cup of wrath

Underground Hell, Space Heaven

  • If you drill a hole deep enough into the ground will you find hell?
  • If you go far enough into outer space will you find heaven?
  • Is hell underground, and heaven in outer space?

The bible does not indicate that hell is literally underground, or that heaven is literally in outer space.

We know that heaven and hell are real places, and not simply states of mind, but are they physically tangible? In the scriptures, hell is often described as being underground, within the depths of the earth, and heaven is often described as being skyward or above us, "But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth" (Psalm 63.9 KJV), "Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down" (Amos 9.2 KJV bible). Does this mean that if we drill a hole deep enough into the ground we will eventually reach hell, and if we look far enough into outer space we will find heaven? Aside from the prevailing objection of common sense, such a literal interpretation is not supported by the scriptures either.

To help answer this question, consider the depiction of heaven and hell given in Luke 16, "And in hell [Hades] he [the rich man] lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence" (Luke 16.24-6 KJV bible). The rich man not only sees Lazarus with Abraham, but proceeds to communicate with Abraham. Abraham then explains to the rich man that there is an impassable gulf or chasm that separates the two sides, Paradise and Hades, from each other. Therefore, Lazarus cannot cross over to the rich man's side, and the rich man cannot cross over to Lazarus' side.

Now if heaven is in outer space, and hell is deep underground, then the two would be separated by the earth's crust, and the vast distances of space. If that is the case, then presumably Abraham and the rich man would not be able to see or speak to one another. Then, even if you assume that this conversation takes place in their minds' eye(s), we are still left with the description of a chasm that is quite different from miles and miles of solid rock. So at the very least we should conclude from this account that heaven and hell are on two separate and opposite sides of a spiritual, not physical realm, and that our notions of time and space aren't as relevant there.

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