By Dr. Ed Hindson
World Prophetic Ministry
Q. I recently read an article on the Internet that said there is not one person in Hell right now. Is this true?
A. Yes, this is true, if you consider “Hell” to be the Lake of Fire where all the unsaved dead go following the Millennial Reign of Christ and the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). After that, unfortunately, it will be extremely crowded there.
In the meantime, the unsaved dead go to a place called in the Old Testament Hebrew, Sheol, and in the New Testament Greek, Hades. This place is also commonly referred to as “Hell.” In the account of the rich man and Lazarus, this is where the rich man went upon his death. The Bible says:
“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom,” (Luke 16:23).The unsaved still go to this place today, awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment. Hades might be considered a temporary holding cell, like the county jail, where people are kept while awaiting trial. The Lake of Fire is like state prison, where they serve their sentences after trial.
The first inhabitants of the Lake of Fire will be the Antichrist and the False Prophet, who will be cast there at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:20). Evidently, their sin against God will be so great as to render a trial unnecessary. They will remain there for the 1,000 years of the Millennial Kingdom. After Satan’s final rebellion, the Lake of Fire will become more heavily populated. Satan will be cast there (Revelation 20:10), and then, following judgment, “death and hell” (Hades) will be cast there as well (Revelation 20:14). In short:
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire,” (Revelation 20:15).
Rob Bell's "Love Wins", and the Biblical Doctrine of Hell - BPB (Randy Alcorn)
The Place of the Dead - Ariel Ministries (Arnold Fruchtenbaum)
Studies in Eschatology: The Truth About Eternal Punishment - SpiritandTruth.org (Paul Henebury)
The Lake of Fire - Institute for Creation Research (Henry Morris)
How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? - Probe Ministries (Michael Gleghorn)