“Did Jesus Go To Hell?”

Posted: November 3, 2016 in Devil / Satan, First Peter, Gospel, Salvation

1 Peter 3:18-22

Does the church you attend recite the “Apostles Creed” on Sundays as part of their rituals? If so, have you paid much attention to the words? “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord, who…was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven…” There is more to this creed than the above. But merely reciting it doesn’t get us into heaven. Do you know what is necessary for us to enter into God’s presence? Did Jesus go to hell and get “born again” while He was there as it is being taught by some false teachers?

Christ’s Death. It occurred once and for all (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:28; 10:2, 10). When we observe the Lord’s Supper we don’t re-crucify Jesus. Nor do we believe that the bread is magically transformed into His real, literal body or that the fruit of the vine is transformed into His literal blood. What do we call those who eat other people? Why did God tell the Jews to drain out the blood before eating meat (Leviticus 17:11, 14)? The bread and the cup are reminders (memorials) of His death for our sins and are a reminder that He promised to return for His own some day in His resurrected, glorified body consisting of flesh and bones (Luke 24:33-43) but with no blood (1 Corinthians 11:26; 15:50; See John 14:1-3). Jesus was the Just One dying for us, the unjust ones (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). We’re all sinners who act lawlessly (Romans 3:10-23; 1 John 3:4).  We all deserve to be separated forever from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23). His death was designed to bring true believers to God (John 3:16, 18; 6:37) and not those who merely profess to be believers (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:2).  Which one characterizes you?

Christ’s Proclamation. What does it mean when the Apostle Peter wrote, “…He [Jesus] went and preached to the spirits in prison…” (1 Peter 3:19)? Who were/are these spirit beings? Peter sheds more light on them in his second letter. The Scriptures teach us that they were some (not all) of the fallen angels/demons who were involved in trying to corrupt the human race genetically by taking on humanoid form and cohabiting with women. This union produced the giants on the earth who were men of renown (Genesis 6:2-4). They are currently confined in a place called “Tartarus” (Greek) which is in the heart of the earth (2 Peter 2:4). They are distinct from the other fallen angels/demons that are still free to roam the earth and who can even enter heaven from time to time (Job 1:6; 2:1; 1 Kings 22:22). The unconfined demons are the devil’s agents who periodically attack Christians mentally (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 4:14) and who do Satan’s will (Ephesians 6:12,13). When He died physically, Jesus went to Paradise (Luke 23:43; See Luke 16:19-31) which was in the upper Sheol/Hades. He didn’t offer the wicked spirits in Tartarus or to the unbelievers in the lowest Sheol/Hades (Deuteronomy 32:22; See Matthew 25:30, 41, 46) another opportunity to be saved from that place of torment (Luke 16:23-31). Instead, we believe that Jesus probably proclaimed something like this to them – “Your efforts to contaminate the human race genetically and to keep Me, the God/man,  from being the Savior of mankind have failed.” (See Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, 7; Matthew 1:23). The everlasting destiny of the devil and all his angels/demons and all unbelievers is the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Jude 1:6, 13; Revelation 20:10; 21:8). We’re trying our best to tell people how they can avoid this awful place by “believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Have you done this yet?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?

Christ’s Resurrection. The evidence for Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead is undeniable to those who are honest with the information that is available to us (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15). All three Persons in the Godhead were involved in Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection – God the Father (Romans 6:4), God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11), and God the Son Himself (John 10:17). Without His bodily resurrection from the dead we’d have no way of knowing for sure if God the Father was satisfied with Christ’s payment for our sins or not (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Christ’s Exaltation. After appearing to over 500 witness on more than 10 separate occasions over a 40 day period of time, Jesus ascended back to heaven from where He had come (John 3:13; 6:41, 51). It was public, gradual, and literal (Acts 1:1-11). Currently He is seated at God the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20-23; Hebrews 10:12). We’re told that He intercedes to God the Father on the behalf of believers (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) and directs the activities of His Body, the Church through God the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; Romans 8:14). Although Jesus has been exalted above all other human and spirit beings (Philippians 2:9-11), He is still subordinate to God the Father (1 Corinthians 11:3) and will be until the end of time when He (Jesus) destroys death by raising everyone who has died from the dead in their various resurrections (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). What do you know about the five resurrections mentioned in the Scriptures?  In which one will you participate?

Christ’s Offer. For a person to be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (John 3:18, 36), he/she must personalize the Gospel by saying, I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for my sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” It’s not enough to know and agree with the facts of the Gospel. We must transfer our faith over to Christ alone to save us. We aren’t saved by good works or faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). We implore you, please make sure you’re truly saved (2 Peter 1:10). Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14). You might be dead.

Evidence. To demonstrate our faith in Christ to other human beings (James 2:18-20), we need to be baptized by immersion (Matthew 28:19). This identifies us with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:1-5) and enables us to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21). As we begin to grow spiritually by the intake of the milk and meat (solid food) of the Word of God that is addressed to us as Christians (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9), and present and yield our bodies to God as living sacrifices (Romans 6:11-23; 12:1, 2), others should begin to see changes in our lives that might cause them to ask us about our faith (1 Peter 3:15).

Help. If you aren’t sure you’ll go to heaven when you die, or if you’re a Christian who would like to grow spiritually, but don’t know how to “rightly divide the Word of truth,” we’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this information with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

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