The Bible doesn’t tell us everything we would like to know about death and what it’s like beyond the grave. But it tells us enough about it that we want to prepare for it.
The account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 gives ample information about life after death. Though many do not believe it and attempt to make it meaningless, Jesus told it to be true, and since He does not lie (Titus 1:2) we’d better believe it!
At death, the soul separates from the body and goes to hades. Hades is not the same as hell. It is the temporary waiting place of all the dead, whether good or bad. It is the unseen world of departed spirits, the spirit world. Both the rich man and Lazarus are there now, as are all those who have died (Lk. 16:27-31).
There are two compartments in hades: tartarus and paradise. The rich man is in torment — tartarus, and Lazarus is in Abraham’s bosom — paradise (Lk. 16:23, 25).
Tartarus is the place where the wicked are held. The word hell in 2 Peter 2:4 is the Greek word tartarus. It means, an abyss, dungeon, prison house. It is not the word that designates the final punishment of the wicked. That word is gehenna and means hell (Matt. 10:28).
Paradise is the place where the righteous are held. It was to this place that Jesus went after His death (Lk. 23:43). It is not the same as heaven where God is, because even after the resurrection, Jesus had not yet ascended to heaven (Jn. 20:17).
Hades, then, is the place where all men go when they die to await the final judgment (Jn. 5:28-29; 2 Cor. 5:10). The destiny of those who go there is fixed! There is no other chance! It is not possible for Lazarus or the rich man to cross over to the other side (Lk. 16:26). If you awake in tartarus, your final end is the eternal fire of hell. No one in tartarus is happy. There is pain, torment, and anguish. The only way to escape it is to prepare now to go to paradise.
Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38). Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). There’s no other way but the Lord’s way. Do you believe it? If so, then you must obey.
Via Gospel Preceptor