Remember, when it says:
"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him."
... we are really dealing with a condition very different from the one we experience now. Even if God had gone on in great detail about Heaven, our frame of reference is such (living in a world full of sin) that we'd probably not understand what was said. Only Adam and Eve ever had a frame of reference which might enable them to comprehend such a description ... were one available. In one sense, this is what Paul writes of when he 'describes' the experience of being taken up into the third heavenor the Heaven of God's presence. Likewise with John's experiences. Or even Isaiah, who saw Him.
They did see, but were blown away by the experience and only able to deal with it but a little. Paul certainly didn't imagine he could tell anyone about it beyond the mere fact; and, while John tried to provide descriptions, these are problematic when one gets beyond the actions being taken by God, Messiah, angelic beings and exalted persons.
On the other hand, we do live in a world chock full of sin. If one is of a mind to, he may see quite clearly aspects of Hell closing on and enveloping actual persons as well as be aware of the stench that may be coming from the all-too-close body of death. So it may also be significant that God never says that Hell will be beyond our ability to comprehend in the here and now. Indeed, Jesus provided the very details on numerous occasions upon which I based my own speculations.
Simply, Hell is at least intellectuallythough not factuallycomprehensible because it's heat metaphorically radiates throughout the whole world as it now is.
Maybe you'll understand the analysis better if you understand another exercise I've sometimes (infrequently) undertaken.
I try to imagine what Heaven will be like. Really apply myself. Then when I think I've done the best I can, I look to God in prayer and essentially say "You have said that Heaven is beyond comprehension, well, this is pretty amazingly goodbut it is comprehensible. So it must fall short. What You have in mind is far better than my best. I have Your word on it. So sock it to me!"
It says that we are to test God to see that He is good.
But part of God's goodness is His holiness and justness which define why there is a Hell and must also determine the limits of same. Those limits are rooted in this life and this world, the things done in the body. So I don't believe my analysis to be impious.
Indeed, there is an idea in our culture that sinners in Hell will somehow still be able to sin (a whole series of books to that effect, as mentioned earlier). If at the deepest (subconscious) level they wish to sinsin is their thingthen the implication that even Hell won't hold them back from this desire might actually be a source of comfort to continue as they are doing.
If, on the other hand, it is made quite clear that Hell is a place full of frustrated sinnersunable to sinthen Hell becomes a place of genuine privation and horror as incomprehensible to sinners as Heaven is to still-mortal Saints. Something that may help to literally scare the Hell out of a few people.
Or such would be my desire and motivation.
It's my understanding that hell is an eternal place for all who reject Jesus Christ, that the worm is another punishment in addition to the flames. You might also be interested in the different words. "Gehenna" seems to be comparable to the valley of Hinnom in Israel, in which corpses burned. Tartarus is likely the abode of angels in chains.
Studies in hamartiology are helpful in better grasping the nature of Sheol.
Any proper study of hell will discern the meanings of Sheol, Hades, Lake of Fire, Paradise, Abraham's Bosom, Tarturus or the Torments, the Pit, the grave, the dead vs the living, the ressurection, with linkages to sin, condemnation, salvation, and heaven.
It might be noted that the Lake of Fire was created for the fallen angels, and later those who are declared PONEROS, or 'good for nothingness will also be cast there. This will lead to a study of the nature of good and evil.
It has been said that the issue of sin has already been resolved on the Cross. Today, sin may be resolved in an instant, simply by confessing one's sin and turning away from disobedience to His will and returning to focusing upon Him. Repentence is simply turning away from a wrong course by turning to Him. Confession is an act of man who exercises faith in Truth over something separate from His will. All the judgment is His and all the payment for sin is His, we simply turn back to Him in simple faith.
Whereas the issues of sin have been resolved for all eternity, the issues of good and evil have not been resolved in a fashion such as Christ dying on the Cross. Good and Evil must be resolved in time.
It should be noted that those who perform good works, independent of faith through Christ, simply are performing works which are good for NOTHING at the final judgment.
If one is seeking to understand what the desciptions of hell imply, it probably has just as much significance for the many millions of people who are intending well and good, but still are acting independently of faith through Him.
Heaven and hell have far less to do with morality than they do with simple faith through Him.
The worldly system was extensively studied by the Greeks. KOSMOS, or the World, is a system of creating order out of CHAOS. The most intricate wordly systems are created by those seeking to avoid faith through Him at all costs, and those intricate systems in many cases are the most legalistic, ordered, and appealing systems to the old sin nature. This doesn't mean all order is evil, rather that the ordering of things independent of God is part of Satan's counterfeit plan to create a false paradise. It will end in the Lake of Fire, a place for those things good for nothingness.
I know there are several interpretations of "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" but I often wonder if perhaps, when taking on the sins of the world, Jesus was, for a moment, seperated from his Father. What pain that would have been.
So for those that refuse God's love in life get their wish in Hell. Could the drop of water the rich man was asking for to experience God's love once again? Is the fire the desire to have God's love back, once realized?
Or in more common parlance "you don't know what you got till it's gone".
Sorry, a reply not worthy of yours, I appreciate the opportunity to have read it, thanks.
"If I knew God I'd be Him."
Maybe not, that part isn't certain since Satan worked in the executive suite at first. However, the road to hell is Satan's work, and that road is wide, smooth, and paved. Lately it is also attractively lighted around the clock. And, no speed limit.