Will the Buddhist monk sit next to Hitler in hell? Or will some people suffer a greater degree of punishment than others?
The Bible suggests that there will be degrees of punishment in hell. Jesus said in Matthew 11:24 – “It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you”-the “you” being those who witnessed the works of Christ. In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable about some disobedient slaves who receive punishment for their misdeeds. One slave is cut into pieces, another collects many lashes, while the last one gets a “light being” (Luke 12:46-48). If this parable applies to punishment in hell, then it affirms that there will be degrees of suffering. Paul also suggests this when he says that unbelievers are “storing up wrath” for themselves on judgment day (Romans 2:5).
Though Scripture is not crystal clear on the issue, there is support for the view that there will be degrees of punishment in hell.
-Francis Chan, Erasing Hell
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.