This is an email I sent to several people:
     
    I am doing some research and would like your definition of hell. If you have the time
    and don't mind, please type out what you think hell is and who goes there.  Also, list
    your denominational affiliation if you have one.   

    Thank you much,

    Debbie

    Here are the responses I got. I will continue to add them as long as they come in.
    Send your opinion on the feedback page if you like.


    1. I believe hell here on earth is a really bad day at work, a car wreck, the effects of hurricane Katrina,
    starving people all over the world, etc; Hell is also a city in Michigan. As for our after life, and where
    lost souls go, I believe there is a place at the center of the earth that is made up of fire, brimstone, and
    the worst things one could imagine. As far as who goes there, I can not say, my Bible tells me not to sit
    in judgment of others so I don’t think it is my place to say who will go there and who will not.
    My religious affiliation is Baptist. As to how I worship God, I do it my own way, everyday.


    2.  all i can tell you is what the Bible says... a lake of fire for eternity for all those who do not believe or
    accept the fact that Jesus died and rose in 3 days for forgiveness of all our sins before we even
    sinned. i think it's a shame that people will be there and burn for eternity, when it's so easy to believe
    on Jesus Christ and spend an eternity walking streets of gold. non denominational

    3.  I believe that hell is a place that God created for the devil and his angels. I believe all who do not
    call on the name of the Lord will go there. I am torn between whether I think it is an actual place of fire,
    or if it is just a place of total separation from God, for all eternity, which would be hell in itself.  Non
    denomination

    4.  Hell is Torment.
    Unsaved people go there. Calvinistic Southern Baptist

    5. A place of eternal torment and eternal separation from God.
    Those who have not received the grace of God through salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    6,  Hell is a temporary place unbelievers go to when they die. It is not eternal.
    The Lake of Fire is eternal. Hell will be cast into it.
    I am a Christian. My church affiliation is Baptist.

    7.  Most of what we know about Hell comes from Dante, a catholic.

    8.  I think hell is just a life without knowing God pretty much. I don't think that you will burn forever even
    if you don't believe. Jesus died for every ones' sins already, so we do not have to worry. The people
    who don't know God, in my opinion, are living in hell on earth. That’s my story and I'm st..st...stickin to
    it:)

    Greg (my son)

    P.S. I am Bapticatholicostal ;)

    9.  Hel is the name of a Nors Goddess.

    10.  In general, I believe that hell is where the damned are sent to be punished for all eternity.
    --Catholic

    11.  I believe that hell is a place of darkness, deepest sorrow, and unquenchable fire, which was not
    prepared for man but for the devil and his angels; yet it will become the place of eternal separation
    from God for all who reject Christ as Savior. モ41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will
    weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into
    the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.ヤ Matthew 13: 41 42. I belong to
    the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. www.foursquare.org All who reject Jesus as Savior
    will enter hell.

    12.  A children's Sunday school class was having a discussion on hell and it was going rather
    gruesome with God throwing people in hell to be being burned alive with a literal fire and undergoing
    intense pain and torment--when one little girl looked at her teacher and said: 'I think God needs to
    become a Christian".

    Hell does not exist in the strictest since of the word. The word was derived from the Hebrew word
    "sheol" and the Greek word "hades" and both mean the grave or the place of death or the state of
    death. The other words such as "gehenna" WAS a literal dumping place outside Jerusalem which is no
    longer there and the other word "tartarus" was a Greek mythological place where gods were held in
    prison and Peter was using this fable as a teaching tool similar to how we would use Aesop's Fables to
    teach a truth. The translators changed the four words (sheol, hades, gehenna, and tartarus) to the
    English word "hell" and in no case does either of the words they are translated FROM depict unending
    torment for men.

    All go to sheol, or hades, or death when their heart stops beating but there is no eternal torment. If
    Jesus took our place and paid our penalty and if that penalty was eternal torment in hell--then that is
    where Jesus should be now--but He is not, He is at the Father's side which is where we will all one day
    be.
    Is there hell to pay? No. Does sin have consequences? Yes, but in this life only for when we are dead
    we are freed from sin. That is the power of the blood of Christ.  Universal Reconciliation.


    13.  Hell is having Easter Sunday dinner with the in-laws. Baptist/Catholic

    14.  If you want my honest opinion, I'll say I don't know. I don't want to be dogmatic about what may or
    may not be figurative in scripture. I just know that it's bad. If God wants to surprise us by announcing
    universal restoration at the judgment seat, then hallelujah. However, I would never risk someone's soul
    with such speculation.

    On the other hand, I don't want Hell to be my primary motivation for living a Christian life. I let my
    thoughts shift in a more Arminian/conditional security direction at one point, and it was miserable. I
    literally lay awake at night almost shaking at some points. I want to trust my heavenly Father to
    progressively sanctify me, and I want to learn more and more to serve him out of love and gratitude.
    Coming out of my funk, songs like "Rock of Ages" and "There is a Fountain" had a whole new meaning
    for me. They still make me teary sometimes. What a savior! I am really, really, really unworthy. Baptist


    15.  I'm not quite sure how to respond to your request, but I'll give it a try: Conventional Christian
    orthodoxy has attached to the English word, "hell," a meaning that is far removed from its original
    usage. The word originally simply conveyed the idea of a hidden place, especially, but not always
    involving hidden beneath the earth.

