The reality of this World and of this Created Order is NOT at all as we perceive it to be with our natural senses.
It appears and seems as it is ONLY because of the way God created us as Man. Please bear with me -- I am going to digress slightly into what may seem rather technical and scientific. I will make it as simple as possible and still get my point across. I ask you to also understand that what I am going to be presenting is ONLY my idea of a simulation or working model. It is ONLY offered to illustrate my point. The REALITY of the matter may actually be nothing at all like the model. Let us pause for a moment and take a very simplified look at an Atom.
All matter or material is composed of building blocks called "Molecules", further broken down into "Atoms". In the molecular sciences, a molecule is a sufficiently stable, electrically neutral entity composed of two or more atoms in a definite arrangement, held together by chemical bonds. Chemical substances are not infinitely divisible into smaller fractions of the same substance: a molecule is generally considered the smallest particle of a pure substance that still retains its composition and chemical properties.
These Atoms look like tiny solar systems, with a supposedly solid center called a Nucleus made up of Protons (positive charge) and Neutrons (no or neutral charge), and other supposedly solid particles called Electrons (negative charge) circling around the nucleus like planets around the sun. Each unique Element (of which there are some 100 or so) is comprised of Atoms, each having a different and unique number of Electrons and Protons, though the individual Electrons and Protons are all no doubt identical. Now I want to stress to you that this is ONLY a Model --- It IS NOT the reality.
I stated that the Neutrons, Electrons and Protons were SOLID particles, and so scientists at one time thought. Now, with the advent of FAR more sophisticated equipment, they have discovered that these too are made up of even smaller "particles", also moving. It may be that the ENTIRE atom, IN REALITY, consists of NO solid "matter" at all, but ENTIRELY of energy moving at different levels and frequencies. Frequency means the number of times per second that something vibrates. This is what I mean by a Model or Simulation vs. Reality. We can discuss and learn from the model which we CAN perceive , even thought it may be VERY different from the Reality, which we CAN NOT perceive !!
This brings us to the fascinating idea that the ONLY difference between one type of "matter" and another is the level and frequency of the energy of which it is comprised. "Matter", despite what we THINK that we see and perceive, IS NOT "solid", but rather consists of mostly empty "space" and packets of energy.
An example is Light. All light is energy, moving at different frequencies. Within the range that the human eye can see, red light vibrates the slowest and violet light vibrates the fastest. However, below red is "infared" and above violet is "ultraviolet", which other living creatures CAN see. Also take sound --- All sound is vibration. A high sound is a rapid vibration and a lower sound is a slower vibration. As with light, there are both higher and lower vibrations, outside the range of human hearing, which other living creatures (dogs, bats, etc.) CAN hear. ALL light waves vibrate faster than sound waves, as ALL radio and TV waves vibrate faster than light waves. The energy that cooks in your microwave oven and that which takes those x-ray pictures vibrates faster than both radio and TV. However, they are ALL energy -- the ONLY difference is the rate of vibration or the Frequency.
Applied to "solid material" or "matter", this leads to the almost inconceivable and unbelievable "SciFi" concept that what we may perceive as a chair, an automobile, a TV set, a steak, or a person (even ourselves) in REALITY, may not exist AT ALL. What exists, IN REALITY, are different levels and frequencies of energy, and there is NO "REAL matter" at all !! The energy is perceived by our senses and shaped in our minds into the "Matter" that we "see and feel". If we had different senses, we would live in and perceive an entirely different "world", as do many animals and insects. This is not to say that to us (and to others) the chair, automobile, TV set, steak, or person are not "real" or do not exist. Our perceptions tell us that they do, and we CAN NOT deny our lifelong perceptions !!
I know that what I have presented here must seem like some "wild, science fiction tale born out of an overactive imagination". Even when I contemplate the issue myself, it seems unbelievable, inconceivable, incomprehensible, almost impossible to wrap my mind around and get a grasp on it. There seems to be NO way that it could even remotely be true. However, as they say, "Truth (Reality) is often stranger than Fiction." Jesus reminds us, "If you would have Faith, and Believe ........"
If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe (understand), how will you believe (understand) if I tell you about heavenly things? **** John 3:12
What I am saying is that if we were "changed", and given a different composition and other senses and perceptions (as we one day will be), we would experience a totally different "world" or reality. Light travels readily through glass, but NOT sound. Radio and TV signals easily travel through materials that block light. Microwave and x-rays will travel through most materials. Why ??? The reason is that the higher the frequency of the energy, the denser the material that it can penetrate. If the energy of our "bodies" vibrated at a higher frequency, we could no doubt walk through "solid objects", as did Jesus during His earthly sojourn.
At this point you may be asking (and RIGHTLY so, I might add), "So what has this "Sci-Fi tale" got to do with "Spiritual Matters" and most especially, with my question about "Hell" ??" A good question, which I intend to answer. I was merely laying a foundation upon which to build. As illustrated above, something need not have "substance" or be "solid material" to be "real" or to exist. As "science" so-called has sadly proven, you DO NOT need any outside source in order for a person to experience pleasure or pain. The proper part of the brain can be stimulated, and for THAT person, the sensations will be 100% "REAL" !! Those in drug induced hallucinations totally believe that what they are experiencing is 100% "REAL" !! Go [HERE] for much more on the subject of REALITY.
