whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there"
(Psalm 139:7-8). God's presence in hell will be real, but it will be a presence of His wrath, not His mercy. His holy and righteous anger against sin shall be experienced there, but His grace shall be totally absent. "For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29).
Some churches and cults (such as the Jehovah's Witnesses) deny the eternal punishment of the wicked. They teach that God will destroy the wicked in the sense that they shall be annihilated. The fire of hell shall destroy them. It shall burn them up and extinguish their lives, and they shall not exist anymore. Scripture clearly refutes this false teaching. The verses in the chart below provide sufficient references to the truth that hell involves an eternal punishment of the wicked.
Annihilated -Destroyed utterly; reduced to nothing; totally wiped out of existence
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Which texts quoted in the box below use exactly the same word to describe the never-ending existence of both those in heaven and hell?
HELL IS AN ETERNAL, NOT A TEMPORARY, PUNISHMENT
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where the worm dieth not, and the
fire is not quenched.
Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable.
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.