The Fiery Nature of the Universe
We live in a fiery universe. The starry heavens which we see as dots of light are really cosmic fires. Our sun is but one of these fires. Our earth itself is of molten rock inside which erupts here and there on the surface its surface. We split the atom and release tremendous energy. Our bodies are made of star dust, based of the carbon atoms.
Science tells us that the source of all this fire is Zero.Energy. The vacuum of space is itself full of this energy. This means that the sensible world we experience is floating on a vast sea of energy. Sensible forms of fire are visible manifestations of this cosmic energy.
Is Hell's Fire a figure of speech?
Hell's fire does not seem to be a figure of speech because it is indicated many times in scripture and Christ took Hell's fire most seriously when he said:
"If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ... the fire is not quenched.'" (Mk 9:47-48)
Jesus also indicated how terrible hell would be when he referred to Juda:
"Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
What Kind of fire will this be?
From the fiery nature of the universe, I have indicated that there are difference fires, or difference manifestations of energy. Scripture suggests that Hell may be a "Dark Fire", a different kind of fire, because it equates rejection by God as being cast out into the outer darkness.(Mt 25:30) St. Thomas Aquinas also dealt with this question and he conclude as follows: "It is clear that the fire of hell is of the same species as the fire we have, so far as the nature of fire is concerned. But whether that fire subsists in its proper matter, or if it subsists in a strange matter, what that matter may be, we know not. And in this way it may differ specifically from the fire we have, considered materially." (Summa Theologica: III, 97, 6)
An objection is raised: How can souls experience the pain of fire since they have no body before the resurrection?
First of all, Hell's Fire was first prepared for the fallen angels as we read: . "Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Mt25:41)
They are spirits without bodies yet they suffer in this fire. So, human souls can also suffer from this fire. How, is not clear. The fact that our souls inform the matter of our bodies tell us that souls have an affinity to matter. Even after death, the soul maintains a relationship to the material universe. So God is able to bind souls to some material substance which they experience as fire.
Dante in the Inferno Canto. 3:22-29 describes the horror of hell thus:
"Here I heard sighs and shrieks so hostile,
Piercing the starless sky so pitifully,
That I wept at a world so utterly futile.
Confused tongues, shrill voices crying angrily,
Agonizing groans and words of violence,
The sound of hands beating wildly,..."
Where is Hell?