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Did Jesus Preach to Lost Souls in Hell?

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Jesus in Hell According to St. Peter


The scripture of 1 Peter 3:18-20 reads, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

This scripture is understood by many Christians to reveal that Jesus preached in hell before his resurrection from the dead. They believe that he preached to the very wicked people of Noah's time who had perished in the great deluge, while Noah was kept alive in the ark. There are many problems with such an interpretation of this scripture. The belief that Jesus went to hell to preach to lost souls is in serious disagreement with other scripture. It is taught that his preaching was for the express purpose of giving those spirits in prison or lost deceased souls a second and final chance to repent and be saved.

Problems With the Belief that Jesus Preached in Hell


The scripture of 2 Peter 2:4-6 reads, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly."

This passage says that the angels who sinned were sent to hell. If Jesus went to hell to preach repentance to the spirits that were there during his temporary death, he would have preached repentance to the lost souls that dwelt in Sodom and Gomorrah as well as to fallen angels while preaching to the departed spirits from Noah's day. Jesus is not a Savior of fallen angels, because fallen angels can never be saved. He is the Savior for mankind only (Hebrews 2:16-17). Why preach repentance to fallen angels for whom he did not die at Calvary?

The scripture of 2 Peter 2:4-6 also makes some very important comparisons. First, the angels were not spared and, again, they can never repent and be saved. God's word says that the lake of fire was prepared for the Devil and his angels, not for man. That does not mean that some people will not end up going there, but it was not prepared for them, because they, unlike angels, can be redeemed (Matthew 25:41).

We know also that the wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah died without salvation and no scripture says anything about them having another chance to be saved after they died. Why would the wicked men of Noah's day be the only people to have a chance to repent and be saved AFTER they died and went to hell? We would have to ask, "Will Jesus return to hell again to preach repentance to lost souls?" Also, if this is truth, there's no need to worry about receiving salvation while alive. Receive it when you get a second chance in hell at the preaching of Jesus.

Finally, the scripture of Hebrews 9:27 completely destroys the erroneous teaching that Jesus preached in hell to the deceased from Noah's day. Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but AFTER this, the judgment." There is no second chance for anyone to repent and be saved after death. They face judgment after death, not preaching.

The teaching that Jesus preached in hell to lost souls is not in agreement with the rest of what scripture says about salvation. The passage of 1 Peter 3:18-20 lets us know that it was the Spirit of Christ who preached THROUGH Noah to the wicked world of that day. We learn from 2 Peter 2:5 that Noah was indeed a preacher of righteousness in his day.


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