Revelation 1:18

The views of the early church, the first-clear and definite statement of human afterlife destiny by any Christian writer after the days of the Apostles, includes universal restoration, and that doctrine was advocated by most of the greatest and best of the Christian Fathers for the first five hundred years of the Christian Era.


Let me try and explain what I think scripture is saying from this view. I see Jesus suffering for the sins of the world, dying, going to hades, preaching the Good News to them and taking those in paradise with Him into heaven. I see the apostles sharing the Good News with living earthly Israel (and then the Gentile world) and warning them of impending judgment for 40 or so years. I personally see Jesus completing all His work by returning (as the High Priest coming out of the Holiest of Holies) with judgment and reward in 70 AD and at that time the hades emptying out and the Great and the dead beginning judgment before the Great White Throne with those whose names not written in the Lambs book of life being cast into the Lake of Fire, which I am convinced is the consuming fire that God is.
At that point I see the hades, the covered place being empty forever more. It is done, emptied and plays no more of a role in afterlife human affairs.
Since Jesus introduced the Resurrection of the Dead at the advent of His coming, and since I believe that Resurrection is entirely spiritual with spiritual bodies being given by God to all - some to eternal life and some to eternal damnation, I believe that all death all people - since the end of the age in 70 AD - are raptured, judged, and receive their eternal bodies from God.
Those who are His by faith enter into His kingdom, those who are not enter into the Lake of Fire and in accordance to early church beliefs, are purged by the fire and the brimstone (which is a rubbing away) in the presence of the Lamb and His angels.
Since all who enter this Lake of Fire are physically dead, and spiritually dead and since the Lake of Fire is called the Second Death that hurts, where there is loss experienced, what exactly is dying in this second death? I suggest the first death was spiritual not physical. When God told Adam the day that he ate the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil he would surely die, he died - spiritually - because he didn't die physically for another 930 years. So the first death is spiritual. What could the Second death be - especially in light of the fact that it is in the presence of the Lamb and His angels? Since they are already dead physically and spiritually, and since the universal teaching of the early church was total reconciliation, and since I do not believe God and Jesus lose any due to Satan or human will, and since I believe that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, and since I believe that those who enter the Lake of Fire are hurt and not destroyed and that they have their part but not the whole, I suggest that the Second Death they are experiencing is the death of their spiritual death. I suggest that this is not pleasant - and that it is entriely avoided by all of the first resurrection who are priests that reign with God and Christ. But I propose that the Lake of Fire second death is God putting to death the Spiritual death the inhabitants of the lake already possess.