Now if the foregoing discussion seems to you rather BIZARRE, you need to read what scientists theorize is the TRUE structure of "REALITY" as defined by the Mathematics of Quantum Physics or Mechanics. An excellent (and not TOO difficult to understand) book is "Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries" by John Gribbin, and a CHEAP copy may be purchased [ HERE ].
I as a minister, and we as a ministry, DO NOT believe in the Orthodox "Hell" and the "tormenting Devil". You may read an expose on "Satan Unmasked" [ HERE ] and "Christian Universalism" in general [ HERE ]. This, however, emphatically DOES NOT mean that there will not be a Day of Judgment and Remedial Correction for those who die with unrepentant hearts, who fail to avail themselves to the freely given Salvation in Jesus Christ NOW, during THIS life !! What I offer to you following is again merely a Model. It no doubt will differ greatly from the Reality. However, we can nonetheless learn and profit from it. I owe credit primarily to C.S. Lewis and William Law for the following concepts. An excellent book by William Law, "God's Power in You", can be found [ HERE ]. An excerpt (Chapter 12) may be read [ HERE ].
When God first created Man, he was created a two part being, with both a Physical Nature which could interact with, enjoy and partake of the joys and substance of THIS Natural World -- and with a Spiritual Nature which could enjoy, fellowship with and partake of the joys and substance of the Divine Nature (God's realm). Man was to be the interface, the vessel through which God could pour and reveal His ever creating Glory. This would be to Man a source of unending joy and delight, and all of his wants, needs and desires would be abundantly filled as this vessel of God. This was God's Design -- this was Man's created function and destiny !!
The sad story you know. Man turned his heart to lust after so-called "freedom and self fulfillment". He longed to taste of and to be filled and satisfied with the "Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". He longed to draw his sustenance from THIS natural world rather than from his Heavenly Father - His God and Creator. So he did, and so was his Divine Glory lost. He became as one of the creatures of this natural world order. There was a problem, however --- He was now only HALF a creature -- his connection to the Divine was lost. He had been created to be a vessel to contain the Glory of God -- that was to be his joy and fulfillment. Now he had only himself and this natural world in which to look for purpose and fulfillment. As Man knows today --- it was nowhere to be found -- nothing would fill the empty, hollow, pain and longing within !!
So again Father God gave to Man a three part blessing:
1. - He made him mortal so that he would
not remain in this miserable state forever
Thus today, Man seeks to fill his inner pain, longing, and emptiness with the "pleasures" (so-called) of this natural world, some containing goodness, many wicked and perverted --- love of a wife and family, home, work, recreation, drugs, illicite sex, craving for wealth, power and control, etc. Thus the natural body and senses, for a while, help to mask and dull the incessant longing, lusting, and craving. However, what about when the body is no more ????
For those who have refused to be reconciled again to God during THIS life, who have again rejected being filled and led by the Divine Nature, God does NOT need to make a "Hell", nor will God be "responsible" for Man's condition --- Man will have created it of His own volition. When Man's inner essence no longer possesses an external body to appease and distract his inner lusts and longings, they will turn upon themselves -- perpetual longings with nothing to fulfill them --- perpetual lusts and cravings without satisfaction --- like a mad dog seeking to devour its own flesh. ---- like a drug addict forever withdrawing from his "drug induced madness".
The "Tormentors" will NOT be medieval fables about some external Satan, or demons, or "unquenchable fire". They will be the inner tormentors of our OWN "unquenchable" LUSTS. The "Outer Darkness" will not be the "fiery pit" of someone's demented imagination. It will be Man's OWN inner being, separated from the Love and Glory of the Divine Nature !!
In anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards (tormentors) to torture him until he repaid all he owed. So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart. **** Math 18:34,35
Throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. **** Math 25:30
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes , and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. **** 1John 2:15,16
Each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires (lusts). Then, when desire (lust) conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. **** James 1:14,15
Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions (lusts) that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions (lusts). **** James 4:1-3
The following quotations by Shakespeare have nothing specifically to do with the subject of "Hell", but I present them here as being apropos examples of Man's vocalizing concerning subjects that he knows from little to nothing about --- Such as Life and Death, Heaven and Hell !!
"She should have died hereafter;
-- (Act V, Scene V), From the William Shakespeare play, Macbeth
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
-- From Hamlet (III, ii, 239)
Queen Gertrude speaks these famous words to her son, Prince Hamlet, while watching a play at court. Gertrude does not realize that Hamlet has staged this play to trap her and her new husband, King Claudius, whom Hamlet suspects of having murdered his father. She also does not realize that the lady who "doth protest too much" is actually herself, as the Player King and Queen represent King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude. The former will be poisoned (in this play within the play) by the king's brother, as in reality (Hamlet suspects) Claudius killed King Hamlet. Gertrude's statement is in response to the play-Queen's repetitive statements of loyalty to and love of her first husband.