Some time  ago I wrote a post in which I showed that the saints who had died before Christ did not go to hell:…ist-go-to-hell/

This morning  (Sunday 3 rd May at 8.45 am) I was meditating on something the Lord had shown me regarding how denominations form doctrines when I started thinking about the teaching that believers in God went to hell before the death of the Lord. Suddenly this phrase popped to my mind and I found it in Matthew 25: 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:

These are the words of the Lord himself, showing clearly that there is a fiery place prepared for the devil and his angels. PYR is the Greek word that Jesus used here for fire and this refers to the lake of fire into which death and hell would be cast in the last judgement according to Rev 20: 14.  However, fire is still fire. Who was hell prepared for? There must be associations between the two places in relation to this question. I would therefore like to show the parallels between the two places based on what we know about hades.

These are nouns and/or adjectives  used to describe hell or hades in scripture:

  1. FireWe know from Jesus’ testimony that a certain rich man died and went to hell, which is a fiery place.  Scriptures say that the rich man was tormented (Luke 16: 23) in hell or hades (G86 in Strong’s Concordance). The rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to “cool my tongue…”
  2. Torment –  The flame of hell offered nothing but torment. The rich man told Abraham, “I am tormented in this flame” and also begged him to send Lazarus back form the dead to warn his  five brothers ” lest they also come into this place of torment.”
  3. Prison – 1 Peter 3: 19 describes it as a “prison” when referring to the place to which Jesus descended in His death.  PHYLAKE(G 5438) is the Greek word used in this verse for prison. Apostle John also  used the same word in Rev 20: 7 when writing about the prison in which Satan would be bound for 1000 years.
  4. Bottomless pit – Hades is a pit  which has no bottom. A cross reference with Revelation 20: 1-3 reveals that this is the prison into which Satan would be cast for 1000 years. In fact, the phrase bottomless pit is found only in the book of Revelation. Revelation 9: 2 reveals that it is indeed a fiery inferno with these words, ” he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”  Abyssos is the word used for bottomless in Rev 9: 2.
  5. Deep – Abyssos is such a terrible place that even the demons do not want to go there. Some of them begged the Jesus not to send them there/the abyssos.
  6. It is in the lower parts of the earth– Paul said that Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth when He died (Eph 4: 9).
  7. It is the place of the dead-According to Peter, Jesus preached the gospel to those who were dead.  Thesedead did not refer to Moses, Elijah and the saints who had gone on before, because scriptures show us that they were not dead, but are living. God showed this to Moses at the burning bush and Jesus reiterated this to the Jews in His teachings (Mt 22: 32; Mk 12: 26, 27).  Based on the report of the best authority, we can safely conclude that in the eyes of God, the dead are those in hell while the living are those who believed Him and live in His presence. They only departed from the body when they fell asleep. Paul said that we are absent from the Lord when the spirit is at home in the body and present with Him when we depart from this life (2 Cor 5: 6 and 8).
  8. It is a place where the spirits of those who are eternally separated from God retain all faculties. They can hear, feel, see, speak, recognize other people (even those they never knew before). However, there is no escape from this prison.
  9. In  fact, even as I  began to write,  I was reminded by the Lord that Abraham looked for an eternal city  whose builder and maker was God (Heb 11: 10). He expected to go up to heaven and not down to the pits of hell when he departed this earth. Those who believed received everlasting life and this is why God spoke of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the present tense (Ex 3: 6). This is why Hebrews 11 speaks in detail about those who believed.
  10. In fact, all of the elders believed in the promise of everlasting life  that God gave to Abraham.  Heb 11: 13 –  16 clearly says that they:

        “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth  

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned

But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

I hope that this post has added further enlightenment. God is  certainly not going to forget our work and labor of love. Since He is the Everlasting, Eternal God, why would He have been so unfair to His saints and send them to a prison after they fell asleep?

If you are an unbeliever, you can be saved by believing that Jesus is God and that He died to save you from this everlasting death. You need also to believe that God raised Him from the dead. Please do not go to this place of torment, but rather accept the Life that He offers today.

Blessings. In the next post, “who did Jesus preach to in hell?”