Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sheol vs. Hell


Hades / Sheol vs. Hell

Throughout the Old Testament, both the believer and the unbeliever were said to go to "Hades" (Greek) or "Sheol" (Hebrew). While the sacrificial system covered the sins of the Old Testament saints, it did not remove them. Only the death of the Messiah could remove sins permanently.

Heb 10:4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

So while the Old Testament sacrificial system was sufficient to keep the believers from hell, it could not get them into heaven. Luke explains this place, Hades, and we see that in this place there were two compartments, a place of torment, and a place called Abraham's bosom.

Luk 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. (20) At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores (21) and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. (23) In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. (24) So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' (25) "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. (26) And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' (27) "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, (28) for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' (29) "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' (30) "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' (31) "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

The unbeliever was destined for the Hellish portion of Hades, which was indeed a place of torment (Luk 16:23-25, Luk 16:28).

The believer was destined for the Heavenly portion of Hades, which was known as Abraham's Bosom", and was a place of comfort, but was not Heaven itself. In Luk 23:43 this place is called "Paradise".

Luk 23:43 Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

When Jesus died to remove sin, He did so for all the Old Testament saints that they committed in the past. When Jesus died on the cross, He removed the sin for the Old Testament saints who were in Paradise.

Rom 3:25 (NIrV) God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood. God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them.

Heb 9:15 (NIrV)That's why Christ is the go-between of a new covenant. Now those God calls to himself will receive the eternal gift he promised. They will receive it now that Christ has died to save them. He died to set them free from the sins they committed under the first covenant.

What happened next is that the Old Testament saints had their sins removed, and they were led from Paradise to Heaven.

Eph 4:8-10 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people." (9) (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? (10) He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

While the body of Jesus remained in the tomb for 3 days and nights, His soul went down to the Paradise side of Hades where He told the people there that their sins had been removed. He subsequently bought all the souls of the people in Paradise up to heaven with Him at the time of His Ascension.

So today, Paradise, the comfort side of Hades does not exist any longer, for New Testament saints do not go to Hades, but to Heaven.

2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Php 1:23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;

Heb 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, (23) to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (24) to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Following the Great White Throne Judgment, the Hell side of Hades will no longer exist, since all the judged will be in the Lake of Fire.

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