I'm reading Revelation for the first time, and I'm confused about the concept of Hades. I read your response in Q&A 0227 which states Hades has two compartments, one for those who are saved to wait for the second coming, and the other for evil angels and the unsaved. I always thought there was no middle ground between heaven and hell. Am I mistaken? -- Amber Nazimek (Detroit)

Hades is an intermediate state between earth and heaven/hell, not between heaven and hell. It is important to note that Hades is not purgatory, which in Catholic theology (since around 400 AD, at any rate), has been the middle place between heaven and hell. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), for example, described Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. But neither his terminology nor his theology were biblical on this topic.

The early Christians believed that those who die go to Hades. Their judgment is sealed at death. For more on this, please listen to my audio series What Happens After We Die?, which was published in 2006.

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