6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Heaven, hell, death, hope, eternity

What is the difference between Hades, Paradise, Heaven and Hell?

Rev.20: 11-21:5 (p 878) January 15, 2012


I was thinking “Wow, I’m glad I chose an easy subject to deal with the week after I get back from vacation!” As I sat down at my desk Monday.

“Piece of cake…just explain scripturally the differences between Hades, Paradise, Heaven and Hell.”…In 25 minutes…easy, huh?

No, not easy…nor is it possible to give a complete examination…but what I can do is prime the pump…and I believe that’s what great sermon’s do…”they answer some questions, but through the Holy Spirit they awake a desire in you to search for more….to dig into scripture….to ask questions and seek answers.

So, I hope this morning that is exactly what happens…look with me at our text:

Rev. 20: 1- 21: 5 (878)

Folks, “This is Judgment day!”

2 Cor. 5:10 tells us…”We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” Hebrews 9:27 assures us…”Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

Our text tells us…one day everyone….great and small will stand before the throne…The dead will be judged according to what they have done.

[If you believe scripture there are some essential truths….1 out of 1 of us will die, there are no do-overs, after our death each and every person will appear before the judgment seat of Christ… This life isn’t the end…there is an eternity for every single person, after this life…what we do in this life determines our destiny for eternity.]

I believe one day we will all appear before the judgment throne of Christ. He and He alone will determine the eternal destination of every person. And almost 87% of Americans believe this is a good thing…US news and world report took a survey and 87% of the individuals they interviewed believed they’d be going to heaven…they didn’t think they’d fail a judgment…the judgment is for evil people…and they didn’t believe they were all that bad…

The problem…


ILLUS: These folks are like the little boy who was doing poorly in school. One day he gravely approached his teacher’s desk and said, “I don’t want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don’t get better grades…somebody is going to get a spanking.”

That little boy believes the teacher should get the spanking…not him…He’s wrong! The One seated on the Great White Throne is Jesus…

And the scale that most people use in this world to determine how bad they’ve been is “other people”

We compare ourselves with others and figure “Hey, I’m better than that person…I must be good.”

Bryan J. Langenfield says something insightful “Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scale.”

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians “when we measure ourselves by ourselves we are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12)

Why aren’t we wise? Because we’re using the wrong scales…On this day of judgment we are not going to be able to compare our lives with others…the only one we’ll see on that day is “He who is seated on the throne”…His presence will overwhelm us and His righteousness will overpower us….

The only hope I have is “Is my name recorded in the book of life?

Let’s see how our names get there….because it seems that’s the only question that matters….


In our text we see the finale of earthly things…verse 14 says…”then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire…The lake of fire is the 2nd death…If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Death is our final enemy according to scripture….and in this judgment scene in the book of Revelation we see death’s end results…whether its conquered or condemns us…in this section of scripture Hades, Hell, (the Lake of Fire) and heaven are all mentioned.

Hades is recorded as a place at the end ‘is thrown into Hell.” When the term 2nd death is used to describe this event it means…it’s eternal….prepaid death isn’t the end…no one stops existing…we are all eternal souls…our lives are recorded before God, what we’ve done with those lives is written down…and at the judgment those choices determine Heaven… (Eternity with God or Hell… (Eternity separated from God)

It seems that scripture shows us that everyone who dies before Jesus returns either goes to Hades or Paradise…and there is a clear indication of destination…

Do you remember Paul’s vision in 2 Cor 12:4 “He was caught up in paradise…He heard inexpressible things…things that man is not permitted to tell…” He calls it a surpassingly great revelation.

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