Was hell intended originally for the devil and his angels only or was it also for the wicked?

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The Bible tells us that originally hell fire was determined for the devil and his angels only “… the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Unlike humans who were deceived into sin, the devil rebelled against God without any one influencing him. He intentionally and purposefully set out to defy God’s authority in heaven.

Although Lucifer was created perfect, he allowed pride, jealousy, and self-exaltation to fill his mind. And Lucifer decided to attempt to unseat God and then demand that all worship him. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:17). “For thou hast said in thine heart, … I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: … I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13, 14).

Lucifer aspired to be like God in position, power, and glory, but not in character. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections of the angels, he wanted to be the one that receives that love and honor. Lucifer won the support of one-third of the angels (Revelation 12:3, 4) and caused a rebellion in heaven. God had no choice but to cast Lucifer and his angels out (Revelation 12:7-9).

After his expulsion from heaven, Lucifer was called Satan (adversary) and devil (slanderer), and his angels were called demons. And that is how the devil and his angels “which kept not their first estate” (Jude 6) were cast down to hell and delivered…into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” by hell fire (2 Peter 2:4).

But now all those who submit to the devil and follow his example of rebellion will join him in the same fate “So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:40-42).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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