What Does the Bible Say About Paradise?
I was reading the Bible the other day and came across Christ’s words to the thief on the cross that he was going to be with Jesus in Paradise. I want to do a study on Paradise, but don’t really know where to start. Can you get me started on some passages and ideas? Thanks
Hi My Friend – great question. Here are a few basic concepts about Paradise to get you rolling…
- The parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 describes the place.
- The Thief on the cross was told he was going to paradise – Luke 23:39-43
- Acts 2:27 & 31 mentions that Jesus was in Hades (not hell) in Greek (also translated grave)
- Rev 1:18 has Jesus saying, “I am the Living One, I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” – another mention of Hades, not hell.
- Hades is also mentioned in Matthew 11:23; Hades was one of the 4 horsemen in Rev 6:8 (the place of the dead); Rev 20:13-14 says that Hades has to empty it’s contents (which in my opinion only has the bad side to empty out, since the good side was emptied out by Christ prior) and then it’s thrown into the Lake of Fire.
- Because there is only the bad side of Hades post-cross, It becomes synonymous with Hell (the bad side) in other discussions after Jesus ascended, but when talking about where Jesus went, it’s important to differentiate.
- Sheol is a common Old Testament concept – It’s the place of the dead for the Old Testament folks; in their thought, even the OT saints thought they were going there. Consider the following references to Sheol in the OT (Too many to list completely but this will give you an idea): Gen 37:35; 42:38; Num 16:30, 33; Dt 32:22; 1 Sam 2:6; 2 Sam 22:6; 1 Kings 2:6, 9; lots in Job (chapters 7, 11, 14, 17, 21, 24 & 26); Lots in Psalms (chapters 6, 9, 16, 18, 30, 31, 49, 55, 86, 88, 89, 116, 139; 141); Lots in Proverbs (1, 5, 7, 9, 15, 23, 27, 30). You can tell from Ecclesiastes 9:10 that they didn’t have a very high view of it; Lots in Isaiah and Ezek; Hosea 13:!4; Amos 9:2; Jonah 2:2 & Hab 2:5
- Sheol and Hades are interchangeable.
This will get you started.
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