Jesus said in Revelation 1:18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
We have much to be thankful for as our Lord and Savior has won the victory over death, hell and the grave. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 says; So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:" Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Did you know that in the New Testament Jesus taught more about hell than any other writer? In fact it is an eleven to one ratio. There are a variety of terms used in the Old and New Testament to describe what happens when a man dies. However, sometimes its confusing because Bible translators were not always consistent. In other words they would sometimes use the same English word for different Greek and Hebrew words.
For example, Sheol is found in the Old Testament sixty five times. Thirty one times it is translated "the grave" and thirty one other times it is translated "hell." The other three times it was translated pit. In the New Testament Hades is translated "Hell" in the King James version eleven times and "grave" once. In the New King James "Hades" is used instead of Hell. Two other Greek words have been translated "Hell" as well which adds to the confusion.
I am sharing this because soon we will celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead. I thought it good to understand what He delivered us from. What follows is an overview of Death, the Grave, Sheol, Hades, Hell and the Lake of Fire.
Death & the Grave
This is the place where your body goes when you die. You soul goes to Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek).
Sheol or Hades
This is the place where your soui goes when you die. It is the abode of the dead. Prior to Jesus Hades/Sheol provided places for two kinds of people. There was a place for the righteous and there was a place for the unrighteous.
The Greek word Gehenna is used 12 times in the New Testament to describe hell. Jesus used the word Gehenna 11 of the 12 times it was used in the New Testament. Gehenna referred the the Valley of Hinnom which was the city dump for Jerusalem. It was burning continually. Why? Originally this was the place used by kings like Ahab (2 Chron. 28:3) and Mannasseh (2 Chron 33:6) worshiped idols like Molech and Baals by "burning their sons as an offering." They killed their children with fire. People were burned up.
The worship of Molech still exists today and it is called abortion.
King Josiah stopped the offering of children to Molech. The Jews, after the Exile, in order to show their abhorrence for this place, made it the city dump. The refuse was destroyed by fire that burned continually.
The Lake of Fire (Final Hell)
The Lake of Fire, or Hell, is the literal place of everlasting fire that was created by God for Satan and the angels that followed him in the rebellion (Matthew 25:41). Ghenna is described as a furnace of fire (Matthew 13:42) and a place of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46 - click for Hell, Sheol, Hades, Paradise & the Grave).
This place will be used in the end of time. The first ones to be sent there will be the Beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet (Rev. 19:19-20). Satan will join them (Revelation 20:10) and finally all the dead will be judged at the Great White Throne. At this point and time the bodies are reunited with their souls. Those who have accepted Christ will be found in the Book of Life and they will be judged to determine what reward they might receive (Revelation 22:12). Those who are the inhabitants of Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 2014 calls this the second death. Everyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life is thrown into the Lake of Fire (verse 15).
Jesus came to save us from hell both in this life and after. If you'd like to know my Jesus click here.