People often have fuzzy ideas about hell. Popular mythology portrays hell as part of Satan’s domain. In part, this comes from a poor translation of Isaiah 14:15. The Lord says to Lucifer (Satan), “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (KJV). The Hebrew word translated “hell”, however, is “sheol,” and means the realm of the dead. Its counterpart in the Greek New Testament is Hades.
“Hell” refers to the eternal lake of fire reserved for Satan, the antichrist and those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life at the Great White Throne Judgment. At that time, Sheol (Hades) will give up the dead who are there:
Rev. 20:10-15 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The above passage tells us is that there is no one in hell (the lake of fire) right now. Hell is the last place Satan will be and the last place Satan wants to be! So Adam and Eve are not in hell—at least not yet. But will they be sent to hell from Sheol at the Great White Throne judgment?
Genesis 3:21 Tells us:
“the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
This means that innocent animals died for Adam and Eve to be clothed with hides. God exercised grace toward Adam and Eve, covering their sin and shame at the cost of innocent lives. This sacrifice for sin was provided solely by God. By wearing the clothing God provided, they accepted God’s provision, trusting that the penalty for their sin had been met:
Eph. 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”
God’s act of saving grace toward Adam and Eve looked forward to the cross of Jesus Christ, whose atonement for sin stretches backward through time as well as forward:
1 Pet. 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”