I was talking to my spiritual father one day, and asked him to listen to my understanding of hell, to correct it if it is heretical or doctrinally unsound. I said to him ‘There are no bars around hell, sinners and demons can leave anytime they want, but why would they want to leave?’ And my spiritual father agreed with this theology, saying, ‘There is no repentance left after death.’
I have heard from Archbishop Lazar Puhalo that some of the Fathers of the church say that people can be saved from hell after death, but the church won’t form a doctrine about it, because none of the theologians know for sure. He stated as well, ‘But we assume the love of God is greater than all things.’
Even the devil is eligible for salvation. However, there was a monk in the desert who one day asked an angel, ‘Can the devil be saved?’ So the angel returned to heaven and asked the Lord this question and came back to the monk with the answer. The angel said ‘The Lord will utterly forgive the devil, if he should repent.’ Later on, when the devil appeared before the monk, the monk told the devil, ‘You can still be saved if you repent.’ The devil laughed in his face and disappeared.
Satan would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven. God does not punish the demons and sinners with some kind of material fire. They punish themselves with the fire of their own unwillingness to accept the light of God as love and warmth. When Jesus says of the last judgement, ‘I never knew you! Depart from me, you practitioners of lawlessness!’ I think he really meant what sinners say to God throughout their entire lifetimes, ‘I never knew You! Depart from me, you God of wickedness!’