Description of Hell?


Question:
I'm sure you may have heard, or have told someone yourself, that hell is best put as "eternal separation from God." Most believing Christians, to my knowledge, do not strictly adhere to the literal interpretation of a fiery dungeon called Hell. 
With that said, what do you think of the condition of being separated from God eternally? Is it possible that this condition (this state of being completely severed from the living God) is not much different from the state of non-existence? After all, what type of life is it that exists separately from God?  Is there a possibility that hell (eternal separation from God) is actually banishment from humanity as well as divinity? Could it be the very diffusion of the conscious soul into the sinful nature? Could hell be the subtraction of that which makes us human, that which makes us more than animals? Could it be the subtraction of the breath of life and the return to dust? 
What is the nature of the second death that is spoken of in scripture?
I am not debating key doctrines here; I am just looking for a different and more educated insight.


My Reply:
You're thinking too much into it.
Hell is described, yes, as eternal separation from God, but it's also described (by Jesus) as a very hot place, filled with eternal torment, no humidity at all, and the gnashing of teeth.
In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Jesus describes hell as very hot, even to the point where the rich man begged for Lazarus to even dip his smallest fingertip into some water and place it on his (the rich man's) tongue. Jesus also explained a chasm between heaven & hell that couldn't be crossed (torture to see those you hurt in paradise while you're burning eternally).
C.S. Lewis described the difference by saying that in hell, everybody's sitting at a banquet table with all this great food in front of them. But their arms are locked straight out in front of them, so they can't get the food into their mouths. Then in heaven, it's the same situation with the arms, only there, they're feeding each other.
Either way though, hell is continuously described as a place we shouldn't wish to go. It's not the same as not existing though, for we're beings that were created to live forever...there are 2 places where that could take place, and it's our decision now while we're here to make as to where that place will be.
Also, if you've ever had a run-in with Satan or one of his demons, you've gotta figure that hell is where they're going, and they know it. Anyplace where they are is definitely not a place where anybody should want to spend the rest of eternity.

---Pastor Andy
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