Do the Wicked Go to Hell at Death?
The wicked don’t go to hell at death. The Bible teaches: “The Lord knoweth how to … reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9). “So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather … them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:40-42). “The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction. … Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb” (Job 21:30, 32).
In the above texts, the Bible clearly states, that the wicked are reserved somewhere until the day of judgment arrives. Where are they reserved? Jesus answers the question, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28, 29). Jesus explains that everyone would be reserved in their graves until called forth in the resurrection to receive either life or damnation.
All Sleep in the Graves Until the Resurrection
At the resurrection, the dead (good and evil) are brought forth to face the judgment. Job said, “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Oh that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shall call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands” (Job 14:12-15).
The wicked will be cast into the fire in the day of judgment at the end of the world–not when they die. This obviously means that no one is in hell now. It is only fair that no one should be punished until his case has been decided in the judgment.
Rewards and punishments are given at the second coming of Christ not at death. Jesus said, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12). “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:26).
For a Bible study of the State of the Dead, check:
In His service,