When Was Hell Created?

Hell was not created, but prepared. The word “prepared” in the Strong’s means “to make ready.”

In Matthew 25:41 Jesus said, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

This is the same word that God used in John 14:2, where He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” In the preparation of hell, God simply removed His attributes, or His goodness. This became hell (hades). When His attributes are removed there is nothing left but desolation, darkness, the absence of all life, and the absence of all that is good.

As for the time when hell was prepared, it was some time after the six days of creation. The reason it didn’t exist prior to the six days is because God said in Genesis 1:31, “Everything that he had made and behold, it was very good.” If hell existed prior to that He would not have said, “everything was very good.”

In his book, “The Classic Writings Of Billy Graham” page 54, he said, “It is difficult to suppose that their fall (fallen angels) occurred before God placed Adam and Eve in the garden…at the end of all creation , and pronounced everything to be good. By implication, up to this time, even the angelic creation was good.” 

Wayne Grudem said in “Systematic Theology” page 402, “If the angels (‘the sons of Go’d) shouted for joy when God was making the earth inhabitable, this could imply that God created the angelic beings early on the first day…Some time before Satan tempted Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:1), a number of angels sinned and rebelled against God (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6-7). This event occurred apparently after the sixth day of creation when ‘God saw everything that he had made and behold, it was very good.’”  

This would indicate that Satan hadn’t yet sinned and fallen during those six days therefore hell was not yet prepared.

Since Satan, also known as Lucifer, was the highest of God’s creation before man, he may have felt that he was special to God. After all, he was the top of the angelic host.

Billy Graham said, “He was the most brilliant and most beautiful of all created beings in heaven.”

Ezekiel 28:12-17 reads, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”  Lucifer was quite an exemplary being.

Lucifer may have been envious of God’s attention centered on man. Man is also made in God’s image, and angels are not. Pride entered his heart. It most likely was not long after the creation week that Lucifer rebelled in heaven. The reason for this belief is because 1 John 3:8 says, “the devil has sinned from the beginning.”

Mark 10:6 says, “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.”

Romans 5:12 reads, “Therefore just as through one man’s sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men.”

We see that man was created at the beginning, and also sinned from the beginning, in the garden. Satan sinned from the beginning in heaven  (Ezekiel 28:15).

Satan first brought sin into heaven, and then after that man brought sin into the earth  (Romans 5:12).  

Jesus said in Luke 10:18, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

In Ezekiel 28:16, God said, “And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God.”

We can conclude that Satan must have rebelled shortly after the creation week, which means hell was prepared, not created, soon after the six days.

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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell