Kingdom of Hades by Vishchun.From Wikimedia Commons.
Hell and the Fate of the Wicked
The Different Compartments of Hell Video
Scroll down for things that prevent us entering the Kingdom of Heaven
In the bible hell is a place that God created for the devil and the angels that joined with him in his rebellion against God.
[Mat 25:41 KJV] 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
The Hebrew word for hell is Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) which means “hollow” and is a general term relating to the abode of the dead. The way to Sheol is always down. For example when Korah and his followers rebelled against Moses the earth opened and swallowed them up. They went down to the pit, or Sheol.
[Num 16:32-33 KJV] 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods. 33 They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation
Dore. Death of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. From Wikimedia Commons.
The original compartment of hell was Tartarus (ταρταρόω) which is only referred to once in the New Testament. It is the place where the angels that sinned are chained up and have to wait for judgement day.
[2Pe 2:4 KJV] 4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell (Tartarus), and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
The word Tartarus is a Greek word and in Greek mythology it was the deepest part of hell where the Titans, the original pre Olympian Gods, were imprisoned . It may be that the myth of the Titans was rooted in the the true biblical story of fallen angels.
Luca Giordano - The Fall of the Rebel Angels - From Wikimedia Commons.
Hendrick ter Brugghen - The Rich Man and the Poor Lazarus. From Wikimedia Commons
After the fall of Adam and Eve two more compartments of hell were required for humanity. Firstly, Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise. This was the part of Sheol reserved for Old Testament believers before the time of Christ. They had to wait in this place until the death and resurrection of Christ made it possible for all believers to enter heaven. The most detailed account we have of this place is in Luke chapter 16.
[Luk 16:22-23 KJV] 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
It’s a salutary lesson for us not to judge people by their outward circumstances. The bible states that the rich receive their comforts in this world not the next.
[Luk 6:24 KJV] 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
The other compartment that was created is referred to as Hades. This is the place where the rich man went when he died and is a gloomy waiting place where souls wait for Judgement Day.
Hades is a place for souls before they are reunited with their bodies. From the account in Luke 16 it appears to be a place of heat and thirst.
Abraham’s bosom was emptied when Jesus was resurrected. Hades will continue until Judgement Day. After Judgement Day it will no longer be required and will itself be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
[Rev 20:14 KJV] 14 And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
The death of our mortal bodies is the first death. The wicked die a second death when they are cast into the Lake of Fire.
The Rich Man in Hell and the Poor Lazarus in Abraham's Lap, from Das Plenarium, print, Hans Schäufelein. From Wikimedia Commons.
Foster Bible Pictures. Offering to Molech. From Wikimedia Commons.
The Lake of Fire is also called called Gehenna (the Valley of Hinnom). This is an actual valley outside of Jerusalem where dead bodies and ashes were thrown. In the old testament the Valley of Hinnom was a place where children were sacrificed to the false god Molech
[Jer 7:31 KJV] 31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which [is] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded [them] not, neither came it into my heart.
The word Gehenna is also used twelve times in the New Testament to represent the final destination of the wicked. It is the place where the wicked go when they die. Jesus uses the word Gehenna when referring to this place
[Mar 9:43 KJV] 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Hell Lava Pit. From Wikimedia Commons.
The bible is quite clear about who will die the second death.
[Rev 21:8 NKJV] 8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
The symbolism of Gehenna is also found in its location. Gehenna is a place outside the city of Jerusalem. The ultimate fate of the wicked is suffering outside of the gates of the New Jerusalem.
[Rev 22:15 NKJV] 15 But outside [are] dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
As far as I can understand the Lake of Fire and Gehenna are synonymous with each other. Ultimately the souls of the righteous will be united with their resurrection bodies in heaven. The souls of the wicked will be reunited with their bodies in Gehenna.
Allegory of Wealth, Lust and Stupidity, drawing, Joos van Winghe. From Wikimedia Commons
Things that Prevent a Person entering the Kingdom of Heaven
Things that Prevent a Person entering the Kingdom of Heaven Video
Christ before Pilate from the series The Life of Christ by James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum. From Wikimedia Commons.
The only thing that saves us is God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. However the bible also tells us to examine ourselves to see if Christ is in us
[2Co 13:5 KJV] 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
We are warned not to deceive ourselves about the seriousness of sin
[Eph 5:6 KJV] 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
We all sin but some sins are greater than others. Jesus made this clear when talking to Pilate.
[Jhn 19:11 KJV] 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [at all] against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder- The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices. From Wikimedia Commons
There are sins that lead to death, Despite that fact that we all sin some sins lead to death and some don’t. We are told to pray for brothers who commit sins that don’t lead to death.
[1Jo 5:16-17 KJV] 16 If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
A sin that leads to death would involve the complete and utter rejection of the saving work of Jesus Christ. This is wilful sin by a person who knows they are sinning but doesn’t care. The New Testament gives several lists of such sins.
The Catholic church attempted to categorise such sins, calling them The Seven Deadly Sins. These were: pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth.
Lists of sins that we are warned against are given throughout the New Testament. For example in 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, Ephesians 5:3-5, Galatians 5:19-21, 2 Timothy 3:1-7, Revelation 21:8 and in many other places. All these are sins which a believer can fall into but which can be repented of. We are called to pray for a believer if we see him or her fall into such sins. However if believers continue in such sins they are in danger of hardening their hearts and putting themselves beyond repentance.
[2Pe 2:20-21 KJV] 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
The following chart is a list of 49 sins from the New Testament.
The Drinker (1868) by Albert Anker. From Wikimedia Commons
All these sins can be repented of and be forgiven. However those that do such things without repenting cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
[Gal 5:21 KJV] 21…..as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
In order to enter the kingdom of God we need the simple faith of a child to come to Jesus, accept His teaching and accept the leading of the Holy Spirit.
[Mar 10:15 KJV] 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Jesus will forgive any sin but He can’t forgive people who reject Him as they are rejecting the means of their own salvation.
Christ Blessing Little Children from the Ideal Holy Bible. From Wikimedia Commons