Beyond Death's Door: What Happens After Death?
                              2 Corinthians 5:1-8
Introduction
I.  In this lesson we shall attempt to answer the question, "What happens after death?"
    A.  Look out along path of life to a place we know little of.
        1.  Look beyond the grave -- what's out there?
        2.  Where do we go when we die? - have memory - personality.
        3.  Do we go straight to heaven or hell - what happens?
    B.  These are age old questions - everybody wants to know.
        1.  Man hasn't provide answer.
        2.  Philosophers, poets & wise men have speculated - no answer.
        3.  But the Bible does answer these questions
II. Last week learned that death = separation - body & spirit.
    A.  Death is not the end   life after death.
        1.  Body goes to the grave - dust to dust
        2.  Spirit lives on.
        3.  If it exists, common sense says -- the spirit has to go somewhere.
        4.  But where does it go?? - that is question??
III.    The Bible's answer -- spirit goes to place called Hades.
    A.  Illustrated -- in resurrection of Jesus.
        (Acts 2:31 NKJV)  ""he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left
        in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption."
        1.  Christ "was neither abandoned to hades, nor did his flesh suffer decay"
            a.  His flesh did not stay long in tomb and decay
            b.  And His spirit did not stay long in hades.
IV. Our lesson has two points:
    A.  The Meaning of Hades and Sheol.
    B.  The Nature of Hades and Sheol.
Discussion
I.  THE MEANING OF HADES AND SHEOL.
    A.  The O.T. taught that the dead go to Sheol; the N.T. teaches the people go to
        Hades (same place).
        1.  Sheol & Hades = "Not to be seen" -- "The all-receiving."
            (Gen 37:35 NRSV)  "All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but
            he refused to be comforted, and said, "No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son,
            mourning." Thus his father bewailed him."
            (1 Cor 15:55 NKJV)  ""O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?""
            a.  Shoel translated   pit, grave & hell.
                (1)  Problem!   Hades is not hell (gehenna).
                     (Mat 5:29 KJV)  "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is
                     profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body
                     should be cast into hell." (Correct)
                     (Mat 16:18 KJV)  "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will
                     build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Incorrect)
        2.  The Septuagint uses the Greek word Hades as an equivalent for Sheol.
            (Psa 16:10)  "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your
            Holy One to see corruption."
    B.  Hades is the place of disembodied spirits (2 Cor 5:1-8).
        (Rev 6:9 NKJV)  "When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for
        the word of God and for the testimony which they held."
        (Psa 139:8 NKJV)  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
        (Mat 16:18 NKJV)  "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the
        gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
II. THE NATURE OF HADES OR SHEOL.
    A.  In telling about the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus gives a rather vivid picture of
        Hades (Luke 16:19-31).
        1.  Hades is neither heaven nor hell.
            a.  Jesus did not descend into hell at His death.
                (Acts 2:31 KJV)  "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left
                in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption."
            b.  Jesus did not ascend into heaven at His death.
                (John 20:17 NKJV)  "Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My
                Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and
                to My God and your God.'""
                     (Luke 24:51 NKJV)  "Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from
                     them and carried up into heaven."
                (1)  No, one except Jesus, has gone into heaven.
    
                     (John 3:13 NKJV)  "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven,
                     that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
                     (Acts 2:34 NKJV)  "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The
                     LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand,
                     (2 Pet 2:9 NKJV)  then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to
                     reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
                (2)  No one has been cast into hell.
                     (Jude 6 NKJV)  "And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own
                     abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great
                     day;"
                     (Mat 25:41 NKJV)  ""Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you
                     cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:"
        2.  There is consciousness in Hades.
            a.  We are said to sleep.
                (1 Th 4:13 NKJV)  "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen
                asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope."
                (1)  Sleep is a metaphor to describe death.
                (2)  It is also a euphemism.
            b.  Rich man recognized Lazarus (Lk. 16:23).
                (1)  He was reminded of life on earth (Lk. 16:25).
                (2)  He remembered his brothers on earth (Lk. 16:27-28).
    B.  In this realm there are 2 abodes.
        1.  Paradise (Abraham's bosom)   "park" a place of beauty and comfort.
            (Luke 23:42-43 NKJV)  Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
            {43} And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
            (Acts 2:31 NKJV)  "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was
            not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
            (2 Cor 12:4 NKJV)  how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not
            lawful for a man to utter.
            (Phil 1:23 NKJV)  For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ,
            which is far better.
            a.  Note: Consciousness, comfort, care & another abode.
        2.  Tartarus (torment) - the deepest abyss of Hades.
            (2 Pet 2:4 NKJV)  For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and
            delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
            (Jude 6 NKJV)  And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has
            reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
            (Deu 32:22 NKJV)  "For a fire is kindled by my anger, And shall burn to the lowest hell {tartarus}; It shall
            consume the earth with her increase, And set on fire the foundations of the mountains."
Conclusion
I.  THE LESSON OF HADES:
    A.  Our eternal destiny is fixed at death in Hades.
    B.  There is consciousness in Hades.
    C.  Our eternal comfort or pain will begin in Hades.
    D.  We must choice now to serve God, not in Hades.
    E.  Our eternal soul will never die!
        1.  There is a heaven and a hell!
** If you have any questions or if you would like to become a Christian, please let us know. 
Alan C. Cole
26th St. Church of Christ
101-26th Street Huntington, WV 25703
Phone - (304) 522-0717
E-Mail - mailto:Cole8@marshall.edu
Homepage - http://mupfc.marshall.edu/~cole8/