Let’s begin by looking at the words HELL and HADES.

HELL – (Gehenna – The place of future punishment. This was originally the valley of Kinnon, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned, a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

Matthew 18:9, “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into HELL FIRE.”

Mark 9:43-44, “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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Luke 12:5, “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into HELL; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

Notice a few identifying characteristics of Hell…FIRE, FIRE THAT SHALL NEVER BE QUENCHED, WHERE THE WORM DIETH NOT.

HADES – (Hades – The condition or state in which all the dead exist.)

Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against it.”

Acts 2:27, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Revelation 20:14, “And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

The word ‘Hades’ properly describes the condition of ALL who have died. HADES is the condition of the soul and spirit separated from the body. DEATH is the condition of the body separated from the soul and spirit. Acts 2:27 speaks of the Lord Jesus being in Hades, not in Hell. To read more about that, please click on this ANSWERS FROM THE BOOK link:


With this in mind, let’s read Revelation 20:12-15, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

This is the Great White Throne Judgment where all those who had rejected the Lord Jesus will face final judgment and be cast into the ‘lake of fire’. Notice that it is ‘death and Hades’ that are cast into the lake of fire. We pointed out previously that death is the condition of the body without the soul and spirit, while HADES is the condition of the soul and spirit without the body. Here we see that death and Hades ‘delivered up the dead’. The body, soul, and spirit of every unbeliever who has died will be raised and joined together so they might be judged and cast into the lake of fire.

Considering the characteristics of Hell (fire, fire that shall never be quenched, where the worm dieth not) we can logically conclude that Hell and the lake of fire both refer to the same place. Of those who are not saved, we read 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.” Matthew 25:46 says, “And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT…” Let’s also read Matthew 22:13, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH.”

“FIRE.” “FIRE THAT SHALL NEVER BE QUENCHED.” “WHERE THE WORM DIETH NOT.” “EVERLASTING FIRE.” “EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT.” “WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH.” How terrible a judgment awaits those who turn away from the free gift of salvation that is offered through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. I will end this meditation by repeating a question the Lord asked in Matthew 16:15, “…whom say ye that I am?” Who is Jesus Christ to you? Is he your savior, or will He be your judge, casting you into the lake of fire because of your unbelief? (322.4)