Satan doesn’t rule hell. Hell is not his kingdom, like Heaven is God’s. When a man or woman goes to hell, he or she will not be a slave of Satan. Satan will not be ruling there with an iron whip. Satan is just another fallen creature that will be sent to hell for punishment. Rather than the warden, Satan will be a cellmate to the damned. He’ll even be suffering worse than mankind.
Some say that hell is the total absence of God—that to be away from God’s presence is the greatest punishment. That is not true. The Bible does speak of “levels of hell,” if you will—that the damned will be punished according to their transgressions. If hell is simply the absence of God, then how can He be more totally absent from some than others? No, God is omnipresent—He is everywhere at once. Even in hell.
Hell is, in fact, the manifestation of God’s holy and just punishment. It is His wrath. Hell is the wages of sin. Hell is what happened to Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross. Actually, Jesus went through infinitely more than what a man or fallen angel will go through in hell, because Jesus bore the punishment of the multitudes of God’s elect. He didn’t just get punished for one man’s sin, He got punished for many. And that’s what allows the followers of Christ to enter Heaven. Christ has already paid for our sins. God, in His justice, cannot punish a sin twice. That is why it is a guarantee that, if Jesus Christ has died for your sins, you will definitely be allowed into Heaven. And the sign of having Christ’s sacrifice count as payment for your sin is your belief—or faith—in Christ’s sacrifice to be the one and only means of your salvation. To believe, even an ounce, in the merits of your own good works or your own good intentions is to not have complete faith in Christ. And that means you’ll have to bear the payment for your sins in hell. That’s not a scare tactic—it’s the truth.
So what is hell? It’s God’s punishment for our rebellion and treason. How can we be saved? By having faith in Christ’s sacrifice as the be-all, end-all of our salvation. When all is said and done—when we talk about salvation—what exactly are we being saved from? We’re being saved from God, Himself—and His wrath. Not the devil.