Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 20

The punishment of the spirits called Death and Hell

Revelation 20:14-15

Perhaps we thought that death is just the event or the experience at the end of a personís life. Perhaps we thought that hell is just an awful place of evil spirits. Perhaps we believed that the Bible only describes these things as Ďenemiesí in some kind of word-picture (1 Corinthians 15:25-26; Revelation 6:8).

Now, however, we at last see the final punishment of death and hell. They must suffer, like all Godís enemies (20:10) in the lake of fire. Perhaps now we can finally understand their true character.

Death is an event and hell (also called Hades) is a place; but Revelation 20:14 shows that they are something more, too. There are powerful evil spirits by the same names, Death and Hell, that control these things. They support the devil, and they join in his evil work.

Revelation 20:13 described them as the guards who control prisoners. The evil spirit called Death seizes the bodies of people. Death holds them until the day of judgement (unless of course, God gives life to that person as in Revelation 20:4-6).

When Death takes control of peopleís bodies, then the spirit called Hell tries to take their spirits. Godís people are safe; their spirits go to heaven. However, Hell takes away the spirits of other people; it also holds them until the day of judgement.

God will allow Death and Hell to do these things until the day of judgement. Then those evil spirits, like every evil spirit, will suffer their punishment. So will the evil people whom they formerly controlled.

Only Godís people, whose names are in the book of life, will be safe from that punishment. They trust God and they love God; God cares very much for them. He sent Christ to die for them, so that they can live with him always (John 3:16). Their home will be in the New Jerusalem (Revelation chapters 21 and 22).

Next part: A new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.