Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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If people go to two different places (either to Hades or Paradise) after they die; why are they awaiting judgment then? Haven't they already been judged by virtue of being in two different places?

Hades and Paradise are parts of an intermediate stage which depict the condition of mankind after death and before the resurrection and final judgment.

This intermediate stage is just a transitional or waiting stage that does not discriminate between the righteous and the non righteous. It is on the resurrection or judgment day that people will be judged based on their acceptance or rejection of salvation; the wicked will go to their final misery and the righteous to their completed and final blessedness (Mt 25:31-46; Jn 5:28-29). However, during this waiting period, those "who die in the Lord" are recognized as "blessed" and they are "with Christ" (Rev 14:4,13; Phil 1:23; Jn 14:1,3; Lk 23:43). Based upon Scripture, there is no hope or a second chance for those who have willfully rejected the offer of salvation through Christ.

The Holy Gospel of St. Luke 16:19-31, gives the account of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man, who is evidently still in Hades, represents a wicked person in the intermediate stage of waiting. With regard to his spirit, he was alive, fully conscious, in exercise of his mental faculties, and also in a state of torment. On the Day of Judgment, Hades will surrender the wicked. They will be judged and cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:13-14).

You can say that the soul in Hades is like someone who committed a crime, was arrested and locked up in jail without bail waiting for the trial. He is fully conscious of the crime he did, and is living in torment awaiting the final judgment that will lead to his execution. Or like a student who did not study, and did poorly on his exams. He is at that stage of torment, waiting for the results of the exams knowing that he has no chance to pass. On the other hand an "A" student who did well in his exams is also waiting for the results but with peace and joy confident in the coming reward.
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