What is Hell?

What is Hell?

By: Shenouda Girgis

Talking about hell is a touchy topic and one that many people don’t delve too far into. To be honest, I didn’t know much about it before preparing for this blog. The study of hell is quite difficult to initiate- its oppressive, innately negative and lacks the lustre of delving into scripture or a juicy piece of theology. In short, studying it is a bit hard to justify. In fact, I could only nod my head in agreement in retrospect.

Imagine a person who says, “I don’t want to be friends with other people;
I want to be alone,”…
they then take baby steps to sever themselves off from those around them…
and then eventually they take mammoth leaps to absolutely and decisively choose themself over all other people.
Then this is going to hell.

Said another way, the essence of sin is separation from God, the desire to achieve competency away from the divine. It is the urge to be self-sufficient, to be able to discern between good and evil apart from the Creator. Some call it self-righteousness. This is the ultimate denial of being a creature of God. Now, by correlation, sin and hell are the same thing, a separation from others and God. C.S. Lewis depicts hell in ‘The Great Divorce’ through a quiet, grey, overcast town where people keep moving further and further apart from each other.

An old saying is that one would choose ‘heaven for the climate but hell for the company’. This is a deplorable myth. Hell is boring and uneventful to the extreme. But then how can heaven be interesting or exciting if we are reclining on marshmallow clouds, dipping our golden fingers in pristine rivers and tuning our ever new silver harps? But let’s try to consider what it means for human beings to flourish. Just imagine what it would be like for yourself and for us as human beings to act together without the frictions and subtractions caused by sin. What potential? What excitement? What room for growth and prosperity? As St Paul says, “from glory to glory”; our limitations would be nullified, our potential limitless. C.S. Lewis leans forward on his Cambridge armchair and beckons, “Come further up, come further in!” (The Last Battle)

No Comments



The Greatness of John the BaptistExtra! Extra! Read All About ItChristians in IraqInterview with Abouna Tadros Malaty (Fr Paul Fanous)Loving Your EnemiesSacrament of UnctionThe Resurrection of the DeadFr. Alexander Schmemann: Reflections on Pope Shenouda III5 Things You Need to Know About LentBaptismPrayer Before Holy CommunionGod’s Invitation: Will We Accept?Our Relationship With GodThe Unforgivable SinBears in AlaskaSelf-DenialThe Significance of Christ’s TearsThe Fast of Saint MaryStrength In NumbersSeeing Christ in OthersWhat is Hell?From Saul to PaulThe Missing Prayer (Part THREE of THREE)The Missing Prayer (Part TWO of THREE)The Missing Prayer (Part ONE of THREE)Lamb of GodHebrews 12:14 – A ContemplationSpear in Your Side3 Things To Do This Lent!Lenten Fasting – RevisitedAttaining Godly LoveBeing Restored by ChristRecommended Readings ListContemplation on the KingdomThe Glorious Feast of the AscensionHow to Not Spiritually Wither Away in the Holy 50Drawing Closer to GodThe Feast of St Mark the ApostleI Rescued the FatherlessAdmit it… Isn’t church just sheer boredom?Evidence for the ResurrectionFr Mark Basily – 103.2 Interview (Palm Sunday Bombings)The Effects of ReadingThe Significance of The Upper Room to The Early ChurchMental Health and ChristianityLiving in the MomentBecause He is Risen I am HopefulFeelings of DoubtApostles FastTrusting in HimThe Samaritan WomanSt Paul Defending His Apostleship and ServiceSupporting and Serving the NeedyThe Lord's PrayerThe Man Born BlindThe Paralytic ManLet’s Get Personal About LentNew Year New MeGod Became ManA Fool on Earth, but Wise for EternityFr Yacoub’s 10 Tips on PurityHurt People Heal PeopleMy Perfect SelfNew Comers to the ChurchFaith or FeelingsYou Can’t Leave MeHe is Useful to Me for MinistryThe Love of a ParentPsalm 23Understanding the Holy FiftyThomas SundayContemplations on Good FridayBridging the GapUse It Before You Lose ItLove (Advent Series)21How to Survive the Christmas SeasonHow to Transform Your Spiritual Life in 2019