’s it.

But notice how the modern secular media and entertainment industry downplays the reality of hell.

There are songs, movies and other media messages that put doubt in the hearts of people regarding hell and what it is like.

After all, God is love and we all go to heaven once we die, right?

Nope, the truth is that God hates sin and His just wrath is reserved for all sinners.

And guess what – we’re all sinners, every single one of us:

“None is righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:10 ESV

That’s why we all need to believe in Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross.

Otherwise a place in the lake of fire is reserved for righteous judgment.

Is it Possible to Escape from Hell?


But the only possible way to escape from hell is by surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ in this life.

Once you leave this life, your opportunity for escape from hell has ended.

And you must actively believe that he indeed is God’s only begotten Son who was sent to pay the ultimate price for our sins in full by being crucified.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

Jesus is the ONLY narrow path to eternal life. 

Dying without surrendering your heart to Christ will put you on the highway to hell (remember that horrible satanic song?).

Yet, some misled believers still cling to the false doctrine of annihilationism as a means to somehow comfort them.

Annihilationism is a false doctrine that revolves around the idea that hell is not a place of eternal punishment, but rather something temporary.

According to this belief, the lost (i.e. unbelievers) are simply destroyed upon physical death.

But does the Bible support annihilationism? Hmm… no, not at all!

Jesus himself says that the unsaved will face a punishment that never ceases:

“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46 ESV

By putting your faith in Christ, you’ll be forgiven and eternally saved from damnation.

However, rejecting the Lord’s free gift of eternal life will result in eternal consequences.

And what are these consequences?

A never-ending punishment in hell that you cannot escape, where the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:48 ESV).

Without believing in Jesus you won’t be able to escape hell:

“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” Matthew 23:33 ESV

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Where is Hell?

According to the Living Word of God, hell is a real place and those there are subject to real torment.

The traditional location of hell is at the center of the earth, and there are scriptures that suggest it.

Jesus sheds light on the exact location of this fiery furnace:

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.Matthew 12:40 ESV

Another very clear example of where hell is located comes from Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus:

“He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earthEphesians 4:9 ESV

And if we open Revelation 14:10 ESV we’ll see that the wicked are tormented with “fire and brimstone”.

Brimstone is an alternative name for sulfur.

This might explain why sulfurous gas is ejected when volcanoes erupt (e.g. Mt. St. Helens).

But we also know God will make a new heaven and a new earth -leaving the question of where hell goes if it is inside the earth.

Since hell is also a spiritual location, it leaves other options open.

The bottom line?

It’s not a good place. And the price has already been paid, so why not live according to God’s word on it?

How Hot is Hell?

Hell is extremely hot although the Bible doesn’t specifically tell us exactly how hot that place is.

But Scripture reveals that hell is like a fiery furnace where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:50 ESV).

You can rest assured that hell is much hotter than anything that we can compare it with.

However, if you really want specific numbers we have to see what scientists have to say about hell’s temperature.

According to a volcanologist and scientist Richard Naslund, the center of the earth is approximately 10,000° F.

To put things into perspective, the earth’s core is slightly hotter than the temperature of the sun.

Thus, we can only imagine the mind-blowing heat that unsaved people are subject to.

But one thing’s certain – you do NOT want to end up in that fiery furnace!

What is There in Hell?

We don’t have a lot of information about what exactly is in hell.

Nonetheless, the Bible still provides some description that gives us an idea what an unbeliever can expect from this awful place of torment:

It’s dark (Matthew 8:12 ESV)

There’s eternal fire (Matthew 25:41 ESV)

Also, Revelation 20:10 ESV informs us that there’s also sulfur in the lake of fire.

As previously mentioned, remember that sulfur and brimstone are basically the same thing.

But even if we don’t know all the details about what is in hell, we know what those who end up there will be subject to.

Endless torment.

Bible Verses on Hell

There are many parts in Scripture that specifically target hell and below you’ll find 20 very relevant and eye-opening verses about hell:

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 ESV

“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 14:11 ESV

“And throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:50 ESV

“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 1:7 ESV

“Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14 ESV

“And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.” Revelation 19:20 ESV

“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” Matthew 23:33 ESV

“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:5 ESV

“And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.” Matthew 18:8 ESV

“For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” Psalm 86:13 ESV

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. James 3:6 ESV

“And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” Isaiah 66:24 ESV

“So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.” Numbers 16:33 ESV

“In flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 ESV

“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.” Revelation 21:8 ESV

“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46  ESV

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Matthew 5:22 ESV

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4 ESV

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17 ESV

“Аnd in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.” Luke 16:23 ESV

Final Thoughts

Listen up folks, hell is a very real place where unsaved people go to. (read those who didn’t believe in Jesus while still alive)

It’s a place of eternal torment. Can you imagine eternal suffering and pain?

Just consider the torment that the rich man described in Luke 16:19-31 ESV was subject to.

He was so miserable that he was begging for Abraham to just dip the tip of his finger into water and cool the rich man’s tongue.

And that’s only a glimpse of the level of punishment that people in hell experience as it lasts for eternity!

We all deserve to endure eternal punishment for sinning against the holy and just Living God.

But wait. Don’t just accept eternal damnation because you think you’re going to hell anyway.

There’s a way to escape hell’s never ending fire and this way is called Jesus Christ. The blood he shed cleanses all of our sins, and it is powerful enough to clean the worst sinner.

What Jesus Christ did by dying on the cross is our one-way ticket to salvation.

“he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2Peter 3:9a, ESV

All we have to do is confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead and we will be saved from hell’s eternal flames. Romans 10:9 ESV

Is your Faith Founded on Fact? Have you committed to follow Jesus?

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