“The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.
When non-believers die before the Great White Throne Judgment, they go to Sheol (Old Testament) or Hades [New Testament). These are temporary hells, a holding place until the final judgment. At the final judgment, God will raise non-believers out of these temporary hells to be judged at the Great White Throne. Then He will cast them into the permanent Lake of Fire.
The ideas of “giving up the dead” and “delivering up the dead” has to do with restoring physical bodies to their spirits. Their physical bodies long died but their spirits were in Hades. Although the sea swallowed up a person hundreds of years ago, God will restore that body to judgment in Hell.
And they were judged, each one according to his works.
God judges people according to their good deeds. God will not judge on circumstantial evidence. He will not be fooled by trumped up charges. God uses what they thought was religious and righteous against them. It is righteousness independent of God’s righteousness.
Eternal life is a gift. We cannot earn it nor deserve it. It is God’s gift to us.
Ep 2: 8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.
God casts temporary hell (Hades) into permanent Hell. The Lake of Fire is the same idea as Jesus’ term “Gehenna.” God throws both Death and Hades into the permanent and eternal Lake of Fire.
This is the second death.
The Lake of Fire is the “second death.” Death means separation. Physical death is the separation of the physical body from the immaterial part of man. Spiritual death is the separation of the non-believer from God. Eternal death is the separation of an individual from God eternally.
Those who are born once will die twice; those who are born twice will die once.
M. R. DeHaan said, “They that are born but once will have to die twice, and they who have been born twice will die but once.” God permanently assigns people to eternal death because they rejected the death of Christ for their sins. This is the “Second Death.”
If a person accepts the death of Jesus as a substitute for our sins, then God will accept him eternally. Jesus took our Hell that He might give us His Heaven. If we believe that Jesus took away our sins on the cross, He will give us eternal life.