As Apostles’ Creed states, “(I believe in) from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead,” the entire mankind, from its father Adam to the end of the world, will be subjected to God’s judgment. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Like this, everyone must die once, and then he or she cannot avoid God’s judgment after death.
At the beginning of Revelation 20:12, it is stated, “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God.” Here, the phrase “small and great” does not mean adults and children, but the “great” refers to kings, presidents, and other such high-ranked politicians and the powerful, while the “small” refers to ordinary citizens and common people.
Also, at the beginning of Revelation 20:13, it says, “The sea gave up the dead who were in it.” This means that all those who died of accidents will also stand before the throne of judgment. No matter where people might die, whether in the sea, the air, or the land, because the whole heaven and earth are in God’s hands, no one can avoid His judgment.
In the middle of the above verse 13, it says, “Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them,” and continuing on with verse 14, it says, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
Sin is the unchanging law that puts people to death, and Hades is the prison that confined the dead. But now, when the judgment comes, even these will be changed and release the dead in obedience to the law of resurrection. In other words, when eternal life and destruction are determined by the Last Judgment, there will no longer be the rule of death and Hades. This is why these two things are cast into the lake of fire.
Put differently, that Death and Hades are cast into the lake of fire means that the sinners standing before the throne of judgment will be cast into the lake of fire. This is when death, the last enemy of life, will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26), and it means that the Beast and the false prophets will first be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20), followed by Satan, the head of demons, who will also be cast into hell (Revelation 20:10).
Tertullian, a Church Father, warned of the impending judgment of the Romans who fed the believers to hungry lions in public arenas and coliseums, or crucified and burnt them, and who watched and enjoyed such spectacles, by saying to them, “You love spectacles. Wait in anticipation, for you will see the Last Judgment, the greatest spectacle of all.”
Indeed, there will be no greater spectacle than this, for every mankind who ever lived on this earth, high or low, and from the ancient to the middle and into the present times, will face the Last Judgment and either enter Heaven of eternal life or cast into the destruction of soul.
Revelation 20:15 is the conclusion. It says, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Whoever wants to have his/her name written in the Book of Life must be born again of the water and the Spirit spoken of by the Lord. To be born again of water and the Spirit, we must pass all our sins onto Jesus through His baptism, and we must die on the Cross with the Lord. Only then can we be born again of water and the Spirit and receive eternal life.