Poll on Hell. Is that REAL fire?

Hey – thanks for participating in the poll on Heaven’s precious stones. The result is that most voters were undecided (38%), Yes came second (32%) and No came last (29%). Go here to see the latest results. There was a moment near the 100 votes mark when it was equally divided into thirds. Obviously many believe it is allegorical and many believe it will be the real thing. But most are undecided. Guess we will have to wait to find out.

And now, having voted on the previous poll, [do it here if you haven’t] give the next one a shot. Please vote only if you participated in the previous poll.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • andy says:

    what are we talking here?
    need to be more specific man…

  • Simon Cross says:

    yeah, a little more specific please for the anhilationalists amongst us… 😉

  • naaaah. simple question. dont answer it if its too complex for you.

  • Simon Cross says:

    alright then, yeah but no but yeah but no but… dunno

  • Ryan Wiksell says:

    Those of us going to heaven will get our bodies back glorified. What about those going to hell? Will they get their bodies back at all? If so, will Satan put them back together instead of God? And if so, wouldn’t it be hell enough to be living in a dead body reconstituted by Satan??? But even so, if those in hell have real physical bodies then I think real fire is a strong possibility. If they’re just disembodied spirits then what would be the point of real fire?
    Reminds me of a recent post of mine, What the Hell?

  • bonnie says:

    Where’s the “I hope not” option?

  • Makeesha says:

    leave it to Ryan to make it the most complicated question ever 😉

  • andrew says:

    its a great question. not as great as something like . .
    “will the atmospheric conditions in hell, ie, the perfect amount of oyygen conducive to firestarting and maintenance as we have on our planet earth . . . at least at this level and not too high above sea level . .. be the same in hell, despite it not being literally on the same earth.”
    but i am just asking the question for the poll and NOT trying to make a theological point or trying to persuade anyone to my view.

  • What about tartarus?
    (it’s there in 2 Peter!)

  • andrew says:

    oh . . . tartarus, gehenna, hades . . you guys are such HELL SNOBS!!!!!
    just answer the bloody question!

  • Lornal says:

    I didn’t vote earlier. But since I believe heaven to be a real place, then there is a real hell too.

  • andrew says:

    good thinking, Lornal! it would be strange to build a case for heaven from the Bible and then deny one for hell.
    But the question is not about the existence of hell but rather the quality of the fire – is it real fire like on earth or might it be different/allegorical.

  • joe says:

    I don’t think there is any fire in hell because what would be the point?

  • LayGuy says:

    I assume we have Christians reading this post and I am staggard to see that “no” ranked so high.
    This is typical of the emergent mindset where man’s thinking is elevated above the Word.
    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
    Go ahead and call me “anhilationalist” – I honestly couldn’t care.
    The emergents have a lot of good things to offer but when will they quit putting human reasoning above God?

  • andrew says:

    Layguy – the readers of this blog are from 152+ countries and represent a wide spectrum of the body of Christ, including emerging churches. I would not be too quick to judge who is voting for what.

  • LayGuy says:

    Andrew just because there are 152 nations here from a wide spectrum of the “Body of Christ” doesn’t mean I shouldn’t contend for the truth.
    Too quick to judge? You tell me then what you do with that scripture quoted above?

  • andrew says:

    Hey Layguy,
    first of all, it sounds like you have already judged which option i have voted for.
    that verse talks about fire. No one is questioning that.
    This poll is questioning what kind of fire just as the last poll is asking what kind of precious stones will be in heaven.
    what do i do with that Scripture? I take it seriously.
    Are you saying that only those who voted for your answer are contending for the truth?
    Question for you?
    Will we drink real literal WINE in heaven with Jesus or will it be a metaphysical, allegorical wine, a heavenly kind of wine that is categorically different in nature than earthly wine?
    just asking . . .

  • LayGuy says:

    Andrew did I say that I have judged you as to the answer to your question? C’mon just because we Aussies kick your NZ butt in sport, doesn’t mean you gotta get all narky on me. 🙂
    Your question focused on fire. The comments here have deviated from the “fire” component. So if you were honest with yourself, the boundaries of this post have moved all over the place to the point where people might question the existence of hell itself – as most Jews do.
    “Eternal fire” to me does not necessarily point to literal fire. That would mean the laws of physics that enable fire in space time would have to be the same in eternity.
    But when you post comments like…
    “oh . . . tartarus, gehenna, hades . . you guys are such HELL SNOBS!!!!!
    just answer the bloody question!”
    …you cloud the issue cause words are extremely important in scripture. Jesus Himself said that not even a “jot or tittle” – “dotting the “i” and crossing the “t” would pass away before all things are fulfilled by Him.
    My suggestion to you is that you listen to the 152 nations responding to your question.

  • andrew says:

    Layguy . . i lived in Australia for 7 years.
    Being an Aussie, you would know that i have a smirk on my face most of the time and especially when i sound serious.
    and just because Australia has had some recent cricket glory does not mean the country will not suffer humiliation when the judgment comes swiftly in the form of a rugby ball, administered by the men in black.
    lets not let the word “fire” get clouded at all. lets just answer the question.
    and if you dont want to answer wine question, then thats fine also. W.A. Criswell believed it was a “celestrial” wine. link. But he probably held to literal fire.
    Billy Graham said he was not sure if it was a literal fire – link
    Not sure if answering literal for one binds you to answer literal for everything in heaven and hell.
    any thoughts?

  • Elmo says:

    I’m going with real fire.
    We’ll all be raised in physical bodies, saved and lost alike, to go to a real place, be it heaven or hell, so the wine and the fire will be as real as our bodies.

  • LayGuy says:

    All I want is the issue of a “tormenting reality” not get clouded. Whether it’s literal fire or celestial fire (lol)is not the point.
    The point is, there is eternal punishment. Full stop. As a SNAG, I can’t fathom God doing this. But I will never allow my sensitivities get in the way of scripture. And that’s what this post was turning into – not the concept of real fire or celestial fire.
    As for wine, well if earthly stuff hits the spot, then bring on the celestial vintage! Imagine how long that’s been sitting in the cellars!

  • joe says:

    I’m not sure that is the point, Layguy. First Andrew specifically asked about fire in hell.
    Second, any never-ending punishment is pointless. You never get to learn the lesson. No parole. For ever. No matter how great our sin, it is going to pale into insignificance compared to forever.
    That does not sound like the action of a loving God to me.
    Third, Jesus was pretty keen on using picture language. When he talked about hell, he used the word meaning trash heap, where the trash was constantly breaking out into flames.
    Yet again, our knowledge of the bible and God is more related to the number of movies and cartoons we have seen rather than what we profess to believe are the words of God.

  • Dave says:

    Hey I think you should have livened up the poll a bit ( I was going to say “heated up” the poll…)
    1. Hell, yes
    2. Hell, no
    3. Hell, I don’t know

  • The point is, there is eternal punishment.
    No, there really isn’t. Actually, I just finished demonstrating that the Bible only teaches Universal Reconciliation (unless one believes in salvation by works, then maybe one could argue for eternal punishment).

  • LayGuy says:

    “…Yet again, our knowledge of the bible and God is more related to the number of movies and cartoons we have seen rather than what we profess to believe are the words of God….”
    Just because you disagree with me, don’t be condescending ok?

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