From the Gift of Life Seminar: Revelation 1:18:
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Quoting from an earlier article
The Wages of Sin
The Bibles teaches that the wages of sin is death,1 but if people are found to survive it, and have an automatic eternal life beyond it, then death is not real. The wages are paid with bogus, fake, Monopoly money. If people just “cross the Jordon” and are found on the other side of “the great divide” — then death turns out to be a blessing, not a punishment. Yet, the Bible is clear that death came upon all people as a consequence of our ancestors’ sins. The Bible says “in Adam all die.”2 The tactic that many people take in evangelization is to immediately deny that fact. The first thing they tell the unbeliever is that they will never die, no matter what. No wander that so many people reject their “good news.” They immediately deny the “bad news.”
The truth is, we all die. Those cemeteries are full of people, not just bones. Those tombs will one day be opened at the sound of Christ’s second coming, and the people within them will come out. Jesus said “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”3 They are bound to those graves until then. They are imprisoned in a dark, silent place, which the Hebrews called Sheol. The Greeks called it Hades. We call it the grave.
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus has the keys to that place. He can set people free from their imprisonment. He proclaimed “I have the keys of Death and Hades.”4 To suggest that death is really not a prison in which people are confined before the resurrection is to – again — reject the Bible’s good news for some other good news. It is to say to Jesus, “you can keep your keys, death and Hades are not so bad.” To relish in life beyond death is to reject God’s plan to rescue us by Jesus. It is to swallow the original lie of Satan in the garden, that we will not surely die.5 It is to presume that we are all born without the need of rescue. It does not do justice to what God actually says about death. Death is not a friend, giving us entrance into the Father’s presence. It is an enemy,6 keeping us from our eternal destiny with him.
- Romans 6:23.
- 1 Corinthians 15:22.
- John 5:28-29 (ESV).
- Revelation 1:18.
- Genesis 3:4.
- 1 Corinthians 15:26.