“Hell vs Hades. What’s The Difference?”

Posted: June 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

You don’t hear the word “Hell” being used very often in churches anymore. Why? Many false teachers and preachers don’t believe in it. They believe in “universalism” that teaches that eventually everyone will be saved and go to heaven. If you attend church, do you know what your preacher really believes? Ask him. If he believes in hell, ask him what a person has to do to avoid it. Does he proclaim the Gospel clearly and make the only condition for entrance into heaven very clear? [1]

Many of those who defy God and His Word are known to use the word “hell” quite often. They can be heard saying, “Go to h—,” or “God d— you!” This is blasphemy, because God is in no way obligated to do what anyone tells Him to do. Neither is God obligated to bless the people to whom you might say, “God bless you.”

God said to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). King Balak of Moab tried to bribe the prophet Balaam to “… come at once, curse this people [the Jews] for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed” (Numbers 22:6). But God wouldn’t let the hireling prophet Balaam do that. (See also 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14.)


Sheol is the Hebrew word and Hades is the Greek word that refers to the place of the departed dead which is in the heart of the earth where everyone (believers and unbelievers) went before Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead and His ascension back to heaven from where He had come (See Luke 16:19-31; John 3:13; 14:1-3; 16:10). At the time of His ascension back to heaven, He took the Old Testament believers from the Paradise section of Sheol/Hades up to the edge of the third heaven (Ephesians 4:8 ff; See 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Today no believer goes into the heart of the earth at the time of his/her death, or to Purgatory that doesn’t exist. The gates of Hades that held the Old Testament believers in the heart of the earth have been opened so that no true believer will be held there any longer (Matthew 16:18).

There was an upper Sheol/Hades for the believers and the lower Sheol/Hades, where there was fire to torment unbelievers in their intermediate bodies (Luke 16:19-31; Deuteronomy 32:22). The upper compartment of Sheol/Hades was also called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22), and “Paradise” (Luke 23:43). In between these two sections there was a great gulf (like the Grand Canyon) known as the abyss (“bottomless pit” in the AV translation) which prevented anyone from crossing from one section to the other.

Those in Sheol/Hades were/are given temporary, intermediate bodies to house their souls (emotions) and spirits (the rational part of the mind – See Ephesians 4:23; Hebrews 4:12) until they are raised from the dead (See 1 Corinthians 15:26, 55, 56). [2]

It is our understanding that some of the fallen angels/demons tried to prevent the promised Messiah from fulfilling God’s promise to mankind (Genesis 3:15) by genetically modifying the human race. Some of them took on humanoid form and cohabited with human women and produced a hybrid race of giants and men of renown (Genesis 6:1-8). All these perished in the universal flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8).

Apparently Noah and his family were the only ones of that time who weren’t affected in some way by this Satanic plot. While other fallen angels/demons are not bound, they are permitted, with God’s permission, to afflict and tempt believers today (Ephesians 6:12). But these other fallen angels/demons are currently confined in Tartarus (Hell) which appears to be located in the abyss/pit (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). They are the ones to whom Christ proclaimed, “You failed!” (1 Peter 3:19). Jesus was not giving them or any other unbelievers in Sheol/Hades a second chance to be saved, as some of the cults teach.


This place is not to be confused with Sheol/Hades which is likened to the jail house. Hell is also called “Gehenna” (Mark 9:43, 45, 47), the “lake of fire” (Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; See Matthew 25:30, 41, 46) and can be likened to the prison house. At the end of time, God will raise up from the dead all the unbelievers who are still in Hades and cast them into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15; See 1 Corinthians 15:26). Their degree of suffering there will be determined at the Great White Throne judgment by Judge Jesus who is omniscient (John 2:24, 25; 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8; See Matthew 10:15; 11:22, 24) and omnipotent (Luke 12:5). He will judge their works and their motives.

God the Father loved the world (the sinful, rebellious people caught up in the devil’s world system). But before He could offer deliverance/salvation from hell and entrance into heaven, someone had to pay the penalty for sin – death (Romans 6:23; See Hebrews 9:6-8). God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was/is the sinless God-man (Hebrews 4:15), voluntarily offered to become our Substitute and die in our place for all our sins once for all (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:7-10). We know that God the Father was satisfied by the payment that He made for all mankind because He raised Him from the dead after three days and nights (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 1 John 2:2). Those who place their faith and trust in Christ alone as their personal Savior, through the Gospel, will be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire which was designed for the devil and his angles/demons (John 3:16, 18, 36; 10:28, 29; Matthew 25:41, 46).

The believer’s assurance of salvation comes from the promises of God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2; John 14:6; 17:17). Do you have, or would you like to have assurance of your salvation? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?

Imagining that there is no heaven and no hell, as John Lennon’s song “Imagine” suggests, doesn’t change the facts that Jesus told us about the reality of these two places. “Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [3]

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Please let us know if you have questions and/or comments and SHARE this with others who may find this information helpful. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Dr. Ron Shea, – “The Clear Gospel,” http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/English/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf (See page two.)

[2] Richard Schafer, “Intermediate Bodies” http://bartimaeus.us/sermons/dbv1n4.html#A4

[3] Dr. Manfred Kober, “Do We Really Know The Gospel?” https://faith.edu/faith-news/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

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