Rev. 20:14 – Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (HCSB)
The second death
Revelation uses the term “lake of fire” or “lake of burning sulfur” to describe the destiny of God’s enemies, who are:
- The beast and the false prophet (Rev. 19:20)
- The Devil (Rev. 20:10)
- Death and Hades (Rev. 20:14)
- Anyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:15)
- Cowards, unbelievers, the vile, murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (Rev. 21:8)
Jesus refers to this place as gehenna – a term derived from the Valley of Hinnom, traditionally considered by the Jews the place of the final punishment of the ungodly. Located just south of Jerusalem, this valley is the scene of human sacrifices to the god Molech and is declared “the valley of slaughter” by Jeremiah.“ Whatever its historical and geographic meaning, its usage in the New Testament is clearly a reference to the everlasting state of the wicked, and this seems to be the thought in every instance,” writes John Walvoord in Four Views on Hell (p. 20).
Previously: The first resurrection – Revelation 20:4b-5
Rev. 20:5 – The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.
The rest of the dead
John writes, “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were completed” (v.5). He then mentions that their fate is the “second death” (v.6). John tells us in verse 15 that the second death is “the lake of fire” into which death and hades are cast.
More will be said about this subject in our discussion of the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15), but it’s important to note that John sees a clear separation between the first and second resurrections and, as we’ll see shortly, different destinations for those who take part in the first and second resurrections.
It’s important to note that the second death has no power over the redeemed (v. 6). The finished work of Christ assures that all who come to Him by faith are released from the penalty of sin. Once they were dead spiritually but now they have everlasting life. They will die physically one day but will be raised and given glorified bodies similar to the resurrected body of Jesus. The lake of fire is not created for them, nor will they experience it.
In contrast, the lake of fire is created for Satan and his demons, and these evil creatures most assuredly spend eternity there. Joining them are those who reject Christ. They have chosen to spend eternity in a place not made for them.