Appendix II – Summary of the Book
The Old Testament presents a clear and consistent view of human afterlife: every person who dies descends to a place called Sheol. That’s the Hebrew term; the Greek word for it is Hades. This depiction, of course, sharply contrasts with the traditional view that righteous human beings go to heaven while wicked human beings go to hell. Nonetheless, it is beyond dispute that the Old Testament identifies but one destination for the dead: Sheol/Hades.
Anyone who contradicts this is either ignorant of the Old Testament or dishonest about its contents. Most people just assume that the Bible teaches the traditional view without ever examining the Scriptures themselves on this subject. Such examination is complicated by the fact that the traditional view has dominated the minds of translators such that only study in the original languages or in literal translations with concordances allows a clear view of what the Scriptures actually teach. Most people don’t have the time or resources for such study so they are at the mercy of what they have heard. Thus there are many people who think they have a biblical understanding of the afterlife, when all they really have is a story that someone told them was biblical – with maybe some isolated “proof texts” thrown in for reinforcement. (If you don’t trust my portrayal of the Scriptures, you can do your own word studies with any exhaustive English-Greek-Hebrew concordance; Appendix I will give you a start, but you can just as easily start with your own Bible and concordance.)
This worldview of Sheol/Hades below as the resting place of all the dead was fully embraced by Jesus and, of course, His apostles. After all, the Old Testament was the Bible to them. They based their lives and everything they believed upon what it said.
The apostles wrote the New Testament based upon what Jesus had taught them. What Jesus taught was that resurrection would come for the dead, and it would lead to heaven. This was a stunning revelation for while many had looked forward to a resurrection of the dead, they expected it to be on earth…not in heaven.
Just as there was only one destination identified for the dead in the Old Testament (Sheol/Hades), there was only one destination identified for the resurrected in the New Testament (heaven). After His own resurrection, while proving to His disciples that He had permanently conquered death, Jesus opened their minds to see how this entire plan had been prophesied in the Old Testament. Thus Jesus was not departing from the Old Testament but rather bringing to light what had been hidden there all along. Afterward, He Himself demonstrated the routing of resurrection when He ascended to heaven.
There is much more that can be said about the two truths outlined above, and the book indeed says much more. However, these two truths are the essential foundation upon which we may know that everyone goes to heaven. For if the Old Testament said that all who died went below to Sheol/Hades, and the New Testament says that all who die are resurrected and go to heaven, then it follows that the Bible says everyone is going to heaven.