Right, so, I've basically boiled this down into small words. For *me*, you understand.
If you want the grown up version, I'm going to include the links to the articles that I read at the bottom, so you can get all the juicy details (which are many, and this post would be *huge* if I tried to encapsulate, which is what I started to do, and then realized the length, and said 'meh')
So, this is just a rough 'smooshing'. If I've stated anything wrong, someone who knows more than I, please let me know. I was just trying to get a rough idea of the theology across, with links to longer, better articles included.
God is described, many, many times in the Bible as fire. For a small sampling, Gen. 19:24, Ex. 3:2, 9:23, 13: 21-22, 19:18, Num 11: 1-3, 4:24, Ne 9:12, Ps 66:10, 104:4, Is 66:15, Matt 31: 10-12, 25:41, Mark 9:49, Luke 12: 49, Acts 7:30, 1 Cor 3:15, Heb 1:7, 12:29, Rev 3:16. It's a metaphor, of course, and helps to illustrate that when we encounter God, here, it's not His Essence, but His Energies. Think back to the sword in the fire from my deification posts.
The Bible tells us that all people go into the presence of God after they die. The difference, the key difference, is how we experience His Presence. Because God is everywhere, and fills all things, there is no place apart from God. So the concept of Hell as a place lacking the presence of God makes no sense. Rather, Heaven and Hell are the same 'place' (keeping in mind we're not speaking physically, but spiritually) - before God, basking in His Divine Energies and Presence, for all eternity. For an illustration, see Daniel 3 - the three youths were tossed into the fire and unharmed, but the warriors burned up at the entrance. Same place, different reactions. Why? The youths were in God's grace, they were righteous. The warriors were not.
We see from the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16: 19-31) that both the righteous and the unrighteous go to the same place after death, 'Hades'. Lazarus was comforted, while the rich man was in agony. (Note that it doesn't say he was *being* tortured, poked by devils with pitchforks or what have you, but that he was 'in agony'). There's no description of any outside force *doing* anything to cause his pain.
An interesting aside, one of the authors posits that Satan and his demons cannot be in 'hell' tormenting sinners, because hell is in the Presence of God, and so they too would be suffering because of His presence (since they are not 'with' Him.)
'all people come into the presence of God in the afterlife. Some will bask in joy because of that infinite love, glory, light, power, and truth that is Almighty God. Others will cower in fear and be in torment DUE TO THAT SAME PRESENCE.'
When we die, no matter what, we will all go to God. Because He's all that really IS. However, due to our choices, this will either be joy and light for all eternity, or fear and despair. But either way, it was our choices that led us to that reaction - not God sitting up on a throne somewhere and choosing heaven or hell for us. Our choice to obey or not. Our choice to accept God's love and grow in it, or reject it for the things of this world.
Links that do a much better job at this than me:
Heaven & Hell in the Afterlife
Chapter 3: Salvation
Paradise and Hell According to Orthodox Tradition