1. There is an abode of the dead; in the Old Testament it is known as SHEOL and in the New Testament it is known as HADES.
- Psa 18:5 The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.
- Rev 1:17b-18 "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
- Rev 20:13-14 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
2. Sheol/Hades is described to us through figures
- Abyss or Pit
Psa 30:3 O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
- Prison Fortress
Matt 16:18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
This language is used to designate the state of the dead not their location. That is, here we find descriptions of what death is like. These verses are not trying to tell us of an actual location. The Bible speaks of death like this as a principle not a place.
3. The term SHEOL is also used as a synonym for the grave, which the wicked and righteous alike seem to be overpowered by it.
- Psa 89:48 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?
- Psa 141:7 As when one plows and breaks open the earth, Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
- Psa 49:13-15 This is the way of those who are foolish, And of those after them who approve their words. As sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; And the upright shall rule over them in the morning, And their form shall be for Sheol to consume So that they have no habitation. But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me.
4. Sheol/Hades are part of the temporary creation that will be ultimately destroyed by being thrown into the lake of fire
- Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.
- Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
5. The righteous dead are in a temporary place of bliss where the Lord is present
- Lk 16:23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. (Lazarus is in a place known as Abraham’s Bosom)
- Lk 23:43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." (The thief on the cross was promised that he would be physically present with Jesus in a place known as Paradise after he died)
- 2 Cor 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
- Rev 6:9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained (Christians are by the altar of God where the Lord manifest himself to the entire spiritual realm; see Rev 4:1-11)
The current abode of the dead is only a temporary holding place. Yes, we will already know whether we are saved or lost but we have not traversed the final judgement yet. Rev 20:11-15 & Matt 25:31-46 clearly depict a final Judgment Day. Therefore, nobody has entered into the Final Heaven or Final Hell yet. While this is important the most imperative thing is to make sure that when you die you are going to be with the Lord. Have you obeyed the Gospel Plan of Salvation? If not, please click here for my resources tab and read my pamphlets for more information or contact me directly by clicking here.