"LIFE AFTER DEATH" What Is The Condition Of The Wicked? INTRODUCTION 1. So far in this series, we have concentrated our attention upon... a. The "intermediate state" of man between death and the resurrection b. In particular, the temporary state of the departed righteous 2. Stated briefly, I have tried to show that upon death the souls of the righteous: a. Are in "Paradise", which since the ascension of Christ is in Heaven with Jesus and the Father b. That they are conscious in this state of "bliss", and recognize one another 3. A passage which I understand to beautifully describe this "intermediate state" of the righteous after death is Re 7:9-17 4. In this lesson, I wish to address the following question: "What is the condition of the departed wicked?" 5. Once again, we are considering at this time only the "intermediate state" between death and the resurrection [The Bible reveals several thing about the condition of the departed spirits of the wicked. For example, they are...] I. ALIVE AND CONSCIOUS A. AS SUGGESTED BY THE STORY OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS... 1. Recorded in Lk 16:19-31 2. Even if this story is a "parable" (which I doubt), like all parables it is "true to life", not based upon fantasy 3. The reference to "Moses and the prophets" (31) makes it clear the time frame of the story is set while the Law of Moses was still in effect, so this is a description of the "intermediate state" B. FROM THIS ACCOUNT, WE LEARN THAT THE WICKED... 1. Do not cease to exist ("he lifted up his eyes and saw") - 23 2. Are aware of where they are, and what is going on around them ("I am tormented in this flame") - 24b 3. Recognize others ("Father Abraham...send Lazarus...") - 24a 4. Remember those who have yet to follow them in death ("for I have five brothers") - 28a [Not only alive and conscious, but as already hinted at, they are...] II. IN TORMENT A. AS EMPHASIZED FOUR TIMES IN THE STORY OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS - Lk 16:23-25 ,28 1. "being in torments" - 23a 2. "I am tormented in this flame" - 24c 3. "and you are tormented" - 25c 4. "lest they also come to this place of torment" - 28b B. AS REVEALED BY PETER - 2 Pe 2:9 1. The Lord knows how to "reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment" 2. According to Robertson's Word Pictures, the Greek word for "under punishment" (kolazomenous) is a present passive participle; the present tense emphasizes continuity of the punishment 3. Note that the wicked are reserved under punishment "for" the day of judgment, so the punishment is something going on PRIOR to the Judgment itself [Where is this "torment" or punishment taking place? As revealed in the Scriptures, the wicked dead are...] III. IN HADES A. THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD "HADES" IS UNCERTAIN... 1. Either from IDEIN (seen) with a negative prefix A-, meaning "the unseen, invisible" 2. Or from AIANES, meaning "gloomy, gruesome" B. IN THE SEPTUAGINT VERSION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT... 1. It is used to translate the Hebrew word, SHEOL 2. Depending upon the context, "sheol" (hades) may mean... a. Simply an unseen place 1) As in Jonah 2:2 2) Where it refers to the belly of the great fish b. The grave - Gen 42:38 ; 44:29,31; Job 17:13 ; Ps 16:10 c. The realm of the dead (but not the tomb), where both good and bad go upon death 1) Gen 37:35 - How could Jacob hope to go down "into the grave" to his son (even though that is how the NKJV translates "sheol") when he thought his son had been eaten by animals? This makes me think Jacob had in mind the "realm of the dead", not the tomb 2) Ps 55:15 ; Pro 9:18 ; Isa 14:9-11 - These passages speak of the wicked C. IN CLASSICAL GREEK... 1. Homer used the word as a proper name for the "god of the underworld" 2. In other literature, it stood for "the underworld" as the abode of all the dead a. Which was divided into two parts (similar to Luke 16) b. These two parts were: 1) The "Elysian fields", the abode of the good 2) "Tartarus", the place of punishment for the wicked D. IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, "HADES" IS FOUND ONLY ELEVEN TIMES... 1. Ten times it is translated "hell" or "hades" (Mt 11:23 ; 16:18; Lk 10:15 ; 16:23; Ac 2:27 , 31; Rev 1:18 ; 6:8; 20:13,14), and once it is the "grave" (1 Co 15:55 ) 2. Some believe that "hades" is the realm of ALL the dead (similar to the concept of the Greeks), and made up of two separate parts... a. With Paradise (at least prior to the Ascension of Christ) for the righteous b. And Tartarus for the wicked - cf. 2 Pe 2:4 ,9 3. Others believe the term "hades" refers only to the place of the WICKED a. That it is not clear in Lk 16:22-23 whether Hades was just the abode of the rich man, or also that of Lazarus and Abraham b. And in Ac 2:26-27 , 31 we may have a case of synonymous parallelism, with only the resurrected body of Christ in view ("soul" being used to refer to the body, and "Hades" is referring to the grave, as "Sheol" in the Hebrew sometimes does) c. But remember the statement of Jacob in Gen 37:35 4. In any case, "hades" is used at least on several occasions in the New Testament... a. As the place of the wicked - Lk 16:23 b. As a place where the wicked are in torment - Lk 16:23 c. As a temporary place, to be thrown into "the lake of fire" after the Judgment - Re 20:13-14 CONCLUSION 1. Though the Scriptures may not tell us everything we might like to know about the "intermediate state", enough is revealed to make the following comparison: a. Concerning the RIGHTEOUS... 1) With God and Christ 2) In Paradise, which since the ascension of Christ is in Heaven 3) Alive and conscious 4) At rest in a state of blessedness b. Concerning the WICKED... 1) Separated from God and Christ 2) In Hades 3) Alive and conscious 4) In torment, reserved under punishment for the day of Judgment 2. In future lessons we shall consider the "eternal state" of man, both of the righteous and the wicked... a. But does this not suffice to move us to so live as to experience the blessings of the righteous and to avoid the torment of the wicked? b. If so, what are we doing about it?