OceanSide church of Christ
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by: Dalton Gilreath
The Greek term Hades has come to represent a place of evil. In Greek mythology it was the place of the dead named after its wicked leader, the brother of Zeus. While it is true that Hades is the place of the dead, it is not just a place of wickedness. In fact, everyone who has died before us is now in the Hadean realm whether they are awaiting Heaven or Hell. It is important to understand that Hades it made up of two dwelling places which are separated by a great gulf (Luke 16:26). No one from either dwelling place can cross the gulf and enter the other.
So what are the two places in Hades? Well, the place of the wicked is only named once in the Bible. The King James Version translates it “Hell”, but the Greek word is actually Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4). This is where sinners and demons dwell awaiting Hell (Jude 1:6, Rev 20:14). On the other hand, the righteous will be in a place known as Paradise (Luke 23:43). This dwelling place is otherwise known as “Abraham’s Bosom” (Luke 16:22). Those in Paradise are awaiting their home in Heaven.
This poses the questions, “Why then have Judgment day? Don’t they already know their eternal home?” First of all, those who are still on Earth, who haven’t died, need to be given a destination. Secondly, judgment isn’t God deciding where we will spend eternity. Instead, it is a proclamation, or revealing, as to why we are going to be in Heaven or Hell (Luke 12:2, Matt 25:34-46). There is no secret that will not be revealed on that day. We will know not only where our eternal destination lies but why are being sent there. Brethren, we may not know all the answers, but we can be sure that we want to live in a way that when we open our eyes after death we see Paradise and not Tartarus.