The sinners in Zion are terrified;
trembling grips the godless:
“Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”
Those who walk righteously
and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
and shut their eyes against contemplating evil— (Isaiah 33:14-15, NIV)
The Orthodox Church believes that because God is omnipresent, Hell is what an unrepentant sinner suffers in his presence. (Though they are probably in a different place to where the repentant are.)
God is omnipresent; there is no part in all of creation where God is not. He can make his presence felt. For the unrepentant, this is very unpleasant.
‘A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” ‘(Rev 14:9-11, NIV)
“They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.”
What about 2 Thessalonians 1:9? The word translated “away from” in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is the Greek word “apo” (ἀπὸ). Apo means “from” or “away from.”
Apo is used in Philippians 1:2 in the following way:
“Grace to you and peace from (ἀπὸ) God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
So why is apo translated as “away from” instead of as “from” in 2 Thessalonians 1:9? Theological preference.
Punishment, Forgiveness, and Wisdom