    So in places in the British Isles, folks would speak of "helling" their potatoes, that is, storing them
    underneath the surface of the ground to be kept cool and dry. Long ago, a young man might speak of
    "helling" with a young lady, that is, going to a hidden spot where they could be alone.

    As the doctrine of a place of eternal torment for those who died unrepentant took root in the early
    stages of the intitutionalizing of Christianity, soon the word, "hell," came to be used to describe that
    imagined place. The great majority of believers in, at least the first three centuries of Christianity, did
    not hold such a belief, but believed that Christ would finally win all souls to Himself, if not
    during this lifetime, then beyond our earthly life. What I'm telling you is historically factual.

    The Nicene Creed, which still stands as somewhat of a benchmark of Christian theology does not
    affirm the doctrine of eternal torment. But, the question does properly arise as to the matter of the
    consequence of sin, and the nature and duration of divine punishment.

    When the scriptures are accurately translated in the Greek of the New Testament, the passages that
    are most often quoted to support that pagan-based invention arising from the darkest regions of the
    fallen mind begin to take on a different meaning, especially as scripture is
    compared with scripture, and scripture is allowed to explain scripture.

    There are two, primary, different Greek words that some conventional translations capriciously
    translate as "hell." One is "hades" and the other, "Gehenna." The KJV doesn't bother to make any
    distinction between the two, neither do some others, but some our more recent, more accurate
    translations do.

    "Hades" simply speaks of the out-of-sight abode of the dead, the place of death, and it is the Greek
    equivalent of the Old Testament Hebrew word, "sheol." "Gehenna" is the other main word often
    translated as "hell." No real justification for that, really. "Gehenna" was a valley outside of
    Jerusalem that came to be used as the city's garbage dump. Not only was the city's general garbage
    thrown into that valley, but also those people who died in disgrace.

    Considered shameful, worthless, and to be despised, they were not afforded a burial with any dignity.
    Their bodies were unceremoniously thrown into the valley where fire continually burned to consume
    everything thrown into it, and Jesus made use of its existence to metaphorically warn people of the
    possibility of their lives ending in dishonor and worthlessness, or of being perceived as such. His
    warning pertained to the "leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees who taught people from a spirit of
    accusation, condemnation, and disqualification.
             

    Jesus wanted people to be aware of how spiritually dangerous the Pharisees legalism was, how it could
    leave you in a state of self-perceived worthlessness and disgrace, or being branded as such by
    the influence of such teaching.

    As to the Old Testament, very Interestingly, there is NO teaching any- where within its pages regarding
    after-this-life punishment or bliss; all the promises and warnings in the Old Testament pertain to our
    earthly life. If one pre-supposes a place of eternal torment, they could project that pre-supposition
    onto some O. T. texts, but there is no clear statement to the effect that "the lost," who don't avail
    themselves of Yahweh's salvation will suffer horrible agony for all eternity. No such clear statement,
    and you would think the divine record of four thousand of God's dealing with His people and man in
    general would give a clear warning re: the possibility of such a horrible destiny.

    The teaching of scripture re: punishing fire clearly refers to God's purgative, cleansing, corrective
    judgments. To equate, for instance, the Book of Revelation's picture of "the Lake that burneth with fire
    and brimstone," with an eternal place of torment for the vast majority of mankind is ludicrous, and
    committs an awful sin of misrepresenting the nature of God, and pushes literalism to an irrational
    extreme.

    All God's judgments are corrective, not vindictively retaliatory. The fire of the Lake of Fire, is the Fire
    of God. Paul wrote that our God is a consuming fire. John the Baptist heralded One greater than he
    who would come and baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. The Holy Spirit infuses us with God's life in
    Christ when He brings us to Himself, and that same Spirit consumes away all that clings to us as alien
    to Christ, our life.

    So, to try to specifically answer your question: The Fire which God is is the Love that God is. God is
    love, and God is a consuming fire. To be exposed to God's love is to have all your carnality burned off,
    and God's Way to accomplish that is the cross of our Lord, by which He conquered death for us, for
    death is the all-inclusive enemy that includes within its bowels everything that holds us in bondage.

    If you want to call that fire "hell," go ahead----but that really is linguistically stupid. But, if we must make
    a concession to the common use of the word, then I have to say that, as necessary, people have to
    pass through "hell" in God's salvific (saving) dealings with them. No one goes to a place of everlasting
    punishment. God is not such a God.

    He's the God who sent His Son to be the Savior of the world, and God doesn't make that kind of
    investment to only end up with a tiny minority of the planet's population being saved. "Behold the Lamb
    of God THAT TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD." See, that's what the Lamb of God
    does. That's not what the Lamb of God TRIES to do; that's what He DOES.


    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw (Greek: drag) all men to myself." Those are Jesus' very
    words, and then John adds his editorial comment: "This he spoke concerning the manner of death He
    should die." The love of God that sent Christ to die for us, will through His death finally bring every
    person who ever lived to His Son, for "the pleasure of God shall prosper in His hand," and "He shall see
    the travail of His soul and be satisfied."

    Can you Imagine Jesus seeing the travail of His soul, and that travail only producing the salvation of a
    comparative few, and Him being satisfied? I don't think so. Christ is not a failure. He will accomplish
    all that the Father sent Him to do, and will not be satisfied until He does.  We know what the Father
    desired and purposed for the scripture is most clear on that point: "God is not willing that any should
    perish, but that all should come to repentance."

    If man's will can ultimately resist God's will, then man ends up being the sovereign in the matter most
    precious to God's heart. What nonsence.

    In His grace,
    John R. Gavazzoni

    16.  You are asking what we think 'hell' is and who goes there...as well as a bit about our
    background....well Mur See(mercy)...here goes.... ...this gal's from the South...deep South :)

      So what denomination am I?  I grew up Baptist...have been Methodist and Charismatic as well...but
    now, I just choose to say 'I'm a believer.'  (In God's Word).  I no longer say 'Christian' because it's
    assumed that you hold to their doctrines, one of which is the subject you're inquiring about, Hell.  

      My definition of 'hell'....I haven't really thought about that Debbie...maybe because everything I
    thought I knew about 'hell' was wrong.  One thing I do know from my study about 'hell' is that it is not a
    place of unending fire and torment like I was taught in the traditional church.

       I have to admit, it was shocking to discover there were four different Hebrew and Greek words that
    had been translated to our English word 'hell';  The Hebrew words, sheol and hades, and the Greek
    words, Gehenna and tartarus.  I was aghast when my research proved that not a single one of those
    words from the ORIGINAL language mind you, meant a place of eternal torment and burning fire.  I
    smelled deception and yet if all is of God then Father allowed it to happen...  Why would the translators
    purposely do such a thing???  And why would Father allow it?  Maybe so He could slowly and in His
    timing awaken us to the fact that He will do abundantly, exceedingly MORE than we could ever hope
    for or imagine....and like opening a gift we'd continue to grow in the knowledge and revelation of Who
    Christ is, getting better the more we learned.

       I will not be answering like a theologian; of course that could be a good thing, right?  But off the top
    of my head without searching through the numerous books I have on the subject, I think I'd define 'hell'
    as the unseen place where those who have died in the earth life have passed onto.  So, in that sense,
    we all will go to the unseen place.  David wrote that if he made his bed in 'hell', God was there.  If our
    Father God is everywhere...omnipresent, then that is absolutely true.   I also have come to believe that
    whatever lessons we were unable to learn while here in our earthly bodies will be learned in the
    unseen place. If that is paradise as Christ told the thief/robber who died next to Him, all the better.

    Dr. Harold Lovelace once taught about the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus and brought out the
    fact that the rich man became satisfied with a lot less and grew compassion and concern for others
    while he 'suffered' in hell/the unseen after passing from this life.  I think ,in that sense, Father will see
    to it that we all 'grow' home to Him.  Father can redeem everything, no matter how horrible or terrible,
    in His hand.  I do believe, however, that all healing originates from Christ Jesus having suffered and
    died for the sins of the whole world.  He was resurrected so we no longer have to fear death now.  In
    scripture, it says that Christ holds the keys to Heaven and 'hell'.  If the key holder to 'hell' reconciled
    the World back to the Father, what is there for us to dread? As Paul once asked, 'Who will save me
    from this wretched 'earth' body?' and went on to thank Father for the Victory in and through Christ.  
    The victory is a done deal...we just walk it out in our own order, in the time Father has chosen for us.

     I have complete and total trust in whatever further preparations I may need in the unseen/hell before
    Christ subjects creation to Himself and then Himself to God. Since I've found that the word 'fire' actually
    is from the Greek (I believe) word 'pur' and means to purify, I no longer am afraid or frightened of it.  
    Also with our Father being described as a consuming fire and His mercy for us being His driving force, I
    believe that any punishment we may go through in the unseen/hell will be for our benefit and lead us
    closer to the place where we ALL willingly bow and confess Christ as Lord.

       This place 'hell' is emptied and casts into the Lake of fire according to the book of Revelation. This
    is called the Second Death.  Paul wrote that NOTHING could ever separate us from the love of God,
    death included; first death and second death.  And we know that scripture also teaches that 'death will
    be no more'.  I once heard 'death' defined as separation from God.  Since I've learned that God will
    one day be all in all, separation from Him would be impossible and we'll all know and see  that the last
    enemy, death, has been defeated.  Death has left the building.  Christ was sent to be the Savior of the
    World.  He IS triumphant because Father's love,  CANNOT fail.

      Hope that's sorda kinda what you were lookin fer...?















Your Opinions On Hell And Who Goes There