The Pain I Felt in Hell

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Bill Wiese

God gave me a vision of hell that I wrote about in my book, “23 Minutes In Hell.” In it, I shared that God allowed me to feel a certain level of pain during my time in hell. I knew that what I felt was only a fraction of what those condemned to hell will feel because God chose to block a portion from me.

People ask why God would ever allow a Christian to endure any kind of pain or torment, even in a vision. He allowed me to experience pain so that I could warn people that this is not some metaphorical or allegorical pain. It is real, agonizing, never-ending suffering.

A few people have asked me, “Why would God allow you to feel any pain at all, when He paid the price?”

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That would be like saying, “Since Jesus suffered on the cross for us, no Christian should ever bear any pain, at any time, for any reason.”  Why did He allow the apostles to suffer the way they did? They were sawed in half, hung upside down on a cross, stoned, shipwrecked, thrown in dungeons, beaten and chained. God said about Paul in Acts 9:16 (KJV), “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 

This is in no way to compare my experience with those of Paul or the apostles. My point is that if God would allow one of the most important people in the Bible to suffer great things, and even His chosen people, who am I to question His purposes? Even though 23 minutes seemed like 23 weeks, it was still only a brief amount of time. What I experienced was minor in comparison to what the great men in the Bible endured.

Hebrews 11:35b says, Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”

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I’m very grateful that this was a vision and I was not condemned to hell as a lost person would be. Yes, there were four demons who were eager to tear my arms and legs off, but God didn’t allow it. Instead, He removed me from their presence and then placed me alongside an enormous raging pit of fire. This is where I could first see thousands of people burning. It was a horrendous sight.

Other things God allowed me to experience were the horrid stench, the disgusting odors of the demons, the toxic smell of burning sulfur, the lack of oxygen, the deafening screams, the extreme thirst, the hunger, the physical exhaustion, the intense fear, the heat of the flames, the loneliness and worst of all, the hopelessness. To be hopeless is so unbearable that I will never forget it. The total abandonment and isolation forever is inconceivable. We can’t imagine what it’s like to truly be without any hope.

All the pain, discomfort and terror I felt in hell do not compare with what awaits those who are condemned to hell for all eternity. I cannot imagine the degree of pain and horror they are experiencing even now. Revelation 14:10 states that God will pour out His wrath in full strength in the future hell, the lake of fire. It is possible that in the current hell, also called Hades, God has not yet poured out the full measure of His wrath. What will that be like? I would not want to find out.

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Bill Wiese is the author of the New York Times bestselling book “23 Minutes in Hell,” the story of his life-changing visit to hell in 1998. Bill has since authored six additional book titles and continues to share his experience around the world. He and his wife, Annette, founded Soul Choice Ministries in late 2006 and have dedicated their lives to reaching the unsaved. For more information about Bill Wiese and Soul Choice Ministries, please visit us at:

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