"The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged..” (NKJV).
Revelation 20:13-15

Reading: Luke16:19-31

Today’s focus is Hades, the place of the dead. ‘Sheol’ is a Hebrew word in the Old Testament that is equivalent to the New Testament Greek word ‘Hades’. Hades is traditionally understood to be a bi-compartmental place where the souls of those who die go to await either the resurrection to judgement (i.e. Torment side/Tartarus) or the resurrection to life (i.e. Paradise side). When Jesus told the thief on His right “Today you will be with me in Paradise”, He was referring to the righteous part of Hades, denoting a garden. Hades is not Hell, for Hades gives up the dead in it on for Judgement Day, and then it is cast into the eternal fire of Hell.

Luke 16 is a parable which is used as the main proof text for this view. After Lazarus died he went to Abraham’s side where they rested, while the rich man was in Torment and suffering. In Torment, souls though disembodied are conscious of their wretched state, while souls of the righteous are comforted. There is no crossing over from the one side to the other and no burning off of sins as was thought to be the case in Purgatory. The only thing that has changed since Christ’s resurrection is that the souls of the righteous go to be with the Lord, while the wicked souls await judgement in Hades (i.e. Torment side). Hades therefore acts as a kind of prison for wicked souls. 


Dear Father, thank You for rescuing us from the darkness of Tartarus, and that to be absent from the body means that we will be present with the Lord. Amen


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