Sounds almost like purgatory, doesn't it?
Where is this place represented by "outer darkness" in Jesus' parables? To be in outer darkness is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth has earned them a special rank or position of authority (italics in original).
The "outer darkness" represents not so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and privilege. It is not a geographical area in a kingdom where certain men and women are consigned to stay. It is simply a figure of speech describing their low rank or status in God's kingdom. . . . Now, imagine standing before God and seeing all you have lived for reduced to ashes. How do you think you would feel? How do you think you would respond? Picture yourself watching saint after saint rewarded for faithfulness and service to the King--and all the time knowing that you had just as many opportunities but did nothing about them. . .
We do not know how long this time of rejoicing and sorrow will last. Those whose works are burned will not weep and gnash their teeth for all eternity. At some point, we know God will comfort those who have suffered loss.