Revelation 20:13 – And THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT; and DEATH and HELL DELIVERED UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN THEM: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Where do dead people go after their death? The answer of this question is right in our theme verse if you aren’t born again but let me first talk about Christians.
Where do Christians go after death?
If you’re born again, you (spirit) will go straight to heaven; but/though you aren’t going to be able to relate with things in heaven and those who went to heaven with their bodies yet because you’d need your celestial body for that to happen (1 Corinthians 15:40, 44). Remember, Enoch (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11) went to heaven with their bodies; Jesus went to heaven with His body, all the righteous people who died before Jesus came, rose up from their graves and went to heaven with their bodies after His resurrection (Matthew 27:52-53; Psalms 24:7-10). Their terrestrial bodies were translated to celestial ones.
Here’s what the Bible says about us (Christians) who were alive/born after His resurrection:
P.S: Words in brackets are mine.
- Thessalonians 4:13 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, CONCERNING THEM WHICH ARE ASLEEP [dead], that YE SORROW NOT, even as others which have no hope. 14 For IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN [Principle of salvation – Romans 10:9-10], even so THEM ALSO which SLEEP [die] IN JESUS will GOD BRING WITH HIM. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and THE DEAD [with their terrestrial body] IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST [with celestial body]: 17 Then WE WHICH ARE ALIVE and remain shall be caught up together WITH THEM [dead in Christ] IN THE CLOUD, to meet the Lord in the air: and SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH HIM. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
When we’ll meet Him in the air, there will be a sudden translation of our terrestrial bodies to the celestial ones:
- 1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear WHAT WE SHALL BE: but we know that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS.
You see that? “We shall be like Him”, “We shall see Him as He is”, this will only take place when we are clothed with our celestial bodies that we’ll receive at the rapture. As I said above, you (your spirit) will go to heaven but won’t be able to relate with things in heaven yet without the celestial body because your body is still in the earth.
But what happens to non-Christians after their death?
If you aren’t born again, then the theme verse (Revelation 20:13) describes what’s happening:
- – THE SEA gave up the dead that was in it:
You (your spirit and body) remain in the place wherever you died (in the sea, under water…) if your body wasn’t retrieved.
- – DEATH delivered up the dead that was in it:
Or you remain in the grave where you are buried if you weren’t involved in accident where your body wasn’t retrieved like (1). That’s what “death delivered up the dead in it” means.
Death here means grave:
1 Corinthians 15:55 – O DEATH, where is thy sting? O GRAVE, where is thy victory?
Hosea 13:14 – I will ransom them from the POWER OF THE GRAVE; I will redeem them from DEATH: O DEATH, I will be thy plagues; O GRAVE, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
These passages don’t talk about two different things. They’re referring to the same thing. [It’s like Psalm 133:3 that says, “As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion…” Hermon is mount Zion, “From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Zion, which is Hermon” (Deuteronomy 4:48)]
- – HELL delivered up the dead that was in it:
You (your spirit) could also go straight to hell if you’ve given Satan the power over your entire life [i.e. if you’ve rejected God, or anything godly, wittingly, through self-righteousness, pride, words etc…(Matthew 12:37; Proverbs 18:21; Proverbs 6:16-19)]. Rejecting God or anything godly can also refer to apostasy (Hebrews 6:4-8), atheism (Psalm 14:1), idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:20) and false teachings (Revelation 2:13-16).
But they aren’t punished yet, at least by God that is; because satan isn’t anyone’s friend. They will only be thrown into the lake of fire after the judgment; meaning, right now they’re still free. This is why the devil and his cohorts are still running around the whole world deceiving and destroying people’s lives.
Hell is the kingdom of the devil, he reigns in there and no, it is not THE lake of fire as many erroneously imply, though I also believe that there’s flame of fire in some part of it that satan uses to torture and torment those who are in there (Luke 16:23-24). It’s not a nice place but I don’t believe that the devil created something to hurt himself, as Jesus said, “…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
So what about Jesus referring to hell as, “hell fire”? Someone might want to ask. Well, go read the context of all the passages He was using the term, He was referring to hell as hell fire in a prophetical way; meaning when people will be punished in the lake of fire with hell when they all will be cast into it.
The lake of fire was created by God; it is a place where He’s going to punish satan and everyone who rejected Him:
Revelation 19:20 – And THE BEAST was taken, and with him THE FALSE PROPHET that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both WERE CAST ALIVE INTO LAKE OF FIRE burning with brimstone…20:10 – And THE DEVIL that deceived them WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever… 14 And DEATH AND HELL WERE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. This is the second death. 15 And WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN in the book of life WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.
Please click here if you aren’t yet born again. God bless you.