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UNDERWORLD! Tartarus, Sheol, Paradise, Gehenna

Hell has different compartments. Not everyone is going to the same place in hell. For example, Mother Theresa would reside in a different compartment of hell than Adolf Hitler. That may still sound harsh, but remember that good works do not gain salvation but rather faith in Jesus Christ. 

Place of comfort and torment within hell, Sheol

Let’s take a look at Luke 16:23-26. There’s a place of comfort and a place of torment. Lazarus is in the place of comfort, and the rich man is in the place of torment. The rich man and Abraham are communicating. There is a great gulf between them. They are in the same place but in different compartments. 

There is hell, the place of torment. Then there is Abraham’s bosom, also called paradise. Why? Because Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” When Jesus died, did He go straight to Heaven, or did He go to the lower parts of the Earth first? In Hebrew, it’s also called “Sheol,” the realm of the dead.

Luke 16:23-26 is proof that hell has different compartments. Sheol is often used for Old Testament saints. In English, all of this is called hell: the different compartments are not distinguished. But they are the place of torment, the gulf, and Abraham’s bosom.

We find Scriptural evidence for the different compartments of hell. 

Greater damnation

Matthew 23:14: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” 

The phrase “greater damnation” shows that there are different degrees of hell. If there is “greater” damnation, then it is only natural to assume that there is “lesser” damnation as well. 

Not only that, but the book of Acts gives us a specific example of someone who experienced “greater damnation” in hell. That person was Judas Iscariot. 

Acts 1:25: “That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 

Judas goes to “his own place!” He’s not in the same place everyone else there is. This is further proof that hell has different compartments. 

Hades

The Bible also calls hell Hades. Hades can refer to the grave, the place of torment, or the place of comfort. It is used that way because all of these places are related. 

Tartarus

2 Peter 2:4: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” 

There is yet another compartment of hell. The Greek calls it Tartarus. This is the place for the angels. 

Bottomless pit

Satan goes to the bottomless pit where he is chained for 1,000 year (Revelation 20:3).

Gehenna

There is also Gehenna in the Greek Bible. It is described as being on the outskirts of Jerusalem. During the millennium, when people do pilgrimage to see Jesus, they will see people burning in hell on earth and this will instill the fear of the Lord. This is explained in the verse below.

Isaiah 66:24: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” 

This describes Gehenna! Gehenna is the word used here for hell, which starts at the millennium.