You may have legitimate doubts for believing in the reality of Hell. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject, for and against. You may be confused about who goes there and sincerely believe that since you are, in your mind, a good person, you’d never end up there. The Bible gives a very clear message about the reality of Hell and how people end up there, and it has nothing to do with whether or not you are “good” or “bad.” It comes down to whether you have accepted the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as your personal savior. If you have rejected the Son of God, no matter how good you think you are, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you have accepted Jesus’ payment for your sins, no matter how ugly your past, your guilt is washed away and you will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
In the main body of this article I am simply going to present, without comment, excerpts from three different contemporary books written by people claiming to have seen or experienced Hell. You may not be willing to accept the testimony of one person, or even of two people, but hopefully you’ll take seriously the testimony of three people. The book “23 Minutes in Hell” by Bill Wiese gives the most extensive description of Hell I’ve ever read, as well as providing extensive notes for those who wish to study exactly what the Bible says about the subject. At least one of these books may be out of print. If you are interested in trying to track down personal copies, I would recommend searching sites like Amazon, Abebooks, Alibris, and Biblio, as these all sell used and out of print books.
Hell Description from Return From Tomorrow by George G. Ritchie, M.D.:
“Now, however, although we were apparently still somewhere on the surface of the earth, I could see no living man or woman. The plain was crowded, even jammed with hordes of ghostly discarnate beings; nowhere was there a solid, light-surrounded person to be seen. All of these thousands of people were apparently no more substantial than I myself. And they were the most frustrated, the angriest, the most completely miserable beings I had ever laid eyes on.
‘Lord Jesus!’ I cried. ‘Where are we?’
At first I thought we were looking at some great battlefield: everywhere people were locked in what looked like fights to the death, writhing, punching, gouging. It couldn’t be a present day war because there were no tanks or guns. No weapons of any sort, I saw as I looked closer, only bare hands and feet and teeth. And then I noticed that no one was apparently being injured. There was no blood, no bodies strewed the ground; a blow that ought to have eliminated an opponent would leave him exactly as before.
Although they appeared to be literally on top of each other, it was as though each man was boxing the air; at last I realized that of course, having no substance, they could not actually touch one another. They could not kill, though they clearly wanted to, because their intended victims were already dead, and so they hurled themselves at each other in a frenzy of impotent rage.
If I suspected before that I was seeing hell, now I was sure of it. Up to this moment the misery I had watched consisted in being chained to a physical world of which we were no longer part. Now I saw that there were other kinds of chains. Here were no solid objects or people to enthrall the soul. These creatures seemed locked into habits of mind and emotion, into hatred, lust, destructive thought-patterns.”
Hell Description from 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese:
“I could see the outlines of people through the flames. The screams from the condemned souls were deafening and relentless. There was no safe place, no safe moment, no temporary relief of any kind. In the media we have heard of the merciless acts of terrorists. In some cases their victims knew death would come by brutal decapitation. Try to imagine the terror these victims must have felt as they awaited their fate. In hell, this state of fear never ceases for even on second. It lasts for an eternity.
There were people in hell who were contained in a massive pit. Horrible creatures surrounded the perimeter. There was no way of escape. Any attempt to do so was futile. Human strength was no match for the demons. I felt such anguish for these hopeless people, but at the same time I realized that I could be next.”
(And then later, after Jesus rescues him:)
“The true emphasis was placed on the souls whose names were not yet written in heaven, those who were going to hell every day. I was instantly sobered as He allowed me to see a steady stream of people falling through a tunnel — one after the other, after the other, after the other — into an open cavern, into the terror that I had just escaped.
While I was watching these scene, Jesus allowed me to feel just a small amount of the sorrow He feels for His creation that is going to hell. His love is so far beyond our capacity and is infinitely greater than our love. I couldn’t stand feeling even a fraction of the anguish He feels. I said, ‘Please, stop!’ I couldn’t bear it.”
Hell Description from My Descent into Death. A Second Chance at Life by Howard Storm:
“The hopelessness of my situation overwhelmed me. I told them I would go no farther, to leave me alone, and that they were liars. I could feel their breath on me as they shouted and snarled insults. Then they began to push and shove me about. I began to fight back. A wild frenzy of taunting, screaming, and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. As I swung and kicked at them, they bit and tore back at me. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. Even though I couldn’t see anything in the darkness, I was aware that there were dozens or hundreds of them all around and over me. My attempts to fight back only provoked great merriment. As I continued to defend myself, I was aware that they weren’t in a hurry to annihilate me. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophonous laughter. They began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror, I realized that I was being taken apart and eaten alive, methodically, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long as possible.
While I couldn’t see in this total darkness, every sound and every physical sensation registered with horrifying intensity.
These creatures were once human beings. The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse of compassion. Some of them seemed to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense of there being any organization to the mayhem. They didn’t appeared to be controlled or directed by anyone. Simply, they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled cruelty.”
(The following excerpt happens later, toward the end of his Hell experience.)
“Somewhere out there in that vast darkness there could be something good. There is someone who might love me. I didn’t have any theological interest about what it meant. It was simply a spontaneous recollection from my Sunday school days: Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me.
I desperately needed someone to love me, someone to know I was alive. A ray of hope began to dawn in me, a belief that there really was something greater out there. For the first time in my adult life I wanted it to be true that Jesus loved me. I didn’t know how to express what I wanted and needed, but with every bit of my last ounce of strength, I yelled out into the darkness, ‘Jesus, save me.’ I yelled that from the core of my being with all the energy I had left. I had never meant anything more strongly in my life.”
George G. Ritchie. Return From Tomorrow
Bill Wiese. 23 Minutes in Hell
Howard Storm. My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life