Today's Foundations Devotional: The last enemy that will be judged will be Death
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were
opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the
dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were
written in the books.
Yesterday we saw that Death and Hades are both dark angels, ministers of Satan’s infernal kingdom. But the difference between them is this: Death first claims the departing spirits of all who die in unrighteousness; Hades receives them from Death and conducts them to their appointed place of imprisonment. For this reason John saw them moving among men in that order: first Death, claiming the departing spirits, then Hades, taking them to their prison in the lower world.
This scene from Revelation casts light on the words of Jesus.
Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death (John 8:51).
Jesus does not say here that the believer will not experience physical death. He says that the believer will not “see death.” He is not referring to the physical condition of death which results from the separation of the spirit from the body. When He speaks of “seeing death,” He is referring to the person of the dark angel whose name is Death, and to the other dark angel, his companion, whose name is Hades.
Jesus means that the spirit of the true believer, on departing from the body, will never come under the dominion of these two dark angels, Death and Hades. Rather, like the poor beggar Lazarus, the departing spirit of the true believer will be met by God’s angels – the angels of light – and by them be escorted to Paradise.
With this in mind, too, we can understand Paul’s statement that “the last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26); and also John’s statement that “then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14).
In each of these passages the primary reference is to Death and Hades as persons, as dark angels, ministers of Satan and enemies of God and the human race. The last of all God’s enemies to receive the judgement due him will be Death. Together with Hades he will be cast into the lake of fire, there to join their master, Satan, and all the rest of Satan’s servants and followers both angelic and human.
By this final act of judgement, the last of God’s enemies will forever have been banished from His presence.
Thank You, heavenly Lord, that in the Lord Jesus we as Your children will
not be subject to death and the realm of the dead for eternity, but that we
will live with You forever in Your presence. Amen.